AI News, 'Like Minority Report but in Real Life': Post artificial intelligence
Minority Report (film)
It is set primarily in Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia in the year 2054, where PreCrime, a specialized police department, apprehends criminals based on foreknowledge provided by three psychics called 'precogs'.
The film combines elements of tech noir, whodunit, thriller and science fiction genres, as well as a traditional chase film, as the main protagonist is accused of a crime he has not committed and becomes a fugitive.
Spielberg has characterized the story as 'fifty percent character and fifty percent very complicated storytelling with layers and layers of murder mystery and plot'.
Other themes include the role of preventive government in protecting its citizenry, the role of media in a future state where technological advancements make its presence nearly boundless, the potential legality of an infallible prosecutor, and Spielberg's repeated theme of broken families.
During pre-production, Spielberg consulted numerous scientists in an attempt to present a more plausible future world than that seen in other science fiction films, and some of the technology designs in the film have proven prescient.
Burgess corners Anderton, and explains that as he could not afford to let Lively take Agatha back without impacting PreCrime, he arranged to kill Lively following an actual attempt on her life, so that the murder would appear as an echo to the technician within PreCrime and be ignored.
Spielberg was attracted to the story because as both a mystery and a movie set 50 years in the future, it allowed him to do 'a blending of genres' which intrigued him.
reportedly agreed to each take 15% of the gross instead of any money up front to try to keep the film's budget under $100 million.
haven't worked with many movie stars—80 per cent of my films don't have movie stars—and I've told them if they want to work with me I want them to gamble along with me.
In contrast to Spielberg's next science fiction picture, War of the Worlds, which he called '100 percent character' driven, Spielberg said the story for Minority Report became 'fifty percent character and fifty percent very complicated storytelling with layers and layers of murder mystery and plot.'
He wanted to consult with the group to create a plausible 'future reality' for the year 2054 as opposed to a more traditional 'science fiction' setting.
the experts included architect Peter Calthorpe, author Douglas Coupland, urbanist and journalist Joel Garreau, computer scientist Neil Gershenfeld, biomedical researcher Shaun Jones, computer scientist Jaron Lanier, and former Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) architecture dean William J.
Production designer Alex McDowell kept what was nicknamed the '2054 bible', an 80-page guide created in preproduction which listed all the aspects of the future world: architectural, socio-economic, political, and technological.
While the discussions did not change key elements in the film, they were influential in the creation of some of the more utopian aspects, though John Underkoffler, the science and technology advisor for the film, described it as 'much grayer and more ambiguous' than what was envisioned in 1999.
Termed 'previz', as an abbreviation of previsualization (a term borrowed from the film's narrative), production designer Alex McDowell said the system allowed them to use Photoshop in place of painters, and employ 3-D animation programs (Maya and XSI) to create a simulated set, which could be filled with digital actors then used to block out shots in advance.
The technology also allowed the tie-in video game and special effects companies to cull data from the previs system before the film was finished, which they used to establish parameters for their visuals.
When Spielberg quickly became a fan, McDowell said '[i]t became pretty clear that [he] wouldn't read an illustration as a finished piece, but if you did it in Photoshop and created a photorealistic environment he focused differently on it.'
These included the auto factory chase scene, filmed in a real facility using props such as a welding robot, and the fight between Anderton and the jetpack-clad officers, filmed in an alley set built on the Warner Bros.
The holographic projections and the prison facility were filmed by several roving cameras which surrounded the actors, and the scene where Anderton gets off his car and runs along the Maglev vehicles was filmed on stationary props, which were later replaced by computer-generated vehicles.
The character of John Anderton was changed from a balding and out-of-shape old man to an athletic officer in his 40s to fit its portrayer and the film's action scenes.
Anderton's future murder and the reasons for the conspiracy were changed from a general who wants to discredit PreCrime to regain some military funding, to a man who murdered a precog's mother to preserve PreCrime.
Other themes explored by the film include involuntary commitment, the nature of political and legal systems in a high technology-advanced society,
For Minority Report however, his entry was delayed due to his work on Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, and he joined the film when it was nearly completed, leaving him scant production time.
He included traditional noir elements such as a female singer in the Anne Lively scenes, but the 'sentimental scenes', which Williams considered unusual for that genre, led to soothing themes for Anderton's ex-wife Lara and son Sean.
Some of the other choices, such as Gideon's playing of 'Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring' by Bach on an organ in the subterranean prison, were also in the screenplay, and he figured that '[t]hey are some writer's conception of what this character might have listened to.'
Oestreich in The New York Times characterized the score as 'evocative' and said it was 'thoroughly modern' while also being 'interlaced with striking snippets of masterworks', including the 'lopsided waltz' from the second movement of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No.
One critic theorized, '...[r]ather than end this Brazil-ian sci-fi dystopia with the equivalent of that film's shot of its lobotomized hero, which puts the lie to the immediately previous scene of his imagined liberation, Spielberg tries to pass off exactly the same ending but without the rimshot, just to see if the audience is paying attention.'
He felt that given the water theme, and closely tied together tragic parent-child theme, Anderton should have ended the film by taking Agatha in his care if Spielberg wanted a happy ending.
it desaturated the film's colors, to the point that it nearly resembles a black-and-white movie, yet the blacks and shadows have a high contrast like a film noir picture.
Elvis Mitchell, formerly of The New York Times, commented that '[t]he picture looks as if it were shot on chrome, caught on the fleeing bumper of a late '70s car.'
