Artificial Intelligence / Loebner Prize

In today’s lecture we were taken by a Professor Paul McKevvit whilst our nomal lecturer was in London. He began the lecture by talking about artificial intelligence. When we look at artificial intelligence as it is portrayed in the movies, from films such as Blade Runner, where bio-engineered humanoids called Replicants have become so self-aware that they revolted against humans and as a result are made illegal, these machines had become so life like that the only way to tell them apart from the humans was to use an emotional response test to gauge lack of emotion compared to that of a human. In the film “The Terminator”,where a cyborg is sent back through time with one mission, to kill Sarah Connor, in these films the Artificial Intelligence system known as Skynet has gained sentiency and taken control of the world’s technology, these 80’s movies AI is much more advanced than even today’s technologies, as creating a physical machine that both looks human and acts human is a lot more difficult than made out. We may not have cyborgs revolting yet but we still have had massive advancements in this field in recent years. Paul told us about the Loebner Prize, this is an annual competition that tests the advancement of Artificial Intelligence systems based on their ability to fool human judges into believing that it is not a machine and actually a human instead. To date the only medal that has been awarded is Bronze as no AI has been successful enough to fool all the Judges. There are other one time only prizes in this competition that have never been won such as the $25,000 prize for the first chatterbot that can successfully fool the Judges into believing it is a human and also convince the Judges that the Human is the machine. A $100,000 reward is offered to the first AI that the Judges cannot distinguish from a real human in a Turing test. This year the Loebner prize was held at the University of Ulster and the winner of the 2013 competition, taking home the bronze medal was a chatterbot called Mitsuku. Created by Steve Worswick, this AI claims to be an 18 year old female from Leeds; this AI is different from the rest as it has the ability to correct the things it says, this means that if the user informs Mitsuku that it gave an incorrect answer then it will have the competency to fixthe answer. The Turing test used in the Loebner prize comes from that of Alan Turing, a computer scientist who is considered the father of artificial intelligence. In World War II, Turing worked for the Government code and cypher school at Bletchley Park, the codebreaking centre of Britain. Turing led the way in developing techniques for breaking German ciphers and improvements to the electromechanical machine used to find settings for the enigma machine. If we look at it this way we can see that from Turing’s work on the Enigma machine to modern day Artificial Intelligence systems is a clear sign that AI is moving forward at a fast rate and who knows, in a few years perhaps someone will finally take the gold in the Loebner Prize.



Short Film/Video Art

Today we are looking at the relationship/differences between short film and video art.

A good short film includes the audience. It makes the viewer create a person  opinion on the character maybe even go as far as care and make a relationship with the character.

In class we were shown a number of short films and asked our opinion on them. The first film was called  ‘Useless Dog’

This five minute film is about a farmer talking about his dog, how it is stupid or ‘useless’ and how he is fond of his dog regardless.  The music in the film is quite upbeat and light hearted and the opening shot is at “dog level”  the audience gets up close and personal with the main character (which in this case is the dog.) the shots of the dog going about its playful everyday business helps the audience quickly form a relationship with the dog. When the commentary from the dog’s owner starts the audience see’s a close up of the owner in his own everyday surroundings, the audience only see’s the man’s face on screen and due to the shot, the simple/loving nature the owner speaks about his four legged companion it is easy for the audience to feel the emotion of this man’s love for his useless dog.  The use of close ups, sound, language, animals and light hearted humour really help the audience identify with the film and make it memorable.

Another short film the class watched was called Fisticuffs . what happened in this short film shows a series of fights between people in a pub which is repeated through the whole of the film, during which the other people in the pub take no notice to the ciaos and destruction which is being caused due to the violence around them. The message in this short film is about the  Irish drinking culture, how drunken violence is normalised. The film shows alot or repetition because no matter what the main character does he always ends up in a fight. The fight scene is the entire film, some bits of the film are enactments’ of fight scenes in other films. What makes the film memorable is the violence and destruction but it left the audience wondering what the message was and somewhat bored as the same thing was happening for so long. It could be argued that the very point of the long dragged out repetition of the scene is to show that this type of thing keeps happening in everyday life but we choose to ignore it.

