Re: [GRG] Review Sci-Movie: “Her”


Here is my take on why Watts was chosen to be recreated in the cloud.  He recorded literally thousands of hours of lectures which consisted of his philisophical teachings, his take on life and many autobiographical anecdotes detailing many aspects of his life.  With all this information, it’s a logical choice for a company to use create an AI personality and voice that is modeled on a real person. Also, here is a guy who spent his life thinking about the big questions of who we are, where we come from, the nature of consciousness and personal identity, etc.. I think it was quite fitting to have him resurrected as an AI. It may have also been simply convenient since the film makers had many hours of recorded voice on which to build a synthetic version of his voice for the film.

I should tell you I am a huge fan of Alan Watts and have listened to many hours of his lectures multiple times. I knew no matter how many times I listened to his tapes he would never say anything new.  But when I first heard Watts’ voice in the film I got chills down my spine.  It was kind of like what it might be like to have a long dead friend or relative call you on the phone.


On Wed, Jul 30, 2014 at 3:53 PM, L. Stephen Coles M.D. Ph.D. wrote:

To Members and
Friends of the Los Angeles Gerontology Research Group:         I just
watched the Hollywood Sci-Fi movie “her” [1] on DVD, in
which a mate (futuristic smart-phone voice-only [think Sceri]
played/voiced by
Scarlet Johansson [except for a short segment by a different human
surrogate-actress who never spoke in her own voice except through a wall

{a for-hire real woman and not an android/humanoid robot as ought to have
been the case in this film given the alleged technology of the future
which will certainly come to us with the advent of the Singularity in due
course [*]}.  Her self-appointed name is Symantha (one of many
OS-1’s as
developed by the company that made them, whom we never get to see) and
she does more than just pass the Turing Test!  The film takes place

in Los Angeles, CA, where people appear to be so self-indulgently
involved in social relationships that they hardly ever mention in movie
the parameters of the new voice technologies are and why the SW-designers
developed them in the first place.  We learn much later in the film
Symantha lives/computes in a server cloud that comfortably processes over
8,000 other relationships concurrently without missing a beat (except
once) where we get to witness first separation-anxiety and subsequently
jealousy (need for relationship/commitment exclusivity) from an
point-of-view (not a machineomorphic point-of-view, where the rate of
evolution of mental capacity is expanding hyper-exponentially and is
even to the machine(s) that are experiencing it, compared with their
human colleagues/adversaries/lovers/partners (think ants or how two human
can drift apart, even when they have children in common.).


About Johnny Adams

My full-time commitment is to slow and ultimately reverse age related functional decline to increase healthy years of life. I’ve been active in this area since the 1970s, steadily building skills and accomplishments. I have a good basic understanding of the science of aging, and have many skills that complement those of scientists so they can focus on science to advance our shared mission. Broad experience Top skills: administration, management, information technology (data and programming), communications, writing, marketing, market research and analysis, public speaking, forging ethical win-win outcomes among stakeholders (i.e. high level "selling"). Knowledge in grant writing, fundraising, finance. Like most skilled professionals, I’m best described as a guy who defines an end point, then figures out how to get there. I enjoy the conception, design, execution and successful completion of a grand plan. Executive Director Gerontology Research Group (GRG). Manages Email discussion forum, web site, meetings and oversees supercentenarian (oldest humans, 110+ years) research. CEO / Executive Director Carl I. Bourhenne Medical Research Foundation (Aging Intervention Foundation), an IRS approved 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Early contributor to Supercentenarian Research Foundation. Co-Founder Geroscience Healthspan Forum. Active contributor to numerous initiatives to increase healthy years of life. Co-authored book on conventional, practical methods available today to slow the processes of aging – nutrition, exercise, behavior modification and motivation, stress reduction, proper supplementation, damage caused by improper programs, risk reduction and others. Fundamental understanding of, and experience in the genomics of longevity (internship analyzing and curating longevity gene papers). Biological and technical includes information technology, software development and computer programming, bioinformatics and protein informatics, online education, training programs, regulatory, clinical trials software, medical devices (CAT scanners and related), hospital electrical equipment testing program. Interpersonal skills – good communication, honest, well liked, works well in teams or alone. Real world experience collaborating in interdisciplinary teams in fast paced organizations. Uses technology to advance our shared mission. Education: MBA 1985 University of Southern California -- Deans List, Albert Quon Community Service Award (for volunteering with the American Longevity Association and helping an elderly lady every other week), George S. May Scholarship, CA State Fellowship. BA psychology, psychobiology emphasis 1983 California State University Fullerton Physiological courses as well as core courses (developmental, abnormal etc). UCLA Psychobiology 1978, one brief but fast moving and fulfilling quarter. Main interest was the electrochemical basis of consciousness. Also seminars at the NeuroPsychiatric Institute. Other: Ongoing conferences, meetings and continuing education. Aging, computer software and information technology. Some molecular biology, biotech, bio and protein informatics, computer aided drug design, clinical medical devices, electronics, HIPAA, fundraising through the Assoc. of Fundraising Professionals. Previous careers include: Marketing Increasing skill set and successes in virtually all phases, with valuable experience in locating people and companies with the greatest need and interest in a product or service, and sitting across the table with decision makers and working out agreements favorable to all. Information Technology: Management, data analysis and programming in commercial and clinical trials systems, and bioinformatics and protein informatics. As IT Director at Newport Beach, CA based technology organization Success Family of Continuing Education Companies, provided online software solutions for insurance and financial professionals in small to Fortune 500 size companies. We were successful with lean team organization (the slower moving competition was unable to create similar software systems). Medical devices: At Omnimedical in Paramount CA developed and managed quality assurance dept. and training depts. for engineers, physicians and technicians. Designed hospital equipment testing program for hospital services division. In my early 20’s I was a musician, and studied psychology and music. Interned with the intention of becoming a music therapist. These experiences helped develop valuable skills used today to advance our shared mission of creating aging solutions.
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