MAD | AI 2020 Invited Keynote: A Short Illustrated Past, Present and Future of Artificial Intelligence.


Almost since humans started thinking, they thought about creating artefacts that think as well. The earliest written record of the creation of such an artefact, the Golem, dates around 1630-1650. It is not renowned for its intelligence, however, and easily tricked by its creators. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley described perhaps the first artefact that surpassed its creator in intelligence (not to mention mercifulness), however its base materials were still profoundly biological in nature. The Mechanical Turk was perhaps the first attempt at a completely synthetic artefact of this nature, alas it was most clearly a hoax as Alan Turing so famously deduced.

Only with upcoming computer technology in the early 20th century and the beginning of the research field of Artificial Intelligence did people start to think about building true artefacts that think with a synthetic structure, arguably a much harder task. Since then countless books, films, short films, series and other media have been created on this topic. But will AI be inferior or superior to us? Will superintelligence be purely technological, purely biological or a combination of both (i.e. cyborg)? How will it look like and how will it act?

In this talk we will use snippets from topic-related films such as Colossus, Ex Machina, Ghost in the Shell, Her, Puzzlehead, Short Circuit, Terminator, Transcendence, Upgrade and others to thread a short past, present and future of Artificial Intelligence as imagined by film and media producers.