Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I have a new favorite Sci-Fi AI: "GERTY"

We watched the movie "Moon" last night. It was a rather low-budget sci-fi flick. Some of the special effects were just a little bit... well, not big budget, but really not bad either. I could pick the film to pieces on some points, but overall, it was different enough and enjoyable enough. I liked it.

I won't talk about the story, because it would be too easy to spoil it. But one of the things I liked best was the Artificial Intelligence character, the robot companion called GERTY.

At first it may seem that this machine is a lot like the malevolent computer "HAL" from the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey". But as the story progresses, you find out that the robot's relationship to the Astronaut, and the situation, is more... complex.

The robot itself is pretty cool, it even has a detached arm with three fingers, that moves around separately but works with the robot. GERTY also has a rather icky "emoticon" screen, which can be both creepy and poignant at times.

I would think that by the time people can build a base on the moon, they would be able to come up with something better than an emoticon screen. We already have software like People Putty, that can do a better job than an emoticon. Surely in the future there would be software at least as good or even better? But yes, I am nit-picking. Here are some clips from the movie, scenes with GERTY.

*** SPOILER ALERT! *** If you haven't seen the movie yet, then beware, the clips give away some of the story:

I can't say much more without spoiling it. If you like sci-fi and robots/AI, you will probably enjoy this flick.

Meanwhile, if you want to have your own HAL/GERTY at home on your own PC, check out some of these links:

Ultra Hal Assistant 6.2

Ultra HAL, your personal computer assistant

Ultra Hal: His "Second Life" is really his first one

Haptek products and downloads

Artificial voice synthesis, 1939 to the present



No comments: