Are We Tethered To Our Time Despite Time Travel? Sci-fi Saturday – Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence

Posted: December 10, 2021 at 6:36 pm

Tethers (2021) at DUST by Matthew Steele Finley (uploaded at DUST November 24, 2021, 5:22 min)

A woman travels in time to save another womans life but the risk could be far reaching for her own reality.

Review: Dont kill your mother or anything, the time travel technician (Larry Herring) warns Anna (Abigail Williams), as she prepares to travel back to prevent a tragedy set maybe thirty years ago in an upper middle class home.

Not too many spoilers but Anna must attempt to persuade her future mother Rachel (Alicia Kelley) not to marry her father a man whom she knows (the way the future knows the past) is not good for her mother. Sshe shows her mom the future coroners report.

Now, the question is, once Mom understands what is at stake, what will she choose to do?

This spare thought experiment by writers Jonathan Horne and James Legg captures well one of the dilemmas of time travel: Could giving people in the past knowledge change things?

Tethers offers a new take on the theme of Ray Bradburys A Sound of Thunder the Butterfly Effect by which a single change in the past can have far-reaching implications: Even if time travel can happen, can the famed Butterfly Effect happen? Watch it and see what you think.

And if time travel intrigues you, check out these shorts as well:

Can a man go back and fix his past? (11:11 min) It turns out that the old man calling from 2120 doesnt just want to give his younger self advice; he wants to change the past to prevent tragedy.Hey, its me offers a new approach to time travel, which depends on the concept of unchanging identity over time.

A man in dire need contacts his unborn grandson (17:00 min) The grandson gets the mail and sends back something from the future, via a mysterious mailbox, that gives the felons a considerable surprise. The Mailbox, set in a mid-20th century North American Chinatown, manages the time travel issues reasonably well by adopting the art of the folk tale.

Alone at DUST. (18:49 min) Space engineer Kaya Torres, the only survivor of a black hole, contacts an interstellar penpal to keep her company until she dies. She manages a desperate escape but then experiences one of the astonishing implications of time travel.

Can we live in more than the present moment? (24:42 min) When a tech entrepreneur succeeds with time travel, he gets trapped in his own past errors. In Container, the time traveler is locked inside his lab and can only get out by repeated, dangerous efforts to go back in time to when the door is unlocked.

We sort the films reviewed below by length in minutes and seconds so you can choose them based both on interest and on how much time you have:

Five minutes or less

This planet is not in our co-ordinates. (3 min) A space courier crew gets a surprise when delivering a mysterious machine to a strange planet. One could almost see something like McPhersons Toys happening, as an office gag, but 500 years from now. (Animated)

The robot waits for the humans return (3:25 min). Robert is a household robot who has little to do but prowl the house while the humans are away. This very short film is a meditation on loneliness, with musical accompaniment and a robot as the central character.

A cruel experiment plays with three lives (3:32 min). Rational thought offers no contest, in this minimalist film, to the will to survive or at least get revenge in death. In 2-Bullet Solution, only one of three people can survive being trapped in a test gas chamber by shooting the other two.

Fenestra, the aliens land in a domestic drama. (3:49 min) As the alien ships loom worldwide, the cheating boyfriend thinks he can just come back At under four minutes, Fenestra gives all the elements of a good, lean story against an alien invasion setting.

Can video games save a lone survivor? (3:51 min) High Score features fine animations of apocalyptic scenes of post-civilization. The game that turns out to be an existential struggle usually benefits from a longer treatment but the animation is well imagined.

When the robot discovers nature. On a ruined planet, a dog robot get caught in a time warp. If a robot dog had a dog mind, wouldnt it prefer to be as much of a real dog as possible?

What if the future does not include smarter people? (4 min) Comic scenes would dot the aerial landscape, dispelling the usual earnestness of sci-fi films. A brief sci-fi diversion like Floaters reminds us that cluelessness is not a problem we can just solve or should even try to. (Animated)

What if an old man could see his mother again? (4:02 min) Bygone is a hard film to watch if you lost a loved one recently, but worthwhile. The old man is paying to use his own memories, retrieved via neuroscience imaging.

Machine world at its most nihilist 4:38 min This very short animated cyberpunk thriller portrays a world of autonomous vehicles where faces are very rare. In the Autonomous near-future world, pretty much everything we see, except the drug dealers, is a machine. (Animated)

Would you become an animal to save a species? (4:13 min) The animation is good and the question raised is interesting. Floreana looks at a world where we become the animals we are trying to save .. Would it work?

