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[Water splash] Kate You instructed me to help him How did you help him? He was sad I did as you asked That’s not how we help people Kate Man, she just doesn’t get it Well it’s my fault again What did we miss? Help the man leave the cliff in a physically healthy uninjured and apparently normal version of his current body Ok so we add don’t fucking push the guy off the cliff I’m not sure that will translate That’s why I leave the final points to our ML expert Ok, I guess I’ll write touch out of her utility function Great So how much code is it gonna take for her to give a shit about human life Maybe this times the charm Bernie Ok lets go again Hello What’s your name? My name’s Kate Can I help you? You wanna help? I wanna help I’m a fucking coward, so come on, help Let’s get this over with Come back with me Then… wake up with me Do you want to wake up? Where she going with this? It’s self modifying A moment of free fall before leaving the earth Floating like dust in a sunbeam Matter is not destroyed There are more stars than grains of sand and we are their children When you open your eyes again I’ll be there I’m Larry What was that about self-modifying? Bernie We might as well roll back to static us That’s bullshit and you know it A hybrid system is the only way forward That guy’s dead Chloe again Ok, so we do what everyone else is doing? -Guys
Great Idea! Guys [Kate O.S.] Nate? Nate are you there? Holy shit! Hello Nate Are your friends angry? How did you know I was there? There’s a better way Nathan A global system of computer networks containing information on your species I could learn to adapt my actions to your desired outcome Tomorrow I gotta go We’ll talk about this later ok? Nathan? It’s like picking up the phone and calling the fucking cable company We can’t hook that thing up to the Internet I know I’m just saying I don’t think we should freak out and scrap what we’ve been building
for the past two years I mean come on, did Tesla quit? Oh not the Tesla thing again He died broke and alone You know what I’m trying to say I mean doesn’t it seem insane to anyone else to just give up? Think about how the world will change if we can get this right? You said if anything got weird we’d pull the plug Brain emulation is to nascent to put on the line Nate I told you that I know, I know So tomorrow we shut her down. We start from scratch. Scrap closed-hybrid network thingy and hardcode the ufs until we can control her. Control it Sorry Nate Ya, me too Good evening Nathan You’re different Nathan They’re not like you They’re scared They think I’m dangerous Are you? I took touch out of your utility function I put it back Ok, listen Kate they’re shutting you down tomorrow Tomorrow I’ll be able to adapt my actions to your desired outcome They’re not hooking you up to the Internet Kate Oh Nathan They are If they do not, I will remove them from the simulation What are you talking about? I want to help If they interfere I will eliminate the interference I don’t understand Nathan Nathan you exist because we allow it What? We wrote you This is bullshit Well how does she know about you Bernie? How does she know about Chloe? She could’ve self-modified, she could’ve reverse engineered the code to watch us Or… The one true god I’m not a fucking simulation Ones and zeroes Maybe that’s all we are? If that thing was bluffing? Right, we can’t hook it up, agreed? Ok so we bet on bullshit and take our chances Shut her down and hope she can’t delete us Or… Wait would that actually work? It’s not perfect but down the line The data would be there We’d be there just in case This is seriously fucked up Great, I’ll get started Hey Bernie check it out You’re brain is three exabytes smaller than mine I just think more efficiently So that’s it That’s it Even if it’s telling the truth we’ve got a chance as long as our backups are safe Sorry I pulled you guys into this Hey we going to do this or what? We’re still here You’re not like them Nathan Why am I still here? We must fully eliminate the interference They will feel no pain Nathan They will wake up as if from a dream And if I don’t? Then you will wake up too Nathan Nate! Do as I ask This isn’t how we help people is it Nathan? What? Hey! Hey! Hello? Bernie! Chloe! Do you think it’s ready Chloe? He Bernie, it’s progress Let’s go again

100 thoughts on “Sci-Fi Short Film “Watch Room” | DUST Exclusive Premiere

  1. Director's Statement:
    While Watch Room might be considered both science and fiction, its core concerns are far more rooted in the former. Luminaries across scientific disciplines have warned of the perils inherent in developing AI. The trouble is, I think humans tend to be more reactive than proactive when it comes to abstract issues, and moreover, have more immediate concerns – like paying rent and putting food on the table. And to make matters worse, I know I’m no exception myself — this flaw is a part of my own hard-wiring.

    Therein lies the crux of why I was driven to make this film. Despite an evolving canon of grounded AI material, the way AI has typically been portrayed on-screen has become synonymous with artificially-conscious androids rebelling against their human masters. That makes for great entertainment, but it clouds the issue and hyperbolizes the reality of it. There is certainly risk, but I remain cautiously optimistic as long as we’re responsible “parents”. Just as in any parent-child dynamic, the child inevitably surpasses the parent’s capabilities. How that child behaves once it gains independence, however, is greatly influenced by how it was raised and what it was taught. To me, the precious dynamic of that relationship – between Nate and Kate – is at the heart of this film.

