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AI FILM FESTIVAL: eight screenings at the Nuovo Cinema Modernissimo

From February to May, the “Pre-Visioni di Intelligenza Artificiale” (Pre-Visions of Artificial Intelligence) film festival, organised by Alma Mater's Alma Human AI Centre, will offer important moments of reflection before each film to discover how much of the technology described in science fiction films is still fantasy and how much is already reality. After each film, viewers will also be able to create a film using an artificial intelligence platform

"Pre-Visions of Artificial Intelligence". This is the title of the film festival, organised by the interdepartmental Alma Mater Research Institute For Human-Centred Artificial Intelligence - Alma Human AI Centre of the University of Bologna, with screenings from February to May at the Nuovo Cinema Modernissimo (Via Rizzoli 1/2, Bologna). An initiative created to get people thinking about the progress and development of AI and to discover how much of the technology described in science fiction films is still fantasy and how much is already reality.

Before each screening (in original language with Italian subtitles), lecturers and researchers from Alma Mater (from technological, scientific, philosophical, linguistic, artistic, social, economic, ethical and legal fields) will make a short critical presentation of the film, juxtaposing a computational view of the current and near-future state of AI with a cinematic one. At the end of the film, viewers can participate in the collective creation of an AI-generated film through a virtual storyboarding platform in a dedicated area.

A total of eight screenings, two per month from February to May, for which the ALMA HUMAN AI Centre is offering the first 150 free tickets to Unibo students when showing their university badge, at the Modernissimo ticket office.

The first film will be shown on Wednesday 7 February at 5pm: Matrix (Andy and Larry Wachowski - 1999), after the presentation of the festival by Prof. Michela Milano, Director of the ALMA-AI Centre, and a reflection by Unibo Prof. Guglielmo Pescatore (DAR) and Prof. Luca Benini (DEI).

Professors Carlo Alberto Nucci and Riccardo Rovatti from Electrical Energy and Information Engineering (DEI) will present the second film in the programme on Wednesday 21 February at 5 pm. Blade Runner - The final cut (Ridley Scott - 1982).

The March programme includes screenings of Her (Jonze Spike - 2013) on Wednesday 6 March at 8pm, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (James Cameron - 1991) on Wednesday 20 March at 5 p.m.

Minority Report (Steven Spielberg - 2002) and Ex-Machina (Alex Garland - 2015) will follow in April.

The festival ends in May with Michael Crichton's Westworld (1973) and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 -  A Space Odyssey (1968).

Few areas of science raise as many fears and questions as Artificial Intelligence (AI). In recent years, the international press has published a series of alarming articles on the risks of the uncontrolled development of AI, as increasing attempts are made by scientists to understand its evolution, from the era of expert systems to the current one characterised by machine learning and generative AI.

The collective imagination is often linked to the world of science fiction, of which literature and cinema have become the mouthpiece, supporting each other. Since the late 1980s, US author Vernor Vinge (1944-) has been tantalising readers with the idea of a technological singularity, a kind of point of no return for the (quantitative) superiority of AI over humans. Cinema picked up on it, with a powerful imagery that inspired a new generation of novelists and directors. Some authors no longer dare to imagine their futuristic world without robots and hyper-evolved AI.

However, despite scientific advances, it is still difficult to compare the humanoid robot Pepper to the Terminator, because 'real' robots only function properly under very precise conditions, far below the Terminator's ability to understand the world and evolve autonomously.

The 'Pre-Visions of Artificial Intelligence' film festival is organised in collaboration with the following Departments of the Alma Mater: Electrical, Electronic and Information Engineering (DEI), Computer Science and Engineering (DISI), Philosophy and Communication Studies (FILCOM), Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures (LILEC), Legal Studies (DSG), and Department of the Arts (DAR). Sponsored by: Bonfiglioli Riduttori, INFN and the National Research Centre in HPC, Big Data and Quantum Computing (ICSC).

The ticket costs €3.50 for Alma Mater students when showing their university badge. Adult: 6 Euros. Concession 4.50 Euros for Friends and supporters of the film library (Cineteca), under 18s, over 65s and YoungER Card holders. Concession 5 Euros for members (except Saturdays and public holidays).

The Alma Human AI Centre is offering the first 150 tickets free to Unibo students when showing their university badge at the Modernissimo ticket office.