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Machine learning technology can feel eerily ubiquitous in the algorithmic undercurrent of our daily lives, but humanity is likely still in the very early stages of unleashing the power of machine learning to transform our world. In addition to its potential to overhaul such spheres as transportation and medicine, the Los Angeles-based artist Chris Peters predicts that its impact on entertainment will move far beyond just spitting out recommendations. He writes: ‘By 2050, you will be able to turn on your TV and order the machine to write and render a new show just for you, all within a few seconds.’ Peters’s experimental short Vertigo AI provides a snapshot of machine learning in its contemporary, perhaps primordial, form. Generated from running the Alfred Hitchcock classic Vertigo (1958) through an artificial intelligence computer 20 times, the resulting film offers a glimpse into the technology’s current capabilities and limitations. It’s also a work of art in its own right, with its uncanny, noir-infused AI-generated script and imagery striking a haunting tone, while also raising fascinating questions of authorship.
How insects become airborne, slowed down to a speed the human eye can appreciate
Ecology and environmental sciences
Life in one of Canada’s northernmost villages, where the land is sinking into the sea
An artistic collaboration across centuries brings a 1432 battle scene to arresting life
Values and beliefs
A funeral director takes in bodies that social stigma leaves unclaimed
Philosophy of religion
What Zen Buddhist riddles reveal about knowledge and the unknowable
Dance and theatre
Absorb the infectious rhythms of Setapa – a joyous dance from southern Africa
Nature and landscape
Honouring the caribou, in dreams and memories from an Innu singer-songwriter
Revisiting ‘Powers of Ten’ – what we’ve learned about the Universe since 1977
It’s a massive, winged Cretaceous beast – could a human ride one?