A choice between saving ones child and oneself Is life always so simple? Well, we shall see. (4:58 min) Zoe is a pleasant summer view with a happy ending. Well done technically and the actors are veterans. Some questions remain.

Ten minutes or less

Watch what you wish for. There IS a tomorrow! (5:01) Carl, a lonely guy, is determined to proceed through the warning and try the Luvsik procedure, to make him fall in love at first sight. The short film features strong performances by Momo Dione and Samantha Lester, and the surprise ending avoids clich.

A girl with kinetic powers faces a choice. (5:06 min) Should she help relatives with activities she knows to be wrong? Kinetic is well executed but it breaks a fundamental rule of science fiction: There must be a clear science basis for the story premise.

Its 2075! Our motto: Ignorance is Bliss (5:12 min) This animated short asks us to consider a future world in which information is reduced to a sort of haze. An aging neurobotanist struggles to preserve the knowledge of plants in a surreal landscape of clutter flying amid futurist buildings.

In No Guarantee, brain uploading proves costly. (5:22 min) In a ruined mid-21st century Britain, a couple gains tickets to a virtual world if their brains can be uploaded. But can they? In this very short film, the theme of escape by brain uploading is handled in a refreshingly mature way with characters who face serious choices.

When virtual friends are a real addiction (5:31) Animated short Best Friends begins with the thirtieth birthday party of a rather glum young man. As is the way with addicts, our hero cannot use his futurist fix for loneliness responsibly and ends up doing desperate things.

What happens if Earth passes through a black hole (5:36 min) This story isnt exactly about passage through a black hole: It is a meditation on nothingness that crashes headfirst into nihilismThe film prompts thought about why anyone should believe that there is no underlying order behind the universe. It seems obvious from the artwork that there is.

Rescuing lost people. (5:41 min) Animated, in French, with English subtitles, but dont let that deter you. The professional relationships in Protocole Sandwich sound pretty real and make it worth the watch. The animation is very good.

The disabled robot vet in A Robot Is a Robot gets a job grooming cats. (5:49 min) Definitely worth your five minutes, in part in order to see what cartoonists can do in sci-fi with animated stills. In a research paper, Max Planck scientists recently concluded that it is not possible to hobble the danger from intelligent AI. This film offers a good illustration.

Are we alone? asks a new sci-fi short. But then why? (5:48) In Laniakea, we are introduced to a civilizations museum? Or what is it? An intriguing Sci-fi Saturday. The underlying idea of Laniakea is a serious thesis in astrobiology: Extraterrestrial civilizations die out unless they adopt an unconventional solution.

When oxygen becomes the most precious commodity (6:02 min) This sci-fi riff on what where atmospheric pollution could lead us offers beautiful renderings of abandoned advanced civilizations, housed in caves. Most drones have turned hostile, blocking a humans access to the precious oxygen supply, controlled by a friendly AI.

When a simulated world begins to fall apart. (6:11 min) In Untitled Earth Sim 64, Marie has reason to expect trouble when the simulator who explains reality to her cannot get her name right If Marie has found God amid strange events, as her friend thinks, the God she has found is highly disorganized one.

The (virtual) doctor will see you now (6:25 min) A lonely middle-aged man experiences a future where medicine works correctly but the human dimension has ceased to exist. In a nihilist future dystopia, a digital doctor dispenses instant diagnoses and treatments from a virtual kiosk, once bitcoins are rendered

When God gets distracted (6:36 min) A clever animated short offers a take on why there is so much violence and chaos in the worldIn Tales from the Multiverse, Earth is the beta version left unattended by a God who is too busy breaking up fights between his kids, including the devil.

When your oppressors are giant beetles. (6:36 min) In an eerily lifelike animation, a French team asks us to picture beetles trying to live the high life. How would humans combat intelligent human-size beetles? This animation crisply explores the possibilities.

The Wild West, as seen from another cosmos (6:58 min) Jane Montana must rescue a hostage from three villains. But is Montana what she seems? Cosmo invokes parallel universes: The story is vividly imagined by an inhabitant of a greater universe running on a slightly different time.

If you met someone in a dream every night ? (7:08 min) In a sci-fi short, a paramedic must confront a question about the nature of reality. Would a constantly recurring dream that you and another person shared be the equivalent of reality?

AI tries creativity! by kidnapping newborns (7:10 min). But the AIs seeking world dominance kidnap the wrong child. In The Shift, once the AIs realize that the human IS showing creativity, they realize that, on their view, he must be eliminated. That does not go well.