The movie's camera work is very mobile, alternating between handheld and Steadicam shots, which are 'exaggerated by the use of wide angle lenses and the occasional low camera angle' to increase the perception of movement according to film scholar Warren Buckland.
Kamiński said that he never used a lens longer than 27mm, and alternated between 17, 21, and 27mm lenses, as Spielberg liked to 'keep the actors as close to the camera as possible'.
Spielberg eschewed the typical 'shot reverse shot' cinematography technique used when filming characters' interactions in favor of the long takes, which were shot by a mobile, probing camera.
McDowell relied on colorless chrome and glass objects of curved and circular shapes in his set designs, which, aided by the 'low-key contrastive lighting', populated the film with shadows, creating a 'futuristic film noir atmosphere'.
The speed of the film is sped up, slowed, and even reversed, and the movie 'jumps about in time and space' by intercutting the images in no discernible order.
Fellow scholar Nigel Morris called this scene a 'trailer', because it foreshadows the plot and establishes the type of 'tone, generic expectations, and enigmas' that will be used in the film.
The visions of the pre-cogs are presented in a fragmented series of clips using a 'squishy lens' device, which distorts the images, blurring their edges and creating ripples across them.
They were created by a two-man production team, hired by Spielberg, who chose the 'layered, dreamlike imagery' based on some comments from cognitive psychologists the pair consulted.
It lasts 14 minutes, includes 171 shots, and has an average shot length of five seconds as opposed to the 6.5 second average for the entire film.
The opening's five-second average is attained despite 'very fast cutting' in the beginning and ending, because the middle has longer takes, which reach 20 seconds in some instances.
Following the disappointing box office results of Spielberg's A.I., the marketing campaign for Minority Report downplayed his role in the movie and sold the film as a Cruise action thriller.
coming into the film, Spielberg had made 20 films which grossed a domestic total of $2.8 billion, while Cruise's resume featured 23 films and $2 billion in domestic revenues.
With their combined 30% take of the film's box office though, sources such as BusinessWeek's Ron Grover predicted the studios would have a hard time making the money needed to break even.
Despite the outward optimism, as a more adult-oriented, darker film than typical blockbusters, the studio held different box office expectations for the movie than they would a more family friendly film.
it made $6.7 million in 780 locations in Germany its opening weekend, and accounted for 35% of France's total box office weekend office gross when it collected $5 million in 700 theaters.
In Great Britain, Minority Report made $36.9 million in its first three days, in Italy, $6.2 million in its first ten, in Belgium, $815,000 in its 75 location opening weekend, and in Switzerland, $405,000 in an 80 theater opening weekend.
Premiere-award-winning DVD producer Laurent Bouzereau, who would become a frequent Spielberg DVD collaborator, shot hundreds of hours of the film's production in the then-new high-definition video format.
It contained over an hour of featurettes which discussed various aspects of film production, included breakdowns of the film's stunt sequences, and new interviews with Spielberg, Cruise, and other 'Academy Award-winning filmmakers'.
The site's critical consensus is, 'Thought-provoking and visceral, Steven Spielberg successfully combines high concept ideas and high octane action in this fast and febrile sci-fi thriller.'
It's too early to know whether Minority Report, on the heels of A.I., marks a brief detour in Spielberg's career or a permanent change of course, but either way it's a dark and dazzling spectacle.'
Roger Ebert called the film a 'masterpiece' and said that when most directors of the period were putting 'their trust in technology', Spielberg had already mastered it, and was emphasizing 'story and character' while merely using technology as a 'workman uses his tools'.
Though he approved of the movie, he derided it in his review as a superficial action film, cautioning audiences to enjoy the movie, but not 'be conned into thinking that some sort of serious, thoughtful statement is being delivered along with the roller-coaster ride.'
Andrew Sarris of the New York Observer gave the film a negative review in which he described the script as full of plot holes, the car chases as silly, and criticized the mixture of futuristic environments with 'defiantly retro costuming'.
The series was envisioned to be set 10 years after the film, and focused on a male precog who teams up with a female detective to find a purpose to his gift.
In March 2015, Stark Sands and Meagan Good landed the lead roles with Sands playing the role of Dash, one of the male precogs, and Good playing Lara Vega, a detective haunted by her past, who works with Dash to help him find a purpose for his gift, Li Jun Li plays Akeela, a CSI technician, Daniel London reprised his role as Wally the Caretaker from the original film and Wilmer Valderrama was cast as a police detective.
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4 Artificial Intelligence Advancements We Probably Don’t Need
Look, we’re no experts on space exploration, but we’re pretty sure that dual-wielding pistols or operating a military-style vehicle aren’t typical subjects in astronaut school.
Plus, it’s not like Russia hasn’t been working on autonomous weapons for some time – its “neural net” system can apparently determine what to shoot without any human intervention whatsoever.
Right now it’s not really a matter of “Should we or shouldn’t we?” but rather “Russia’s doing it, so we better hop on this killer robot train before we get left behind.” Understandably, many experts petitioned the U.N.
The problem, however, is in how the prediction of future crime is arrived at: complicated algorithms that take into account not only an individual’s criminal past, but also associations (real or perceived) with other known law-breakers or even what you post on social media.
It’s basically leaving the judgment of humanity at the mercy of some complex formula that we don’t completely understand, which sounds like some corny dystopian flick John Cusack would star in.
- On Thursday, February 21, 2019
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