AI and the Movies: A Storytelling About Communication

AI and the Movies: A Storytelling About Communication

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8401-8.ch003


The history of science fiction (SF) in the movies is reviewed in depth. At this point in the Big Moon Dig story series, an artificial intelligence (AI) is needed placed in the new settlement on the Moon. Designing electronics for operation in space is difficult and two major AIs on Earth support this design effort. The question of whether or not the Earth-bound AIs can be considered the parents of the space-based AI is a key point of discussion. The story in this chapter, “Caterpillars on the Moon,” features the landing of an inflatable habitat section on the Moon and its movement, caterpillar fashion, into position.
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Topics For Discussion

The following discussion points come from information covered in this chapter:

  • 1.

    Are their organizations dedicated to the ethical use of computers and robotics?

  • 2.

    What movies provide a positive vision of the future? Which do not?

  • 3.

    If an AI does the key work in the design of a next generation AI, does that make the new AI the child of the first?

  • 4.

    What would be good ways to move an inflatable habitat section around on the Moon? Is a caterpillar a good model to chose? What other animals might serve as a model?

  • 5.

    How important is it in your life that you through real celebrations to mark major milestones?



Today people are living in a new Renaissance, where the personal identity is distributed, multiplying, in an increasingly multi-ethnic and multicultural globalized world, where technologies are part of society and must be dealt with.

The ethics applied to the relationships between humans and an artificial intelligence, or the use of robotic devices, increasingly becomes a current topic. Is the modern technological revolution only helping people to improve his life, or, on the opposite, are they also hiding some risk of destroying their identity and their ability to manage their lives?

Key Terms in this Chapter

Virtual Moon: In these stories, an enormous virtual reality environment and the primary setting for action. This environment shows the progress made on building the lunar settlement and provides a place for the various interface avatars (key term) to interact.

Scott A Massif: A major rock formation near the South Pole of the Moon and the proposed location for a lunar settlement. It runs from 20 to 45 degrees longitude and -84.7 to -86.1 latitude. The Scott A Massif is a remnant of one of the rings of the very old South Pole-Aitken Basin. It is a real plateau about 120 kilometers from the lunar South Pole. Its southern edge is a Peak of Eternal Light and it has at least three trails, that do not exceed a grade of 20 degrees leading down to several permanently shadowed craters below.

Skype: An existing App for communicating between computers featuring both sound and pictures and often used for business communications.

Corporate Person: In the United States, a corporation has some, but not all, of the rights and responsibilities of a person. The major AIs in these stories are there for independently incorporated to make them some kind of a person and to provide human supervision through their board of directors.

Massive Online Vetted Exploration (MOVE): This is a fictional means of organizing millions of people over the internet to take on specific exploration missions such as building a settlement on the Moon.

Peak of Eternal Light: There are high points near the poles of the Moon that receive sunlight nearly all the time. These are simply accidents of geology. They are attractive sites for a human settlement as they provide an answer to the problems of powering the settlement through the 14-Earth-day-long lunar night.

Apollo to the Moon: The formal name of the major space program run by the United States that put human beings on the Moon in 1969. It provided a positive vision of an expanding future that the Big Moon Dig is trying to reestablish.

Big Moon Dig (BMD): A fictional grassroots space movement with the purpose of building a settlement on the Moon. It is a MOVE organization. Historically Apollo to the Moon provided an enormous number of people with a vivid, positive vision of the future. Such a vision would be a major asset in addressing the great problems of the 21 st century if it can be reestablished. The Big Moon Dig’s top-level purpose then is to rebuild that vision.

Regolith: The finely pulverized rock that covers most airless bodies. It is the result of billions of years of gardening by micrometeorites. It does not qualify as soil as it contains no water or organic material. Lunar regolith not only contains no water but also contains no minerals formed in water. The top six centimeters are very finely ground and are a major problem for all seals and bearings.

Rack: A metal cabinet specifically designed for electronic equipment. Originally called a Relay Rack and designed before 1900 by the Bell Telephone Company. The original relay racks were 19 inches between the supports and had a complex bolt pattern. This is an example of a long-standing convention in design that will be extremely difficult to convert to the metric system. In these stories most of the electronics of the AIs is assumed to be mounted in such racks.

Interface Avatar: A representation used by a person, real or AI, which can interact with other avatars in a virtual environment. The appearance is a personal choice of the person and include many fictional characters. In these stories, where there are multiple version of the same character they are identified with different colors. The avatar is isolated from the main AI so that if it is damaged the main AI remains safe.

Permanently Shadowed Crater: Any of several meteor craters near the lunar poles that have not seen the heat of the sun in more than a billion years. Because of their extreme cold, they accumulate volatile materials like water. They hold great promise for providing resources for a human settlement but will be very difficult to mine due to the cryogenic cold and the complete lack of sunlight for power.

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