Short films must be carefully planned through storyboards etc. The film must capture the audience and distribute its message in a certain way.

Video Art is something that does not have a narrative, the message may not necessarily be the first thing you think it is. The director chooses what is seen and what message is to be shown or even kept hidden. Video art is more about the visual than the narrative, how emotion is created visually not by sound. Also video are is about skills, how the video is edited, shot etc.

Willie Doherty is one of Northern Ireland’s best documentary photographers . He witnessed bloody Sunday as a child and various other atrocities during the Troubles. Growing up he felt that things that were being documented in history may not be the truth and other things that should be documented where not being documented at all. Doherty took it upon himself to document what was going on. Alot of his early work is about absence, he took still images of unapproved roads to support this.


Willie Doherty work hits the emotional level as he is creating art on such a topic as The Troubles in Northern Ireland, what makes it so powerful is the fact he is from Northern Ireland himself. He has a firsthand experience on what was going on in the country at the time. Doherty brings the emotion to such a high level  he can capture the audience and make them really think about the atrocities which have happened in such a small country using firsthand experience  and people who have witnessed certain events. For example Willie Doherty unseen, a moving image of a burning car with a voice over  of people who have been kneecapped by paramilitaries’.  This type of work really plays with the emotions from the audience, someone sharing their memories of something horrific that has happened to them.

One of Doherty’s most famous pieces is called re-run it is a moving image shot on two screens. It is of a man running in each direction this is why there are two screens for each direction. The audience can see a close up of the man’s face they can see his facial expression the look of anguish and fear.





Exhibition Getting the Message out!

In this lecture we discussed various methods of getting your work out there. This ranges from things like Museums or galleries to pop-up exhibits and public art works. Some of these things like Museums and Galleries are not as significant as they used to be and in today’s society can lose some of the importance they once held through our past.

However first we must ask ourselves, what do people want? What does our audience want to see?

Well as a generality, art of course, but as we know there are many different entities that are considered forms of art today. From traditional Paintings, drawings, to dance, music and the performing arts, it’s all about what people want to see! What they want to express, but how?

See in the past when a person wanted a drawing or a painting of theirs to get some notoriety, they would hang in it in a gallery and gauge other peoples responses, and while there are still many galleries for the aspiring artists to hang their pieces, such as pop up galleries, but the number of these are dropping all the time with the advancement of the digital age.

In the modern world, if you want to view art you can simply go on the internet and do a search, once you have seen a piece of art online that’s all there is to it, right? Well not necessarily.

With doing everything digitally nowadays we lose the ability to have emotional connections with some of the pieces that would evoke different reactions had we seen them in person.

Museums are losing out also as people see the historic events and items there as outdated, funnily enough? I have heard people complain that museums are too old fashioned and need updated with the times. But doesn’t that defy the purpose of a museum, does that mean we are supposed to swap in viewings of the Neanderthal man for a viewing of a Retro computer that plays Pac-Man. The reason these places have lasted till now is because of their significance in showing artifiacts that inspire the viewer on a personal level. Surely yes you can go to Google and do a search of the bones of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, but you will never have the same feeling as you would in seeing them in person and realising just how grand they are.

The Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands recently went through changes in order to keep up with ever growing need for more interactivity in its museum by having exhibitions where the user can digitally engage with the artwork, such as zoom-able images that can be liked, saved or posted to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. You could claim that this is all the same as going online yourself but the key difference is that the Rijksmuseum actually owns all of the artwork that it presents.

The point I’m trying to make is that no matter what your method of expression may be, or no matter which form of art you may choose to express, whether in galleries or museums, or simply just online, we need to get our art work out there. It sure isn’t going to by itself, and only by creating demand can we keep our museums and galleries at our forefront of exhibits.

Finally we still always have the option of self-publishing something. If you have a book or a story idea and you want to get it out there, you don’t have to wait until a publisher picks you from out of the blue as the new JK Rowling or JRR Tolkien, there are still always the means to do so by yourself; e-publishing has become a big trend in recent years with websites like allowing people to publish their works and acquiring their own sponsorships or advertising they can get known and get their work on a public level.

