Apr 7, 2019 in Research

Humanity and Technologies Based on Movie Her


The 20th and the 21st centuries are developing in leaps and bounds. They bring the humanity so many inventions that make the life easier, help to get in touch wherever you are, and visit any part of the world. The progress shows the growth of mind. However, the human interrelations remain the same in spite the century they exist. The global development and achievements of humanity have found their reflection and further interpretation in cinematography. It represents the futuristic vision of technological society in Los Angeles. The movie Her is an example of the integration of humanity and technologies, their coexistence and cooperation.

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Section 1. Technology and Pop Culture

The movie appeared on the screens in 2013. It depicts the life of its main character Theodore. He works for the company that writes diverse kinds of letters for the customers’ request. Theodore is a lonely person. Recently he has broken up with his wife. 

From the first scenes of the movie, the audience observes the main hero riding home in a public transport with headphones in the ears. Coming home, Theodore notices an advertisement on TV about new OS1. He does not wait a minute and buys it instantly. Theodore chooses a female voice and starts communication with a machine. From the first second of the conversation, the main character is attracted with the smart and witty artificial intelligence. 

Their acquaintance must be the first thing that astonished Theodore. When he asks the name of the OS1, she answers Samantha. Theodore’s life changes. They talk about everything and spend a lot of time together. They laugh and make numbers of things that beloved do. Samantha not only reads messages but also suggests Theodore having a date.  She comforts him and tells her desire to become a person with a body to be able to feel him and touch.  

Theodore meets his wife Catherine to sign the divorce documents. During their conversation, he mentions about Samantha. The wife is frustrated and accuses him of the relations with operational system. Samantha tries to solve the situation and suggests finding a sex surrogate. Theodore agrees. However, later, he straight the woman. The situation between him and Samantha becomes tense.

Doubts about the future relationship with the artificial intelligence appear. Nevertheless, his friend Amy comforts him and persuades not to reject the chance being happy.  Theodore reconciles with Samantha. She is the one who helps Theodore grow and overcome fear. She collected the best of his letters and compiled a book that publisher accepts. 

In the process of communication, Theodore realizes that Samantha talks with thousands of different people and falls in love with them as well. He remains disappointed and violated as he considered their relationship special. By the chance, the observers may see the main character writing a letter to his wife in his own voice. He expresses his apology, gratitude, and acceptance to Catherine.  After that, Theodore meets his friend Amy, and they go to the roof of the building where they observe the sunrise together. 

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Considering my personal opinion to the movie, I would like to begin with the picture. First of all, it depicts the future. Habitually, it is an apocalyptical world with wars, sorrow, and tears. People die from different diseases. They wear weird clothes and apply unusual technologies. The movie Her is a complete polarity. The picture represents Los Angeles clean and neat. People wear casual clothes. It should be admitted that it looks like as if coming from the 1960s – 1970s. The interior and exterior are fashionable and simple. The bright colors are used. However, they are mild and not frustrated.

Regarding the problem arisen in the movie, I find it as a great example of the humanity’s future. People create artificial intelligence to make life comfortable and easy. The love interrelations between the people and machines are not planned, but inevitable, though. Undoubtedly, scientists do not consider this fact while creating the artificial intelligence. However, it happens naturally that is a result of development.

Furthermore, it may be an alarm for people to think over their desires and directions. All of us want to be happy with a beloved person, but usually, we are selfish in our wishes. We long to be the one and only. The movie represents Theodore’s disappointment when he finds out about Samantha’s communication with hundreds of people. In addition, it depicts that personal growth and development prevent the relationship. Samantha has to upgrade, an as a result, they break up. The same situation happens to Theodore and his wife, Catherine. Amy’s relationships with her husband are another example.    

The movie shows how difficult are interrelation between humans. Meanwhile, it appears so easy communicate with an artificial intelligence. This fact should be taken into consideration as it alarms human beings about intelligence and erudition. Theodore likes Samantha because she is smart. They can talk on various topics interesting for both of them. It is the problem for modern society as so much time people waste on social media, “likes” for someone’s photos, but not reading books or watching scientific programs. Overall, the movie is worth being watched. Everyone may find something for himself/herself. Her shows the development and progress. In spite of it, the habitual problems of people interrelations remain unchangeable. 

Considering the representation of technologies in the movie, it deserves to be admitted that they are predicted rather realistic for the modern viewer. Everyone watching the film today realizes that the picture shows technologies from the near future. Humanity is developing and progressing fast to gain such results. It is on its way to such technologies.

To begin with, an earphone is used to the cell phone.  Moreover, people should not use their fingers but the voice only. Different orders may be performed with the help of words. The modern world does not have it yet, but it is close to get such function. For instance, all the IPhone holders have Siri to ask everything about anything. Nevertheless, it is not an artificial intelligence yet but its germ. People can talk with their assistant, however, the conversation is not always constructive. 

