Artificial Intelligence — Reflections of Life

We have all seen movies or read books where machines become self aware and become more intelligent than humans. Is this really possible in the near future? Can machines become more advanced and start controlling our lives? Is true AI really possible? After much deliberation and thought about AI, I have come to the following […]

via Artificial Intelligence — Reflections of Life

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Transcendence (2014)

This is clearly one of the better movies that I have seen in the past few weeks.
Transcendence is a Sci-Fi mystery movie starring Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman and Rebecca Hall. This movie is about an extremely thought provoking and fascinating idea that even I used to contemplate sometimes in my free time. The idea is of ‘transcendence’, whereby, a machine becomes fully self-aware and whose intelligence transcends that of a human brain.

Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) plays the role of an expert scientist in the field of Artificial Intelligence. He and his team comprising of his wife Evelyn and friend Max have been working on P.I.N.N. Project which deals with AI. There is an extremist organization R.I.F.T. which is opposed to this controversial idea of transcendence. Their group orchestrates simultaneous terrorist attacks across the world resulting in killing experts in the field of AI. Will, also gets shot with a bullet that’s laced with radioactive material and has less than a month before his body shuts down.

His wife Evelyn and friend work tirelessly to upload Will’s consciousness into digital form. They succeed in their work and Will continues to live in digital form. The rest of the movie is about the expansion and growth of Will and his struggle with R.I.F.T. And FBI who feel threatened by this superhuman entity. In his digital form, Will is able to transcend human limits and succeeds in translating nanotechnology to conduct miracles.

Watch the movie to find out whether Will is able to defend himself against R.I.F.T. and FBI and also his relationship with his wife Evelyn.

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Divergent (2014)

I saw the movie Divergent yesterday and found it lacking in terms of story line, impact and chacterization. It was a pretty average movie.

The movie is based upon the novel by the same name by Veronica Roth. The story is set in a dystopian world where humanity is divided into five different factions based on their virtues. The five factions are Erudite (intelligent), Dauntless (courage), Candor (honesty), Abnegation (selfless) and Amity (peaceful). The protagonist of the movie, Tris (played by Shailene Woodley) is a divergent, meaning she has a combination of personality traits.

The movie deals with Tris’s decisions, life at Dauntless faction and how she and Four (Dauntless faction member who becomes good friends with Tris) deal with the Erudite faction leader (Kate Winslet) to stop them from overthrowing Abnegation.

The movie is a one time watch and could have done a lot better in terms of story line and delivering impact to the audience.

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Noah (2014)

I saw this movie yesterday in the theaters and it was a pretty average movie. If you are already aware of the biblical story of Noah, then you wouldn’t find this movie very entertaining or revealing.

The movie has a nice star cast featuring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson and Anthony Hopkins. The performances given by Russell Crowe and Emma Watson were pretty impressive.

Barring from a few sequences involving stunning visuals of the cosmos, I found Noah an average movie to watch.

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Boom Beach (Super addictive game by Supercell)

Supercell have come out with a yet another addictive game following in the footsteps of ‘Clash of Clans’. I started playing ‘Boom Beach’ only yesterday and am now totally hooked onto it.

Much of the gameplay of this visually appealing game is similar to that of ‘Clash of Clans’. Players start with a base on an island where they have to gather resources, build different types of building, train troops and upgrade stuff. All of the above actions require resources (there are two of them, gold and wood) and time to complete. People also start with a certain number of gems that can be used to finish tasks instantly.

Now, let’s come to the combat gameplay. Players have the option to scout and then decide whether to attack an island or not. Now, here’s the major difference with Clash of Clans. Instead of searching for an opponent island in Clash of Clans by paying gold every time, in Boom Beach, you have a map filled with various kinds of islands that you have to explore and conquer! This makes Boom Beach a much more exciting and interesting game than Clash of Clans. Also, there is a story arc in Boom Beach. You are fighting against rival ‘Blackguards’, who for some reason are capturing islands inhabited by locals and forcing them to dig up statues. These statues contain some kind of hidden power!

The are different types of islands in this game. First, occupied by the rival ‘Blackguards’. Second, occupied by other human players. Third, occupied by tribals. Fourth, islands having resource base which can be conquered and then they will contribute a certain amount of wood/gold per hour. There are some islands which have suspicious activity going on. There might be other types of islands that I haven’t explored yet.

Attack of island is done by two kinds of vessels, Landing craft and Gun Boat.

The landing craft allows you to carry different kinds of troops. Once you reach the island that you wish to attack, you can deploy troops at a suitable location in the beach if the island. The troops then travel and fight by themselves. Demolishing the headquarters of the island gives you an instant victory along with victory points and resources.

The Gun boat gives you option of long range firepower at any place of the island. Upgrading gun boat, also allows for other kinds of abilities like healing troops who are deployed on the island, flares which direct all the troops fighting on the island to a certain location.

I have just started playing this game, so there are many different features which I am yet to explore.

The game has a global as well as a local leaderboard. Local leaderboard is based on your country. Leaderboard is determined by the number of victory points that you have, similar to the trophies in Clash of Clans. Boom Beach also allows you to add friends from Facebook and Game Center. Boom Beach is currently only available on Apple’s App Store.

My username on both Game Center and Boom Beach is ‘anurag99’. Please add me as a friend if you wish to do so. 🙂

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Brave (2012)

This movie was in my watch list for a long time but I got a chance only recently to see this movie. It is an entertaining movie depicting the relation between mother and her daughter. It also won an Academy Award for the Best animated movie for the year 2012.

The movie is about a Princess named Merida and her mother. Merida does not want to get betrothed at the ceremony which has been the tradition in the kingdom but her mother wishes it very much. Merida accidentally turns her mother into a bear as she wants to change her life. Watch the rest of the movie to see how Merida handles this situation and whether the bond between her and her mother gets mended or not.

This movie is a one time watch though. I don’t feel watching it again. The animations in the movie are very colorful and vibrant.

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Buddha (Manga series by Osamu Tezuka)

I completed 8 volumes of this epic series in 2 days. It was that fascinating. Buddha is a manga of epic proportions by Osamu Tezuka, who is also know as ‘Godfather of Anime’ and ‘father of manga’, featuring the life of Gautam Buddha, the founder of the religion Buddhism.

This manga contains tons and tons of interesting and inspiring stories. Apart from covering entire life of Buddha, it also contains detailed description and stories about many characters whose lives were connected in some way or another to Buddha. This book contains stories about love, sacrifice, war, greed and just about very other aspect of human life.

This manga has a very nice flow. Once you start reading this manga, you would find it difficult to put it down. You will be curious to know the fate of the characters you meet in this book.

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