Rebecca Baron & Douglas Goodwin
United States | 2023 | 22 min
Language : English
Subtitle : French
Nearest Neighbor explores the relationship between technology and the living, applied here to birds. How far is humankind willing to go to invent tools designed to replace their understanding of the world? In this film, transhumanist AI technologies turn into ornithologists, resulting in some unlikely and absurdly comical scenarios.
How far are we able to go in creating tools that can understand the world better than a simple human being? In their new film, filmmakers Rebecca Baron and Douglas Goodwin explore the possibilities of technology, in this case applied to birds, and more specifically to understanding their language. Where once we resorted to mechanical cuckoos, mimicry and bird study tools, now artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged, offering us the possibility not only to study our feathered friends, but also to converse with them. Turning things on their head, the humans then try to learn from the machine. This creates absurd and amusing scenarios, in which humans start to speak bird, and have conversations on their smartphone with the nightingale at the bottom of the garden. An AI language such as ChatGPT then takes control over the humans by insinuating itself into the film's voice-over. Nearest Neighbor is a wonderful essay on the possibilities of transhumanism in interspecies relations, at the time of mass avian extinction.
Nearest Neighbor, 2023