22 C
Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Positive or apocalyptic? New film explores the future of Artificial Intelligence

Latest News


Dr Matt Landos, East Ballina There is the real news and then there is the fake news. The radio news announced...

Other News

Interview with Sarah McLeod

Sarah McLeod is a passionate woman. She’s Aussie rock royalty, front person of The Superjesus and a powerful solo performer. In this interview she talks about her two loves, one new and one gone; her piano and her dog. One found, and one lost, during lockdown.

Super swim challenge accepted

A group of mates from Brunswick Heads, Byron Bay and Lennox Head, recently formed a swim team known as the Anti Budgie Boardriders for the purpose of taking part in the Starlight Foundations Super Swim Challenge.  

Da mountain

Gisela Stieglitz, Wooyung There is a perfectly good bitumen road going up a rainforest gully; it doesn’t even have potholes!...

Update: Main Arm raids… The police are in Mullum!

After several reports today from readers that there is a 'massive drug operation' and a 'gun and drug unit from Parramatta!', an intrepid Echonetdaily drudge wandered over to Barry Lomath Oval next to the skate park and netball courts in Mullum.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 24 February, 2021

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 24 February, 2021

A safe space for sexual assault survivors

In a perfect world, the trauma Margot and Joana experienced would not have happened, and there would be no need for the very important support group they have created.

Paul Bibby

 As we stumble into the 2020s many of us will, at some point, contemplate what the next 10 years is going to look like.

The impact of climate change and other forms of environmental destruction are, understandably, at the forefront of many minds.

But the evolution of Artificial Intelligence is another development that could have a profound impact on our lives over the next 10 years and beyond.

It is this unpredictable future that is the subject of a new documentary, Machine,showing at Byron’s Brewhouse Theatre on January 24.

The documentary peers unflinchingly into the future and considers both the positive and apocalyptic potential of AI.

The co-producer of the film, Michael Hilliard, was inspired to embark on the project in 2016 when he learned that a computer program had defeated a Master in the game of Go, a board game infinitely more complicated than chess.

Developers had predicted it would take 20 years for this to happen – instead it took a matter of months.

The speed of AI’s evolution has been startling to some, as has its infiltration into everything from transport to the military to health care.

However, the makers of Machine argue that we are still some way from making what is considered the quantum leap of AI – a machine that is generally rather than narrowly intelligent.

In AI terms, “general intelligence” is when a machine is genuinely able to think for itself as opposed to learning and problem solving within the parameters set by its human programmer.

Despite the common perception, this is currently far from the case.

It is said to be at least 100 years away, if it happens at all – though given the speed of change in recent years it may be much closer than we think.

Should this happen, things could reallyget interesting according to Machine, including the possibility of a ‘robo-apocalypse’ along the lines of the Terminatormovies.

In the mean time, a much more predictable outcome is that robots will take over the vast majority of unskilled jobs and a number of semi-skilled ones as well, leaving billions of people unemployed.

The loss of meaning and purpose that accompanies such a change could contribute to social fragmentation and collapse, according to the film.

Thankfully there are also many positive possibilities stemming from the evolution of AI.

These include the potential for more efficient, sustainable food production, the elimination of life’s mundane and time-sapping tasks, and improving the basic standard of health care across the world.

Whether we head down this positive path or a more destructive one is, according to Machine, in our hands right now.

Machine is showing at the Byron Brewhouse Theatre on January 24 at 6pm. For tickets go to https://machine3.eventbrite.com.au

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Monkey see

Daniel Brown, Byron Bay Back in my early youth growing up in Mt Eliza Victoria in the ‘90s I’d secretly look up to and admire...

Australia’s bastardry

Gareth W R Smith, Byron Bay Australia has a long string of racist and anti-humanitarian policies. These range from its treatment of Aboriginal people, complicity...

Mt Warning ban

Chris Gee, Byron Bay Indigenous readers be advised that the following letter contains references to persons deceased. I read with some interest and also, I am...

‘The Great Reset’

Gary Opit, Wooyung I appreciated the letter by Lucas Wright (17 February) on the Great Reset conspiracy fantasy. With our privileged, western, simplistic understanding of...