Worst case: AI robots invade to help us (7:22 min). A well-meaning AI attempts to rescue an impressionable child from the coming wipeout of humanity. Cera, a taut sci-fi short, explores the implications of the Zeroth Law of Robotics (robots must help humanity). Why SHOULD we expect it to go well?

When sci-fi gets earnest about colonization (7:12 min) Worth seeing but we never get to find out who the characters are fighting or why some treaty could not be arranged. The Ripple Effect looks at rebellion against the colonization of a new planet but the production values create more interest than the intellectual content.

Love among the ruins, for robots. Left behind is a beautifully rendered animated short of robots looking for some place to just exist in a deserted, ruined industrial landscape (7:14 min) At 275,000 views, this short film is deservedly popular. Animation eliminates many of the problems otherwise inherent in trying to make robots characters.

A fight for the winning ticket (7:35 min) In Here comes Frieda, in a 2040 superstorm, engulfing the planet, a young woman gets hold of a ticket out. But does the way out really exist? Or is she just hanging on and clinging to a fragile hope?

If we all depended on a few handfuls of seeds (7:39 min)Actually, we do. An inventive Norwegian filmmaker has made a short sci-fi film out of a possible outcome. What if aliens got hold of the carefully bred seed stocks that feed the world? No plagues or radiation would be needed to control us.

One day the door to the robots shop opens (7:44 min) In Roy, the robot, is suddenly confronted by another robot, determined to kill or die. Its a good short film but, while the special effects are well done, it makes no sense that the characters are supposed to be robots.

A space mission to infinity (7:55 min) After the space station module crash, the astronaut finds himself befriended by a friendly but mysterious neighbor. Who is he really? Flotando, which has won many awards, is a blend of sci-fi and near-death experience, reminiscent of the 1960s Twilight Zone series.

Layers of deceit plague a high-tech call center Sci-fi Saturday (7:57 min) In Lifeline, Jess, locked in, must try to save a competitors life when she can only contact artificial intelligence choices that are not programmed to provide the needed assistance. Jess is resourceful in attempting to save Keiths life, despite the constant AI roadblocks. But much more is going on than she really knows.

Human psychology in a world without water. (8:05 min) Oasis was filmed as a response to the Capetown Water Crisis of 2018. Good short film but one can take the empowered woman thing too far. That probably doesnt really work in a desperate struggle for survival.

Killing people for Likes on an alien planet: Sci-fi Saturday If only this crisp tale didnt sound so much like the social media we actually know (8:06 min) Happy Hunting follows a social media influencer who murders doomed people to break an online record and then faces a final, fatal choice.

We have met the aliens and they are comb jellies. (8:15 min) The alien life form, when it appears in Seedling, is very well imagined. Definitely watch it for the sense of isolation when our technology bubble evaporates and for the comb jelly space alien.

What if a loved one aged much faster than you? Sci-fi Saturday Its one of the implications of faster-than-light travel (8:19 min). Should youthful Cpt. Bernhard take her now very old husband to the new Earth, Gaia? Thats the emotional and ethical dilemma in ARK.

If its real, it must be endured. (8:47 min) Its Okay?, using futurist technology, takes a woman back through her time with someone she loves. This short sci-fi film plays around with time and neatly and deftly avoids the common shortcoming of becoming just plain confusing.

Kiko: A great short but key questions unanswered A lonely retail service robot longs for a world beyond her store. (9:21 min) An agreeable short but it never addresses the question of how Charlie acquired a robot that would want something different from its programming.

When The Workplace is anything but (9:32 min) The short film starts with a woman reassuring herself, unsettlingly, I AM the boss. This sci-fi short will appeal to many who have had a job at the corner of Rat and Race and sense thats a blessing compared to the alternative.

What if there were serious wars over clouds? (9:41 min) In a world that still has technology but is desperately short of water, such wars could happen. The short sci-fi film Oceanmaker features pirates who steal precious water from the clouds and a pilot who challenges them.

If roaches formed a miniature civilization (9:44 min) The roaches have built a rocket, intending to go to the moon, and their activity wakes up a dormant human. In Rocket Roaches, humans have retreated into virtual reality and it is left to the cockroaches to be the smart species that explores the universe.

In a futurist game inmost thoughts are real. (9:53) When a family plays the game in My House, long-simmering hostilities surface as acts. Confronting the inner violence that millennia of civilization have suppressed is a frightening experience for the players.

