Reel Science

In 2011 Edinburgh International Film Festival’s Reel Science strand, supported by Wellcome Trust, screened films addressing scientific themes.

Scientists were invited to speak at the screenings, diving deep into the scientific and philosophical questions behind Hollywood’s archetypal stories.

This page links to online reading and viewing materials relating to some of the themes tacked in the events.

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Artificial Intelligence: The Terminator

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James Cameron classic was screened, followed by a discussion in partnership with the Edinburgh School of Informatics, asking:

‘Can Robots Have Rational Thought?’

Speakers:

Sethu Vijayakumar, Director of the Institute of Perception, Action & Behavior(IPAB) in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh and

Austin Tate, Director of the Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute (AIAI) and holds the Personal Chair of Knowledge-Based Systems at the University of Edinburgh.

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Reading / watching / listening materials:

AI and Cinema – Does Artificial Insanity Rule? ;

Representations of Artificial Intelligence in Cinema ;

http://homepages.inf.ed.ac.uk/svijayak/outreach.html ;

http://vidiowiki.com/watch/mtj9tah/Making_Robots_Like_Humans;

http://vidiowiki.com/watch/gh8f3w3/Uncanny_Valley;

http://vidiowiki.com/watch/xhgpdwy/Using_Robots_to_Treat_Autistic_Children;

http://vidiowiki.com/watch/e5qw4kp/Robots_Mimicking_Humans

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The extraordinary robot ASIMO at the Edinburgh International Science Festival 2009:

The Movie (40 min): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4e6TsGXAXaU

The Making Of (8 min): http://www.youtube.com/user/EdinburghUniversity#p/u/6/72uwiujLtA8

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Key publications of Sethu Vijayakumar:

http://homepages.inf.ed.ac.uk/svijayak/

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Neurophilosophy: The Machine In the Ghost 

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The Machine in the Ghost journeyed deep into notions of personal identity and consciousness.

Dr Paul Broks, an award winning Professor of neurological philosophy and author of the acclaimed Into the Silent Land, presented clips from cult movies such as The Matrix, Frankenstein and Total Recall and used them as jumping off points for questions:

Can and should we create life? What are the ethics around artificial intelligence? Can memories be selectively erased?

Dr Broks, whose background is rooted in psychology, also screened clips from Martino Unstrung - a search for the soul of legendary jazz guitarist Pat Martino who was brutally silenced by memory- stripping brain surgery.

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Watch John Weldon’s short animation TO BE, illustrating Bundle Theory Vs. Ego theory: 

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Paul Broks discusses Ego Theory and Bundle Theory:

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Other films discussed:

Martino Unstrung, The Matrix, Total Recall, The 6th Day, Frankenstein, 2001 A Space Odyssey.

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Dementia: Disappearing Act

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Short films and discussion on the theme of dementia.

Alzheimer Scotland dementia information and resources: http://www.alzscot.org/pages/info/index.htm

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DIMENSIA (dir. Elinore Burke)

Based on the artist filmmakers experiences of her grandmother with dementia.

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MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU (dir. Jav Douglas)

Made for BBC Headroom. Click on the image to link to the film.