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Tag: The Multiverse (Page 1 of 46)

An AI wrote all of David Hasselhoff’s lines in this nutty short film

Behold: It's No Game, written by an AI and starring the great David Hasselhoff. (video link)

Last year, director Oscar Sharp and AI researcher Ross Goodwin released the stunningly weird short film Sunspring. It was a sci-fi tale written entirely by an algorithm that eventually named itself Benjamin. Now the two humans have teamed up with Benjamin again to create a follow-up movie, It's No Game, about what happens when AI gets mixed up in an impending Hollywood writers' strike. Ars is excited to debut the movie here, so go ahead and watch. We also talked to the film cast and creators about what it's like to work with an AI.

The scenario in It's No Game is sort of like Robocop, with about 20 hits of acid layered on top. Two screenwriters (Tim Guinee and Walking Dead's Thomas Payne) are meeting with a producer (Flesh and Bone's Sarah Hay), who informs them that it doesn't matter if they go on strike because the future is AI writing movies for other AI. As evidence, she shows them Sunspring, gushing about how it "got a million hits." The fact that Sunspring did in fact get a million hits in real life, and that there really is a writer's strike threatening Hollywood, make this movie even more of a reality distortion field.

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A chat with Ron Howard after watching his Einstein series premiere

Enlarge / Ron Howard speaks to Ars Technica at March's South By Southwest festival. (credit: Sam Machkovech)

AUSTIN, Texas—Writer, director, and actor Ron Howard is very careful when considering his place in the geek-media universe. Over 20 years ago, his film Apollo 13 kicked off a trajectory of major science-and-heart storytelling, which recently crystallized as an ongoing series-development deal with National Geographic's TV channel.

This Tuesday's premiere of TV mini-series Genius, which sees Geoffrey Rush playing the role of Albert Einstein, won't be the last of that deal, either—and Howard laughs at how that fact might look to people in his past.

"My tenth grade science teacher, Mr. Dowd, would be, you know, rolling over in his grave!" Howard says with a laugh during an interview at last month's South By Southwest festival. "No, no, he'd enjoy it. He had a great sense of humor. The fact that I'm telling stories about science"—and saying this makes Howard laugh uncontrollably—"well, he thought I was a nice guy. He knew I didn't get it."

Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments

A chat with Ron Howard after watching his Einstein series premiere

Enlarge / Ron Howard speaks to Ars Technica at March's South By Southwest festival. (credit: Sam Machkovech)

AUSTIN, Texas—Writer, director, and actor Ron Howard is very careful when considering his place in the geek-media universe. Over 20 years ago, his film Apollo 13 kicked off a trajectory of major science-and-heart storytelling, which recently crystallized as an ongoing series-development deal with National Geographic's TV channel.

This Tuesday's premiere of TV mini-series Genius, which sees Geoffrey Rush playing the role of Albert Einstein, won't be the last of that deal, either—and Howard laughs at how that fact might look to people in his past.

"My tenth grade science teacher, Mr. Dowd, would be, you know, rolling over in his grave!" Howard says with a laugh during an interview at last month's South By Southwest festival. "No, no, he'd enjoy it. He had a great sense of humor. The fact that I'm telling stories about science"—and saying this makes Howard laugh uncontrollably—"well, he thought I was a nice guy. He knew I didn't get it."

Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments

A chat with Ron Howard after watching his Einstein series premiere

Enlarge / Ron Howard speaks to Ars Technica at March's South By Southwest festival. (credit: Sam Machkovech)

AUSTIN, Texas—Writer, director, and actor Ron Howard is very careful when considering his place in the geek-media universe. Over 20 years ago, his film Apollo 13 kicked off a trajectory of major science-and-heart storytelling, which recently crystallized as an ongoing series-development deal with National Geographic's TV channel.

This Tuesday's premiere of TV mini-series Genius, which sees Geoffrey Rush playing the role of Albert Einstein, won't be the last of that deal, either—and Howard laughs at how that fact might look to people in his past.

"My tenth grade science teacher, Mr. Dowd, would be, you know, rolling over in his grave!" Howard says with a laugh during an interview at last month's South By Southwest festival. "No, no, he'd enjoy it. He had a great sense of humor. The fact that I'm telling stories about science"—and saying this makes Howard laugh uncontrollably—"well, he thought I was a nice guy. He knew I didn't get it."

Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Cory Doctorow’s Walkaway: hardware hackers face the climate apocalypse

Enlarge / Let it burn: the cover of Cory Doctorow's Walkaway, a novel of building a new world from the ashes of the old post climate-apocylapse.

Science fiction has long served as a platform for the hashing out of big social, political and economic issues, either metaphorically or literally. Cory Doctorow has never been shy of speaking their names directly, whether examining the implications of the surveillance state or the shifting of social and economic forces caused by technology. In his first novel for an adult audience in eight years, Doctorow revisits many of the themes he's written about in the past, and he refines them into a compelling, cerebral "hard" science fiction narrative of a not-too distant future that ranks with some of the best of the genre.

Walkaway (from Tor Books, which releases on April 25 in hardcover) is a very Doctorow-y book. Intensely smart and tech-heavy, it still manages maintains the focus on its human (or in some cases, post-human) protagonists. Walkaway is also full of big ideas about both the future and our current condition, and it has enough philosophical, social, and political commentary lurking just below the surface to fuel multiple graduate theses.

At its heart, Walkaway is an optimistic disaster novel—"in as much as it's a book about people who, in the face of disaster, don't disintegrate into CHUDs but instead jump right into the fray to figure out how they can help each other," Doctorow explained to Ars. "That, to me, is the uplifting part—it's not a question of whether bad things will happen or won't happen, but what we'll do when disaster strikes."

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