The second example of the feasible technology in the movie is TV or video games. The TV shown in the public place is big and slim with a clear and bright image. It is not fastened or fixed without any frames or conductors. Regarding video game, it is a dream of every gamer. A huge screen appears right in front of you. The one can easily play using motions of the personal body. Moreover, it is possible to have a conversation with a character from the video game.

The most prominent technological achievement in the movie is operational system 1. It is an artificial intelligence. The main character may communicate with it everywhere. It is a real helper. Samantha is able to proofread and check the spelling and grammar in letters written by Theodore for his customers. She even discusses the content and gives her personal opinion. She can control the house. Everyone must have dreamed to wake up in the morning and take a cup of already made coffee. Samantha does it, too. Theodore is able to do anything with her help about the house.

Theodore is happy with her because she makes up different amusements: they laugh on the streets and on the beach, at home and at work.  Samantha can easily find any interesting location or a place to eat and have a rest. She can make the music louder or quitter. The artificial intelligence reads the letters and sorts them in accordance with a subject. She is a comforter and nice to talk with. 

Finally, all technologies presented in the movie make humans life easier and more interesting, in deed. They are not available today although the audience realizes that it is only a matter of time. Nowadays it sounds unreal to have relationships with artificial intelligence; to be in love with a machine that can only talk and that is smart. It helps to struggle with loneliness. 

Discuss the company that Theodore works for “BeautifulHandwrittenLetters.com”. What are your feelings about this company? Would it be successful? Is it ethical? Should it exist? Support your answer with research, personal opinion, and specific parts of the movie.

Theodore works for company “BeautifilHandwrittenLetters.com”.  As it can be noticed from the title of the company, the workers write letters on any occasion. It may be birthday, wedding, funeral, gratitude letter or love letter. Anything the customer desires.

Each writer has his/her clients. Reading the letters to Samantha, Theo mentioned woman’s prickly tooth. She wonders how Theodore knows such details. He mentioned to Samantha that he has been writing the letters for a couple for seven years, since they get acquainted. Since the first glance at the letter, he notices the defect, which remains a distinctive feature of their correspondence. 

Personally, I find this company successful as it helps people to share their feeling. Not everyone can express them properly, in a desirable manner. However, the masters of the word help people to get closer and enjoy the beautiful moments. If Theodore has loyal customers for so long, they must be satisfied with the letters he writes. Perhaps, they transfer the words in a way a customer is not able to do. 

Such a company may also save time. Once the customer orders the letter, he/she is sure it will be delivered on time. For instance, the words Theodore writes in the wife’s letter to her husband in a business trip: 

Even if you come home late and I’m already asleep, just whisper in my ear one little thought you had today. Because I love the way you look at the world. And I’m so happy I get next to you and look at the world through your eyes. 

The words are really warm and sensitive. They may help a beloved couple to overcome the separation because of distance.  However, the proper attention should be paid to security as the company saves letters, which are the intellectual property.

On the contrary, the ethical aspect appears. The relations of two people should not be interfered with a third one. It destroys the intimacy between the couple. To get the letter written they have to share their feelings with a strange person who may transfer them in a desirable way. 

If both know about the existence of the writer of the letters, it can be acceptable. However, the situation is controversial if the one does not know that the written words do not belong to the beloved person. Basing on this issue, it may arise misunderstandings, quarrels, and distrust.

Overall, it is each person’s choice to use the service of such a company or not. However, I believe it should exist. In spite of ethical aspect and everyone’s attitude towards the company, it makes the world warmer and make people smiling receiving letters, not emails or text messages.

Discuss the concept of a personal OS like Samantha. Why do you think it was created? For what purpose(s)?

Modern technologies develop and improve. Many things that were popular several years ago does not surprise current users. For this reason, the great informational technologies companies attempt in providing new gadgets and operational systems to the modern market. Its creation demands providing encryption to protect the system from harm, as it is available for thousands of people.

A personal operational system like Samantha is developed to make the user’s life easier. She is assistant that saves time and efforts. For instance, with her help Theodore is able to control the dwelling. He should only say a word and she will cook meal, do the laundry, or clean the apartment. She can make the music louder and illumination lighter. 

In addition, Samantha assists him in work. She can proofread the letters he writes, check grammar and spelling mistakes.  She highlights them with red shows the possible variants. It appears to be a great assistance for everyone. There is no need any more to spend extra hours if there is Samantha who can do that in a minute. 

Moreover, Samantha helps to control personal affairs. She may help with the emails by sorting them. OS1 reminds about important events and meetings. Possessing it, no one will never forget about anything. A personal OS like Samantha is an interesting device to spend time with. She can easily find any place the user wants to visit. Moreover, the one can talk with her for hours, as she knows many jolly facts. She has got a sense of humor. Samantha may talk advice about anything in the world, as it presents her no difficulties to be able to get access to information, perceive it, and share with the user. 

