Terminator Salvation

Posted: June 6, 2009 by ralliart12 in Filmstrip
Tags: ,

The End Begins

The End Begins

Just watched Terminator Salvation the other day. Not a bad show, though on HWZ the general consensus was that it failed to retain the essence of the previous Terminator films. Which I sorta agree, but I do enjoy the film nonetheless. But true to speak, without the current California governor, it really loses the “X-factor”. I like Mr. Arnold in the previous iterations as even though he is a terminator, even though he is constrained by his deadpan expressions, he successfully humanize a terminator through he no-nonsense responses & interactions with John Connor. & the villians in this current iteration is sorta “pure machines”, i.e. no human disguise, etc. Which I feel, once again, is not true to Terminator “villains” in the past 3. In fact, the best Terminator I like was Mr. Robert Patrick’s interpretation in Terminator 2, also known as Cyberdyne Systems model T-1000, even though it is technically inferior to the Terminatrix, which is the T-X model as depicted by the lovely Kristanna Loken. Mr. Patrick really scares the crap out of me.

Yup, the 2 metal “wedges” are formed from his hands. At his will.

Yup, the 2 metal “wedges” are formed from his hands. At his will.

Again, the T-1000 can form his appendages into hooks as well.

Again, the T-1000 can form his appendages into hooks as well.

Oh, did I mention? He can go through barriers. THROUGH barriers.

Oh, did I mention? He can go through barriers. THROUGH barriers.

& he can continue “monitoring” his environment when passing thru stuff.

& he can continue “monitoring” his environment when passing thru stuff.

Lobotomy. The T-1000 way.

Lobotomy. The T-1000 way.

The T-X (left). Looks harmless…until it destroys your “guardian” Terminator, ala T-800 ala Arnold

The T-X (left). Looks harmless…until it destroys your “guardian” Terminator, ala T-800 ala Arnold

But back to the latest movie, I finally found out why Skynet learns so fast: it is running on a neural network backend! I’ll leave it to you (yes, the 2 of you reading this post!) to find out what a neural network is, but in the mean time I’ll list its attributes:

EDIT: Quote from Wikipedia, “In more practical terms neural networks are non-linear statistical data modeling or decision making tools. They can be used to model complex relationships between inputs and outputs or to find patterns in data.”

Advantages:

  • A neural network can perform tasks that a linear program can not.
  • When an element of the neural network fails, it can continue without any problem by their parallel nature.
  • A neural network learns and does not need to be reprogrammed.
  • It can be implemented in any application.
  • It can be implemented without any problem.

Disadvantages:

  • The neural network needs training to operate.
  • The architecture of a neural network is different from the architecture of microprocessors therefore needs to be emulated.
  • Requires high processing time for large neural networks.

There’s even more interesting reading material at this website, “Scientic America: Neural Network“, but please allow me to highlight a few key take-aways from that site:

  1. “Yes, neural network computers can learn from experience. Their inherent ability to learn ‘on the fly’ is one of the primary reasons researchers are excited and optimistic about their future. For example, a neural net computer can be ‘trained’ from a set of known facts about, say, the control of a vehicle, and then the neural computer can be put on-line to actually control the vehicle in real time. Moreover, the neural net learning capability can be left turned on, so that the system learns how to do an increasingly better job at control and also can learn how to deal with previously unencountered situations. Many groups are working on ways to improve this learning process. For instance, researchers at my university have devised a means of inserting knowledge directly into the neural network, omitting the first ‘training’ phase, resulting in so-called Expert Networks that not only learn from experience but have the ability to explain how or why they reach a given conclusion, in case a concerned human is back-seat driving.”
  2. “And, yes, neural network computers can learn from each other.”
  3. “In many cases, the ability of the neural network to produce the correct response extends beyond the patterns it has been taught to other similar but novel patterns.”

Anyway, back to the show. It was the typical Hollywood action fanfare, i.e. explosions took much priority from the dark, imposing plot-lines of the previous Terminator movies. I must say, Skynet did provide, executed a twist which I really did not expect and I was pretty impressed by this entity. But to reveal what it did, will be a very big spoiler. & for those who thought that Marcus’s human side scored a small victory, I only implore you to goto Wikipedia to understand the true “mission” of Marcus.

Bottomline: not a bad show, but definitely loses out to T1 & T2. I guess it all goes downhill from T3 onwards. But if you are watching for high-tech action, it’s there lah. & I like the robot motobikes a lot, but hey, they still come with a “printer port”!? Watch closely!

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