Turkish Cinema History Aesthetics,politics

Murat Akser was our substitute teacher for today, he was here to talk to the class about Turkish Cinema History. Murat started off by explaining how it was a revolution which instigated the spread of cinema in Turkey. At the start of this cinematic revolution there was no culture in film as there was no sound, yes that’s right at the beginning of film making there was only a visual to what was happening on screen.  When watching a silent film the audience had to look closely to the characters body language or read text of the screen to figure out what the character is saying and or what is going on. In some instances a live band would be playing in the actual cinema to the moving images to introduce sound to an otherwise silent piece of film art, this creates emotional depth from the audience.  To make a silent film successful  in Turkey it must have common ground so that everyone no matter what part of turkey they are from could understand and want to go see the film- boosts ratings. In the early 20’s there was not much to do for relaxation and leisure time so the more people  who enjoyed/understood the film would pay to go see it and at that time the film may be broadcast and seen many times by the same people as the production on new films where slow.

Turkish cinema started to take off in 1928 with the introduction to sound in film. Cinema became more cultured with language (the audience could now hear the character speaking, they could hear the tone and accent of the character, they could distinguish where the character was from in Turkey) The use of National symbols, colours and visuals to remind the audience off the country. Turkish national pride and history was always the message to the audience .   The first films where usually taken from Turkish books/literature and historical events. For example  the 1914 destruction of a Russian monument in Istanbul is regarded as Turkeys first film. This documentary film was created by  the countries first Muslim film maker  Fuat Uzkinay.

What is Turkish Cinema?

  • National  Cinema- The message is National pride.
  • History-The message is to remember Turkeys great victories mainly, some losses but remember what the country has been through in history and be proud of your country.
  • Institutions.
  • Themes-storylines.
  • Genres.

In the early years from 1922-1940’s Mushsin Ertuğeul was the sole director that shot feature films for this period.

1922 saw the establishment of the one first film production company ‘s in the Republic of Turkey, Kemal Seden  founded kemal Films, there was also Ipek films.

As there was little money about film makers had to fund the production for films out of their own pocket. This proved to be a bad idea for some directors lost everything due to not making back the money they invested into making the film. Directors and film makers need to be sure the film is going to sell to ensure they do not go bankrupt.

1950’s- said to be the film makers era, film language is formed.

1960’s-Directors and movements, the Turkish national cinema movement.

1970’s- The introduction to colour on screen, TRT established and the addition of the porn craze.

1974= The first regular BBC broadcasts where shown.

1980’s- TV and video age people no longer want to go to the cinema as they can just stay at home and watch their TV at home.

1990’s- Death of Green Pine cinema.

1997-Birth of New Turkish Cinema.

2000- trends, transnationalism, internationalism. Festival cinema vs. Popular cinema.

Institutions (film production companies etc)

  • Green Pine/ yesilcam
  • Stars
  • Region system  ( certain areas of Turkey will be shown certain things)
  • Bond system (borrowing money to make a film)
  • Directors for hire.
  • Domesticated scripts (i.e. a story from another country is re-scripted to make it Turkish)
  • Working with genre.

Aesthetics/Principle Genres

  • Melodrama- city and women.
  • Historical/Adventure-Turks as civilised people
  • Science Fiction-morality vs. Technology
  • Parody- old is good, recycle.

New Turkish Cinema

  • Memory and Trauma.
  • Alienation.
  • City.
  • Nostalgia.
  • Childhood.
  • Festival Art Cinema.

Popular Cinema

  • Horror (Islamic)
  • Patriotic Films, Breath and valley of wolves.
  • Hobo Comedy-recep ivedik atayilmaz.
  • Youth Comedy-Crazy class
  • Melodrama- Cagan Irmak
  • Auterism- Sinan Cetin.
  • Ethnic- My Marlon and Brando Muro


  •  A Dry Summer -1964
  • Distant- 2002
  • Head On – 2004
  • Tides and Winds- 2006.