In this first installment in our our newly-coined series “The Luddite Diaries” we contemplate – just for a moment – the implications of the accelerating mash-up of software and hardware in the filmmaking industry as epitomized by the fascinating Redrock Micro Halo.
I just did a post on Redrock’s impressive and very ambitious Halo – an amalgam of game technology, autonomous car technology, and old school focus-pulling.
I loved the Halo. Then I hated it for the mere thought that it would someday put focus-pullers out of work.
Then I just got depressed as I couldn’t help but admire it.
Yet I also took comfort from the fact that cinematographers Rodney Charters and Brown Cooper – who know a thing or two about the very human collaboration required to tell stories – thought their guys (the professional focus pullers) would love it as a reference aid.
For the moment, color me cautiously optimistic because Hollywood knows better than most places the value of people.
Full disclosure: I actually ran a large software development team in a prior life (as in: the 1990’s), so I should be pretty sanguine about tech, right? Or maybe that's why I'm not.
You can read about the Halo here, but really it’s just a touch point for a much broader conversation about the Rise of the Machines and its unforeseen side effects, especially around income inequality.
Kudos to Zeynep Tufekci for writing about this very subject in her Op-Ed piece in the New York Times entitled “The Machines are Coming,” below.
For it seems to me that Hollywood is — in the best possible way — one of the last bastions of unions, apprenticeships, master craftsmen, and artistry borne of experience and collaboration.
This is a good thing.
I take delight in seeing the hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of names that roll during the credits at the end a major film.
All of that talent, all of that hard work, all in service of something so profoundly human as entertainment.
With more than enough profit for everyone on ALL sides of the transaction.
To this grandson of a former labor organizer for the ILGWU who now peers into an abyss of algorithms, greed and remorselessness outside of Hollywood, Hollywood just became a little more precious in a completely unexpected way.The Luddite Diaries: Rise of the Machines Click To Tweet
The Machines Are Coming
Via The New York Times:
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — THE machine hums along, quietly scanning the slides, generating Pap smear diagnostics, just the way a college-educated, well-compensated lab technician might.
A robot with emotion-detection software interviews visitors to the United States at the border. In field tests, this eerily named “embodied avatar kiosk” does much better than humans in catching those with invalid documentation. Emotional-processing software has gotten so good that ad companies are looking into “mood-targeted” advertising, and the government of Dubai wants to use it to scan all its closed-circuit TV feeds.
Yes, the machines are getting smarter, and they’re coming for more and more jobs.
Read full article at The New York Times “The Machines Are Coming”
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(cover photo credit: snap from The New York Times)