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Robots Are Already Driving and Painting, Now They’re Directing Films Too

A new documentary lets robots interview and film humans.

Catherine MullenFebruary 14th 2019

A feminine robot gains citizenship in Saudi Arabia before women are even allowed to drive. The bereaved find solace through texting chatbots imitating their deceased loved ones. AI-generated artwork sells for upwards of $400,000 a painting.

This isn’t a shuffled, hypothetical future—it’s our current society, and artificial intelligence is on track to dominate even larger portions of our lives. In the documentary More Human Than Human, directors Tommy Pallotta and Femke Wolting take on an anticipated AI-advancement that most care not to think about: the possibility of AI taking over their very own jobs.  

In this 78-minute movie, which premiered at SXSW in 2018, Pallotta and Wolting follow a robotics team as it builds an AI intended to function like a documentary interviewer. Called Camerabot, the technology will analyze faces for emotion, follow its subjects with camera movements, ask questions, and give thoughtful responses to the interviewees – all while recording image and sound with no need for a human crew.

As audiences watch the tech develop, they’ll hear from renowned AI developers and AI consumers on what it’s like to interact and coexist with intelligent machines. This exploration of the natal age of artificial intelligence culminates with the interaction everyone has been waiting for: Camerabot blinks on, and Pollotta sits down to answer its questions.

Whether AI and robotics can ever match the finesse and artistry required to capture and tell a story is debatable, but Pallotta and Wolting make it certain that smart machines are quickly mastering increasingly difficult tasks. More Human Than Human serves to remind viewers how essential it is to steer this newfound technology in the right direction before it can redirect itself.

Futurism is proud to partner with Dust in the release of this film. It is available on TVOD on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon.

Futurism Studios is a subsidiary of Futurism LLC. This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the Futurism editorial team. Futurism may receive a portion of proceeds from this film.

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