Category Archives: Introduction

Characteristics of New Media

The reading for this week is “The Language of new media” by Lev Manovich is crucial for understanding of media evolution. From the first sight we might not even think about the complexity and the logic of new media structures. In his Book Manovich explores the phenomenon of new media vs. old media. He is stating that the logic behind new media, the laws of its structures are tremendously different from characteristics that were presented in old media. The author presents to the reader 5 main characteristics of new media which make it unique and very different from old media. Here are the main characteristics of new media: Continue reading

Artificial Intelligence


A.M. Turing is recognized prominently for his ideas regarding artificial intelligence.  He was considerably interested in this question, “Can machines think?”  Turing was an English mathematician and a truly gifted computer scientist.  In the piece, “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” Turing was mostly interested in a game he refers to as the “Imitation Game.”  He supposed that if an interrogator could not distinguish between a machine and a human being then perhaps the public could accept the idea that machines are capable of reasoning.  We now refer to this imitation game as “The Turing Test.”  When Turing uses the word “machine” he means precisely a digital computer.

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Turing’s Bicentennial Man

In “Computing Machinery and Intelligence”, A.M Turing investigates the question of whether or not machines can think. He creates an “imitation game” in which an interrogator communicates between two separate room through writing and must figure out which is the human and which is the machine. Turing explains how the best strategy for the digital computer would be to “provide answers that would naturally be given by a man” as this would make it appear human. This immediately reminded me of the old AOL chatbot Smarterchild. For those of you unfamiliar with this screen name, Smarterchild was an online robot that you could IM and have almost human conversations with.

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In Descartes’ “Of The Things of Which We May Doubt”, he questions his understanding of reality from the standpoint that perception, through the body’s senses, is based on deception. Throughout his work he confronts reality as an illusion that is indiscernible from the state of dreaming—a reality that exists only within out minds. It is difficult to conceptualize his posits just from his writings. However, the 1999 movie “The Matrix” provides us with a lens to understand them.

“The Matrix” is a science fiction movie that depicts a world in which reality exists only within the consciousness of a computer program. It is a world where the human race lives only within their minds, and are subject to the laws of programming just as we are subject to the laws of physics. Only a small number of people are actually conscious outside of the program. It is through this movie that Descartes’ deceived perception of reality becomes evident.

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Facebook is Basically the Matrix, Based on the Ideas of Descartes

In Meditation I: “Of the Things of Which We May Doubt,” the correlation between Descartes’ musings and the 1999 movie The Matrix are pretty easy to see: both address the perception of reality and determining and deciding truth and falsehood in that reality. Both delve into the idea that our very senses are capable of deceit, to the point that we could be asleep, trapped in a virtual reality constructed by an indeterminate power.

Descartes is determined to challenge his past perceptions about reality by deciding to reject anything but that which is devoid of doubt (#2), building up to a conjecture about the suspicion of the actuality of reality. He also notes that our culpability to this lie is in proportion to the power of the deceptive party (#10); in the movie, the robots have taken over the world and stuck humans in pods that prevent them any type of contact with the real world, except for groups like Morpheus’s crew.

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