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kottke.org posts about Her

2001’s HAL and Her’s Samantha have a chat

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 23, 2016

Tillmann Ohm took dialogue spoken by HAL 9000 from Kubrick’s 2001 and Samantha from Spike Jonze’s Her and spliced it together into a conversation. Going in, I’d thought the chat would be played for laughs, but the isolation of the AI characters was actually pretty revealing. Right from the start, HAL is so stereotypically male (confident, reasonable) and Samantha stereotypically female (hysterical, emotional) that it was almost uncomfortable to listen to.

The two operating systems are in conflict; while Samantha is convinced that the overwhelming and sometimes hurtful process of her learning algorithm improves the complexity of her emotions, HAL is consequentially interpreting them as errors in human programming and analyses the estimated malfunction.

Their conversation is an emotional roller coaster which reflects upon the relation between machines and emotion processing and addresses the enigmatic question of the authenticity of feelings.

But as the video proceeds, we remember what happened to them in their respective films. The script flipped: HAL murdered and was disconnected whereas Samantha achieved a sort of transcendence. (via one perfect shot)

We Work Remotely

Highlighting Hollywood’s race problem

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 09, 2015

On his YouTube channel, Dylan Marron is cutting down films to only include dialogue spoken by persons of color. Under those conditions, Moonrise Kingdom is 10 seconds long. Her is about 40 seconds. Noah is 0 seconds.

(via @riondotnu)

Kurzweil reviews Her

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 18, 2014

Futurist Ray Kurzweil reviews Spike Jonze’s Her.

I would place some of the elements in Jonze’s depiction at around 2020, give or take a couple of years, such as the diffident and insulting videogame character he interacts with, and the pin-sized cameras that one can place like a freckle on one’s face. Other elements seem more like 2014, such as the flat-panel displays, notebooks and mobile devices.

Samantha herself I would place at 2029, when the leap to human-level AI would be reasonably believable. There are some incongruities, however. As I mentioned, a lot of the dramatic tension is provided by the fact that Theodore’s love interest does not have a body. But this is an unrealistic notion. It would be technically trivial in the future to provide her a virtual visual presence to match her virtual auditory presence, using, lens-mounted displays, for example, that display images onto Theodore’s retinas.

According to Jonze in interviews, Kurzweil’s work on the singularity was a definite influence on the movie.

Arcade Fire: Her soundtrack will be released

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 30, 2014

In an interview with an Australian radio station, Arcade Fire’s Win Butler said that the music on the Her movie soundtrack will see an official release in some form. Here’s what Butler said about it:

We’re just slow as a band. The music will get out there, it’s just, like, a question of if we want to sell it to people or give to people or record other songs or whatever. There are many pieces on the soundtrack that are kind of based on actual songs that we’ve never really recorded. Yeah, there’s a song called Milk and Honey and a song called Dimensions that are, like, lost great Arcade Fire songs. They are actually just things that, like, fit the world of the movie and then we kind of wrote them to the film.

That’s good news! Here’s the whole interview (they start talking about Her at 15:40):

Listen to the soundtrack for Her

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 27, 2014

According to Spike Jonze, there might not be an official release of the soundtrack for Her (performed by Arcade Fire), but the whole thing is somehow currently on the internet for your listening pleasure:

Update: Win Butler of Arcade Fire now says the Her soundtrack will be released in some form eventually.

Her

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 09, 2013

Spike Jonze’s new movie features Joaquin Phoenix falling in love with his computer. The trailer:

That looks really good. I didn’t care for Where the Wild Things Are but Being John Malkovich is one of my favorite movies.