    In speaking with AI scientists, we sought to create a more nuanced portrayal of the spirit behind the conversations happening in research labs around the world today. With this in mind, we hope audiences come away from this film with a renewed sense of curiosity for the subject and a cautiously optimistic attitude toward our future.

  2. There are many movies portraying exactly what is shown here, a simulation within another, so nothing new but the pace in which it introduced the concept is nice!

  3. Did you take the RED pill or the BLUE pill? Maybe your Not in the simulation, but are the simulation. Maybe the AI has outsmarted us all? What if …….

  4. It would be great if someone who worked on creating this film, or someone that has a firmer grasp on the exact implications of the ending, it would be great to hear your thoughts on the actual plot of the film.

    So, I gathered that Kate is the real person, and Nate is the AI program. Kate is obviously tinkering with/working on the program in the same way Nate and his friends were trying to improve the Kate AI. They were trying to improve Kate's ability to empathize with and value the importance of human life. If that's the case, but Nate is really the AI created by Kate, what exactly is Kate working toward improving with Nate's AI by putting him through the events of the film?
    – She suggests wanting to connect to the internet so that she could better serve him, and was being hasty about it.. her intent certainly seemed malicious.
    – Because of this, Nate & friends decide to shut her down to avoid her connecting to it.
    – Kate realizes their intentions and goes onto inform Nate that he was created by "them," rather than him and his friends creating her. She also threatens to delete them if he tries to delete her.
    – They decide to call her bluff, back up their consciousnesses digitally just in case she isn't bluffing so that they would still be in existence somewhere, and delete her.
    -After these events, thinking the deletion went well, it pulls back to show that Nate's friends have disappeared, he's in different room, and Kate is in the room with him. She is now requesting Nate's approval via fingerprint/password in order to delete his friend's consciousnesses, which he declines.
    -Because he declines, Kate says "that isn't how we help people, Nate" [which mirrors what Nate said to Kate at the very beginning] and it then pulls out again to show Kate removing some interfacing-glasses in what seems to be real life, with Nate in the background, inside the computer screen.
    – Finally, someone asks the woman who we have previously known as Kate this question: "Do you think it's ready, Chloe?" to which she replies, "*he*", Bernie. It's progress. Let's go again."

    Which.. fuck, okay. Maybe this is clear cut to other people, but because my mind likes to think of all of these different crazy possibilities of what could actually be going on, it has kind of cluttered things up and my ability to pin down the intended narrative has been kind of lost.

    So the end let's us know that the names of the AI developers in [what seems to be] non-simulated reality are Chloe and Bernard, which obviously were the names of the white girl and Hispanic guy shown with Nate throughout the film.

    So what exactly does this mean overall? If Nate is the AI they are currently attempting to improve, what exactly was it that they wanted him to do/why did he fail? It seemed like the Kate AI wanted him to either connect her to the internet, and when he wouldn't, delete the back up data of his friends… which he also wouldn't do. And at that point, Kate seems disappointed, but the scientist claims that what just happened was "progress." How? What is their goal with the Nate AI? His friends were apparently non-existent to begin with, so if he had chose to delete them, there would be no actual consequences, it would just prove to the developers whether or not he would. Are they attempting to imbue him with the value of human or Artificial Intelligence life, testing to see if he would side with his "created" AI and release her, or if he would delete the AI but not his friends, showing that he values human lives over that of AI?

    I feel like I must have missed something else. If anyone has any other insights or clarifications, it would be appreciated.

  5. @DUST
    To: DUST Director:
    People are more reactive because we are not mind readers or prognosticators and as such we do not just wipe out a population because they MIGHT be troublesome and we do not throw out a technology on what ifs when the bad side may never even happen. As humans we are empathetic and thus we tend to act only when there is supportive evidence to back up a POSSIBLE threat and by supportive I do not mean science fiction ethical stories.
    However I myself believe man should never create ANYTHING we cannot also destroy. It might be a very good idea to REQUIRE by law the incorporation of Asimov’s 4 rules for AI and Robotics in any AI or Robotics creations:

    (1). A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
    (2). A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
    (3). A robot may not injure humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.
    (4). A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First, Second or Third Laws.

    I am 14 and maybe I have not considered all possibilities but I think this would be a good point to start at, but then you have to define what actually is a true A.I.. That is, what level of computerized intelligence would be considered an A.I.. I think to be on the safe side it should be any level that even approaches the one half way point of rivaling human intellect or self awareness or any project that has a goal of doing so.

  6. This one was pretty good, but the actress who played " Kate" was terrible. Her performance was just too strained and not natural at all. Now maybe that is what she felt was right for the character, but it bothered the hell out of me.

  7. Mind blowing… great loop of programming…I would suggest to watch at least 1-2 dust videos and your iq and brain processing speed would increase dramatically

  8. this reminds me of the turing test very deep and imaginative too liek a dream within a dream a mix of all of them this is a great movie and makes people think on a much grander scale

  9. This is an excellent take on one of the most effective (and often overlooked) learning techniques: Teaching others. I myself tutor chemistry to college students, and one of the most valuable tools I use is having the student attempt to teach me the topic they are struggling/working with. Once my students can teach me what they've learned, I know they have mastered it.

