A new documentary Do You Trust This Computer? is making its world premiere Thursday at the Regency Village Theater in Westwood, with its timely exploration of the rise of artificial intelligence and the potential perils of thinking machines.
Directed by Chris Paine, the writer-director of Who Killed the Electric Car?, the docu examines the staggering amounts of data collected, interpreted and fed back to us through apps, intelligent devices and targeted ads.
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The film explores the rise of data analytics and machine learning and its power to fundamentally transform society, including elections (look no further than the privacy scandal surrounding political advisory firm Cambridge Analytica) to medical diagnostics to battlefield weapons.
“The inspiration for the documentary began about three years ago when I plugged my phone into my laptop and first saw the question ‘Do you trust this computer?’ In spite of my enthusiasm for tech, I realized my answer was actually no,” said Paine, who also executive produces with Tiffany Asakawa. “The impetus for the film was to explore how AI is starting to redefine that trust and our relationship with computers. How fast is this tech accelerating? What does it promise us? Are there truly ‘existential threats’? And perhaps the biggest question, can we control what we’ve created.”
Some of the most influential figures in technology weigh in on artificial intelligence and talk about possible outcomes, including Google Brain founder Andrew Ng, Affectiva CEO Rana el Kaliouby, Osaka University professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, entrepreneur Elon Musk, OpenAI director Shivon Zilis and Westworld co-creator Jonathan Nolan.