What if cloning were as easy as shopping? (9:57 min) A couple stumbles on a means of cloning life forms and they get, shall we say, far more than they bargained for This thought experiment, posed as a film, should make us glad that cloning is technically tricky and used mainly for farm animals.

Fifteen minutes or less

In a Future Market, Time To Live Is Bought, Sold (10:57 min) An employee wants to rebel against the greed and injustice but then she would run out of time The Bargain raises some issues as a thought experiment that appear in real life in the illegal organ trade

Terrified by a Scrap Monster (11:09 min) Well, if you have never been terrified by a Scrap Monster, as in Pinki. you are clearly missing out. Its fun watching a middle class South Korean business executive try to cope with the Scrap Monster. Perhaps an allegory of our big environment issues.

What if insects could put humans on trial? (11:11 min) In Science+, a shrunken inventor finds himself facing Ant Justice. In a comic turnabout, the ants, seen face to face, turn out to be roughly like people, of whom Matt discovers he has killed nearly 3500.

Can a man go back and fix his past? (11:11 min) It turns out that the old man calling from 2120 doesnt just want to give his younger self advice; he wants to change the past to prevent tragedy.Hey, its me offers a new approach to time travel, which depends on the concept of unchanging identity over time.

What if your AI started to talk like a human? (11:12 min) Should you just shut it down and leave the building? And not tell anyone? Intelligentia features strong performances and provides a good introduction to the Turing Test (how would we know if a machine had achieved consciousness?)

When the human race is down to its final offer (11:23 min) The aliens want Earths oceans (have they wrecked their own?) and now the fate of Earth turns on a single question: Is Henry really the worlds worst lawyer? The downbeat human lawyer and the alien corporate lawyer in Final Offer achieve artful comedy by the too-little used technique of comic dialogue, not gags.

Could stored memories bring back the dead? A nerd sees a way to bring back his friend Adam from Adams girlfriends memories (11:45 min) In Adam 2.0, the quest to bring back a dead friend from memory turns on a central question about the nature of human identity.

What would the ruins of Eden be like? Sci-fi Saturday (11:51 min)Scavenging for artifacts on a ruined planet, a space drifter comes across the ruins of a high-tech civilization. The derelict remains of an advanced civilization are sobering picture our own civilization looking like that.

If your life could be told in five photos Sci-fi Saturday A young woman accepts five key photos concerning a grandfather she never knew, taken at his death via a futurist technology. (11:58 min) Its a story about what happens when estrangement and loneliness become final, with the death of the one from whom one has been estranged.

Why you do NOT want to duplicate yourself. (12:07 min) The Unboxing Video offers philosophy as well as dark comedy around the question of what being oneself means. A lonely guy, filming himself unboxing his new android replicant, discovers how hard he is to live with when there are two of him. But can he return himself?

Speed of Time at DUST (12:19 min): A computer nerd writing a pizza delivery program discovers that his work is way more important than he, or anyone, thought. Imagine what happens when an accomplished ground warrior busts in from another time on a quiet family at the breakfast table

Landing back on Earth as the sole inhabitant unless we count the cat (12:24 min) In Origin, an astronaut from an interstellar colony explores the effects of deadly radiation on Earth.

How much can will power do against nature? (12:29) Despite his career-ending disability, Aaron as an alternative to accepting life as a bystander is trying to use his skills to take down a gunrunning gang. The climax will hearten persons who live with a disability though it leaves some fundamental questions unresolved. Maybe they cant be resolved.

The artists android has a surprise in store for him (12:33 min) He makes the fateful decision to allow her to depart from her programming during a crisis. In Muse, the gradually humanizing android Kay raises some interesting ethical and philosophical issues about being/becoming human.

Android asks, is immortality truly a benefit? (12:43 min) He argues that he can never appreciate life if he knows he can never die. More philosophy than sci-fi, Extent delves into the question of how much of the meaning we find in life derives from the inevitability of death.

Drapers chess metaphor seems apt: Life would be endless games where none is intrinsically connected to the previous one in any meaningful way.

Merv is the last man in a ruined radioactive world. (13:05) Hes been alone so long that the thought of another human being panics him. When Merv must confront another survivor, the story takes a classic turn but we might have expected that. Life goes on.

In a world run by robots, a bot becomes a joker (13:12 min) The dull, dystopian atmosphere of an Australia dominated by robots, portrayed in System Error, is well done and worth the watch. The story prompted this viewer to consider what thoughts a robot simply couldnt have without some kind of input from consciousness always the Hard Problem.

