Chris Paine’s documentary looks at the potential dangers of our intimate relationship with smartphones and laptops. Above all, he focuses on computer security.
Probably, you are currently reading this article on a device that contains all the salient parts of your life. First of all you’ve given it your bank account information, and use it to move your money around. Likewise it’s privy to your conversations with loved ones and work associates, perhaps even words uttered out loud in private moments. It knows your schedule. Maybe it knows where you are at any given moment. Even more, what you buy, what music you listen to, and who you should date. Talk about computer security.
In fact, it’s really more of a film essay. First of all it introduces, dissects and draws conclusions from ideas applied to real-world developments. As a result, he tried narrowing his focus to a single topic in the 2006 breakout Who Killed the Electric Car? Therefore Paine decided to go wide for this project. He weaved together far-reaching trends and headlines to form a more holistic meditation on the theme of technology.
“With this film, we wanted to pick apart the stuff we take for granted,” Paine tells the Guardian. “We wanted to say: ‘What is the reality behind these things? Which anxieties are well-founded, and what’s just fear?’”
As a result, it’s hard not to enter full-on panic mode. Paine blows through digital threats to life as we know it as if from apocalyptic flashcards. While advances like artificial intelligence, increased automation and algorithmic learning have propelled humanity into a faster and more convenient future, hence they have paved the way for some chilling developments as well.
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