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Jun 1

CHAPPiE: An interesting parallel

Category: Opinions

So, I saw CHAPPiE, the story of a robot given something akin to life, true Artificial Intelligence. Overall, it’s a fount of missed potential. It really could have been something great, the potential was so right there, but in the end, it was all just a sad waste. I don’t want to get into a full review, it’s not worth the writing. I’d rather write about the essence of an idea that I found interesting.

In the late 1940s or early 1950s, Alan Turing was sort of waxing romantic about “machine intelligence,” and how you might teach an “electronic brain.” He wasn’t being absolutely serious, but he talked about giving a machine wheels for locomotion, video cameras and servo-arms for input, speakers for output, and allowing it to “roam the countryside.” He was just thinking about the fact that learning doesn’t occur in a vacuum, that we’re the sum of our experiences. We have things done to us, do things to others, and we learn. He spent a lot of time thinking about how one would educate a machine.

In CHAPPiE, some gangsters get ahold of CHAPPiE when he’s basically a child, and that doesn’t suit them. They want to use him for crime, particularly one very large robbery a few days hence. They need CHAPPiE to “grow up,” fast. So, they trick him into a car ride and dump him off to, well, “roam the countryside.”

It’s an interesting parallel.

2 comments

2 Comments so far

  1. Das Rande June 1st, 2015 3:48 pm

    yes. The movie got sidetracked by terrible acting, screenplay. The premise was good but it was only superficially touched upon then descended into MST- worthy fare.

    You can’t pick winners every time.

    R

  2. Ed Pohl June 2nd, 2015 6:07 pm

    Michael, here’s a well-made 1992 BBC documentary on Alan Turing, which includes interviews with several of his contemporaries. It’s broken into two videos totaling about 48 min. in length. Part One:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyusnGbBSHE
    Part Two:

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