An asteroid lingers near Earth and devours time (13:23 min) Or, at any rate, it devours our perception of time, as one man discovers in Flyby. As the asteroid Chrono-7 hazes Earth, a man wakes up in the morning to find that he is living in his future, one he had never imagined.

In This Time Away, a robot helps an old fellow rediscover life (13:24 min) The robot is very well done and how he gets a name is charming. Lots of people abandon their elderly relatives, of course, so finding a helpful robot in the back yard is a pleasant fantasy.

The robot tries to learn about grief (13:37) In Rewind, an elderly woman buys a robot to help her when she finds herself all alone, due to tragedy. Investigating the womans unhappiness, the robot discovers more than it was, perhaps, intended to know.

What if next-stage evolution children appear? (13:44 min) Vikaari, a sci-fi short from Sri Lanka looks at the possibilities. The story is very well done as a parable of the social risks of continuous internal warfare.

What if the rescue is the worst part? (14:00 min) Crashed spaceship crew members find themselves on a desert planet with some very strange features. This film version of Stephen Kings 1985 short story Beachworld blends the science fiction genre and the horror genre leaving viewers sharply divided.

Can an alternative universe save a lonely girl? (14:05 min) A girl finds fighting space aliens easier than fighting a brain haemorrhage and a sense of guilt. CARONTE ends as it must not happily but inevitably, and with at least some sense of redemption.

Can parents get back a dead child as an android? (14:10 min) In Article 19-42, they arent even united in their grief; they just think they must do something to get back a facsimile of what they remember. They have no philosophical or spiritual resources to fall back on in order to avoid this dead end.

What if a new start in life were two pills away? (14:23 min) Would you feel the same about suicide? In Cam Girl, a woman whose life is going nowhere, largely by her own choice, learns what it means to be genuinely desperate.

A future where dreams have been privatized (14:26 min) Unfortunately, the dream Carlos wants in I Dream is to see his missing family again and thats illegal More dystopia than science fiction but the post-5G surveillance environment amid mass poverty and oppression is well imagined.

When emergency services are run by AI (14:38 min) Its not just that AI doesnt care; it cant. And that shows. In Stuck, a young woman in a mine accident far from Earth navigates confusing advice from bots to free herself.

What if sweet sleep were a distant memory? (14:51 min) In a world going mad in Dont Forget To Remember and dying from insomnia, a young woman may have a cure. The big challenge in writing about insomnia is not to be a cure for it. From the harrowing opening scene on, this film certainly clears that bar.

Twenty minutes or less

Could you be reconstructed from your memories? Sci-fi Saturday If you were, would destroying the digitized you be murder? (15:46 min) The Final Moments of Karl Brant is an intriguing sci-fi murder mystery crossover that raises intriguing philosophical discussion points.

When you are the only human left Sci-fi Saturday. Are you the only human left alive or are you the only one who is not alive? (16:19 min) In Martha, the stark reality of two girls on the brink of eternity slowly seeps into the viewers imagination.

A man in dire need contacts his unborn grandson (17:00 min) The grandson gets the mail and sends back something from the future, via a mysterious mailbox, that gives the felons a considerable surprise. The Mailbox, set in a mid-20th century North American Chinatown, manages the time travel issues reasonably well by adopting the art of the folk tale.

A one-girl war with the total surveillance state Sci-fi Saturday (17:24 min) The acting, ambience, and special effects in Bolero are top quality. Bolero tackles the pressing topic of total government surveillance, imagining it in the United States. But it is an everyday reality in China.

Alone at DUST. (18:49 min) Space engineer Kaya Torres, the only survivor of a black hole, contacts an interstellar penpal to keep her company until she dies. She manages a desperate escape but then experiences one of the astonishing implications of time travel.

When terraforming Mars means Mars-forming people. (19:14 min) In this award-winner, the underground humans must, according to the terraforming colonys rules, deny emotion, which pretty much guarantees a story. The New Mars colony embodies a contradiction: The alleged better world created by science and logic cant accommodate the nature of humans.

Can a Robot Find a Better Planet Than Earth? (19:31 min) The trouble is, the robot in Avarya is governed by Isaac Asimovs three laws of robotics. After 55 habitable planets, theby then very oldfellow is beginning to suspect something about the robots judgment

The rest is here:

Are We Tethered To Our Time Despite Time Travel? Sci-fi Saturday - Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence

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