Author Archives: WinstonDu

More than just a tree: Avatar and Heidegger’s “Standing Reserve”

James Cameron’s Avatar is by no means an original work. In one comedic picture after the movie aired, the Huffington Post derisively labeled it “’Pocahontas’ in Space.”[1]  Moreover, it is not the only example of media that tries to espouse the viewer to think critically about our own relationship with nature and the world around […] Continue reading

Posted in Aliens, Avatar, Climate Change and Ecology, Fantasy, Films, Heidegger, modernism | Comments Off on More than just a tree: Avatar and Heidegger’s “Standing Reserve”

Ted Chiang AI Talk Highlights: Singularity?

In his talk last Monday here at Vanderbilt, Ted Chiang joined a panel to talk about the future of Artificial Intelligence. He spoke about what A.I. means for humanity, and contested the possibility of the singularity (a.k.a. the technology explosion that occurs when computers begin programming smarter computers, with those smarter computers programming even smarter […] Continue reading

Posted in AI, Chiang, Fiction, humanities, Procreation, robots, SF, Singularity, Turing Test | Comments Off on Ted Chiang AI Talk Highlights: Singularity?

Integrating Technology with Culture

I think technology and economic progress, when done right, can actually amplify a culture. One can easily imagine how, in the past, before industrial dyes, Wakandan dress-makers may not have been able to produce vibrant, long-lasting colors on their cl… Continue reading

Posted in Afro-futurism, Black Panther, humanities, SF | Comments Off on Integrating Technology with Culture

“War Games”

Military Science Fiction is quite prevalent, and AI and robots are ubiquitous in Sci-Fi. Then what explains this rarity of AI as competent generals/commanders? I would argue that because Science Fiction is bound by the rules of telling a good story, there are certain technological concepts that the genre has not figured out how to include while still preserving the story’s familiarity to the reader. Continue reading

Posted in Aliens, Artificial Intelligence, Google Deepmind, Heinlein, robots, Star Wars, Starcraft, war, Writer's craft | Comments Off on “War Games”