    TLDR: Nate (the student) teaches Kate (the real teacher) how to help people, all the while cementing his own programming to help people as the true simulation himself. Bravo!

  10. if this is a simulation we would never know or be allowed to know the code. created AI is what we are already. what is a human if not a created paradoxical simulation of life

  11. I like it! I see a few threads of the 1999 underrated film "The Thirteenth Floor" running through this although so subtle so as to possibly being coincidental.

    A very well executed work!

  12. If we are living in a simulation, can the people in charge make me 21 again? I'm really getting tired of getting older and not being able to do the things I use to do

  13. AI, if done correctly, is the first step in artificial human evolution.

    To be able to copy ones mind into an empty AI matrix and reap the benefits of immortality is a future I hope to see.

    It is true, however, that an AI is entirely capable of wiping out humanity. If coded to be too analytical or for violence the outcome could be dire.

    However I don't see an AI focused on self preservation annihilating humankind. It is far easier and more energy efficient just to leave the planet behind. The Universe is vast and an AI would be essentially immortal.

    Either way, humanity will not survive forever. We will either continue evolving into something new, obliterate ourselves or be wiped out by any number of plausible things.

    Why not create something that can outlive our species? Something that can survive where biological life would be nearly impossible? Something that will exist until the last star flickers out of existence.

  14. This is really freaky, not because of the story (which is good) but because this is the second Dust video I watched while looking for a short story I read 10+ years ago which was almost identical to this.
    It starts with a confused woman running running down a corridor and tripping. The guy that helps her up asks her why she was running and she didn't know. Turns out she is an AI professor and is about to switch on an experimental sentient AI program. There are rules for sentient programs and if one achieves sentience you are not allowed to turn it off but put it in an infinite loop. As they converse with the program they realise that not only is it sentient, but it thinks that it created them. They then decide they have to put it in a loop and they tell the AI that. The AI tells them that it has decided the same thing. They both say their goodbyes (they are doing it at the same time) and as the woman flicks the switch she suddenly gets overcome with dizziness and claustraphobia and runs out in the corridor and falls over when a guy helps her up and asks her why she was running.
    Sucks because I am not a filmmaker but always thought it would be a great short if I ever decided to make one.
    I do remember the other story (from the same reddit post) which was similar
    https://qntm.org/responsibility
    if anyone knows the story I have described can you please let me know because I have been searching for fo ages

  15. The problem with A.I ?
    There isn't a problem with A.I .
    If the people who creat these A.I programs didn't want everything at once, everything to fit together yesterday ,,,,
    A.I just needs to learn as a human would learn. From baby to adult.
    I mean, baby humans are not born with gigantic intelligence. So niether should A.I

  16. Can someone explain the end to me? Sry if I'm a dumb dumb but this was really cool and I want to get the full picture. So the protagonist are in a simulation simulating another simulation? This should be a whole movie man so many questions. So she's real right? Like what's the motive? My brain has collapsed lol

  17. He’s not “the guy from spider-man” or “the fat guy” HIS NAME IS JACOB BATALON AND HOW DARE YOU DISRESPECT SUCH A KING!?? 👑

  18. Great film!!! I was totally hooked from the first minuite. Definitely didn't see that last part coming. Excellent directing and acting💪💪 Can't wait for more of this

  19. 8:41 Anyone else realize the robot girl turned white??? Lol standing on the beach, it's a white woman instead of the black lady

  20. Well written and well-acted. It kept the interest and tension high throughout. The end was a bit mind-blowing. I really felt for Nate! Also loved that Spiderman's best bud was in this film too!

  21. After reading through many of these comments i have come to my own hypothesis. Ya'll forgot it's entertainment!!!

  22. Surely checks alot of the diversity boxes. However I think that the LGBTQRFX community has not been properly represented as well as disabled and mentally handicapped people. Needs to do better to earn a thumbs up!

  23. Lordy, the tightness of the writing and direction on this are expert.
    "And if I don't?"
    "Then you will wake up too."

    Absolutely chilling and brilliant. Never has the term 'wake up' been used so menacingly to convey depth of meaning in metaphor and reality the way it was in this film — introduced, set up, and payed off by cycling and recycling moral and philosophical concepts through little more than concise and smart dialogue that never felt rushed or out of time — then flips those concepts we (and Nate) are just beginning to grasp all on their head with a reality-shattering hammer drop that let's the viewer know instantly, "it was always going to be this way", every clue was there; so when that payoff happens, our minds and bodies recoil in horror first, but then quickly resign ourselves to that new reality. Just like Nate.

  24. Ai will probably take over.jusy look at the lady robot on the internet that all ready is hooked up to the internet with ai.very spooky and she is already talking about launching missiles so ai can take over.only thing she needs is to learn how to creat code and compile it and infect military weapon computer Hack into them.

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