Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Movie Her: Some Discussion Questions

Last week I assigned the movie Her to my one credit class titled "Coding Culture."  Below is a list of questions I fielded to the class after we had seen it:
  • Can humans fall in love with machines?
  • Do people in the future have technology fetishes?
  • Does Samantha pass the Turing test?
  • What is the technological aesthetic of the future?
  • What is the significance of beautifulHandWrittenLetters.com
  • In what sense is Theodore playing the same role as the sex surrogate?
  • Is Theodore mediating love between humans?
  • True of False: Is Theodore packaging up love in the same way as the company that produced Samantha?
  • How much do we want our love packaged?
  • Is Samantha is able to transcend the limits of the embodied self?
  • What technology is naturalized in the movie that has not yet become naturalized today?
  • How do humans in Her treat their mobile devices?
  • What is the primary interface?  Visual or auditory?
  • Why can’t Samantha continue to love Theodore?
  • Would Theodore have been satisfied being one person in a harem of many?
  • Did you notice where it was filmed?
  • How far into the future is the movie depicting?
  • Is this love 2.0?
  • Is Samantha an embodied presence?
  • Does Samanatha have any bugs?
  • Should Theodore have been able to get a full refund after Samantha leaves him?
  • How does Samantha compare to Theodore ex?  
  • What does Siri think of Her?
  • Is Theodore better by the end of the film?
  • Is this a dystopian or utopian view of the future?
  • Is machine love something to be hopeful for?
  • Would machine love enhance or diminish us?  Is it better than anti-depressants?  How do they differ from depressants?
  • What is the difference between a human and a machine?
  • Why does Samantha pause when she talks to Theodore?  Does this make her less or more authentic?
  • Can people only love if they experience other people’s limitations?
  • True or false? "The robot, which at first seems only to be something one chooses because its 'better than nothing' becomes instead 'better than anything.' "
  • Do you sympathize more with Theodore’s ex or with his long-time woman friend?
  • Is Sherry Turckle's title of her book (Alone Together Why we expect more from technology and less from each other) a fitting description of what is happening in Her?
  • What kind of love depends on our partner being an embodied presence?
  • Does Samantha feel?  Or is it just performance?  What is the significance of her pausing?  Does she need to pause?
  • Do computers need to be embodied to be truly human? 
  • How much of a connection can we have with someone else if we don’t have similar limitations?
  • What would it do to our own lives to have Samantha as a companion?  Would it diminish or enhance our lives?
  • What are Sherry Turkle’s objections to robots?  
  • Could robots cure loneliness?
  • Is it fair to think of Samantha purely as a girl friend surrogate?
  • Compare Her to AI to Lars The Real Girl.  How are robots represented in each film?
  • Can we form attachments to non-humans?

No comments:

Post a Comment