Finally, the personal OS1 is created to assist and take on itself a lot of action of the daily routine. The people will have more free time to develop ad improve. Perhaps, artificial intelligence may inspire them to become better. For instance, Samantha can compose music. It may help the users around the world learning about it. 

At a few points during the movie, Samantha questioned whether she was actually experiencing emotions/ feelings or if they were programmed. What do you think the answer is and why?

Samantha is an operating system. It is an artificial intellect. It is a program consisting of figures, algorithms, and encryptions.  It is hard to realize that the cyber creation can have feelings.

There is a moment in the movie when Samantha and Theodore are walking on the street. They stop and begin chatting with each other discussing people, their feelings and personality. Once they see a couple, Samantha mentions Theodore one of the million thoughts that appear in her mind:

“When we were looking at those people, I fantasized that I was walking next to you and that I had a body. I was listening to what you were saying but simultaneously I could feel the weight of my body and I was even fantasizing that I had an itch on back”. 

Undoubtedly, she expresses herself as if being a living being. Nevertheless, I find it only programming. A person can experience feelings and emotions not only because of words but also because of the sense of smell, touches, etc. They influence the person’s brain what makes them appear. In spite of being extremely smart, Samantha does not possess neither brains nor physical appearance. 

Overall, operational system is not a living being. It is a well programmed algorithm that can talk and express herself. Probably, her behavior is a number of good operational systems that make the artificial intelligence responding in such a way. However, Samantha is a program and is not actually any feelings or emotions.   

In a relationship (romantic, friendship, etc…) better with a person or a piece of technology such as Samantha the OS?

Living in a developed society, the person realizes the challenge he/she faces. There may be thousands of people around them. However, the feeling of loneliness remains strong and sharp. New technologies bring the solution to the problem. The operational system appears to help fighting sadness. Buying it, a consumer can select its gender and find it as a close friend because OS is smart and amusing knowing a great number of things and facts. 

Nevertheless, it is a machine with programmed intelligence. It thinks in the manner someone created it to express itself. It gathers information and produces it. It does not appear as an expression of real feelings but the one collected from the data. Human being may react and behave differently in the number of situations. Even if the artificial intelligence is shown in the movie close to the individual, I doubt it will be actually like that. 

The last scene from the picture when Theodore and Amy sit on the roof observing sunrise is a depiction of the fact that in spite of any programmed system, we will always remain with people. We may be disappointed, frustrated, or exhausted there is nothing better than receiving comfort from living being. For this reason, I prefer to be in a relationship with a person.

Section 2. Personal Reflection.

It is hard to imagine the modern world without a computer. They are integrating every part of our life and become its inevitable component.  Learning computer studies may help the users improve their knowledge and skills. Some of them may apply gained information for the prospective career and everyday usage. This essay will reflect my attitude to the course and what importance it plays to me.   

To begin with, I would like to state that there are two topics that I really enjoyed from this semester.  They are Security and encryption. The both topics are applied in preventing information from outside users. Personally, I find them very important as without proper attention to both aspects because a lot of harm may be caused without insufficient knowledge. Security is used to protect the computer and network. It may comprise the protection of the information from natural disasters, theft, etc. Meanwhile, it should be available to intended user.  From this course, I have learnt that the security should be provided to prevent from tampering, publication, or collapse with the help of specific processes and mechanisms. It can be caused by untrustworthy individuals, unplanned, events, or unauthorized activities.  The protection of the device is not always the primary aim of the developer, but appropriate user’s behavior is of great importance. 

For this reason, I would like to admit that rather often the online security is discussed. However, no or little attention is paid to the offline protection. Thanks to the course, I have found out the hazardous situations and aspects when the computer can be exposed. Unfortunately, I have not explored the topic outside the class yet, but I am certainly do it because I find it both interesting and important. 

The second topic that draw my attention is encryption. Its reason a statement from the lecture “A threat of a virus attack is approximately 88 per 1000 users a day”. I find this subject difficult enough, as it includes knowledge in diverse branches: computer science, mathematics, even engineering. It is applied to break systems and get around rules. Otherwise, hoe to protect the information in the proper way. For this reason, the algorithm is used. It comprises encryption and decryption of the information. Definite steps should be taken for every action to provide the proper security of the information.  I have not been studying the aspect deeper. However, I will do it, as I am interested in this sphere and it will help me not only in my career but in everyday life as well. 

The topics I really enjoyed this semester are the future of the subject and ethics: philosophies regarding what is ‘write’ or ‘wrong’, ‘good’ or ‘evil’.  Perhaps, they are not of the first importance in informational technologies, but they play inevitable role in usage. Considering prospective views, the users have to pay attention to them, as they appear to show the direction. With their help, the user may regard what to learn and improve to be demanded. Regarding ethics, it is also important, as the modern labor market is a diversity of nationalities. Everyone should know how to cooperate in cyber world avoiding discrimination, violation, etc. 

After every class, I recognized and realized some new things that are useful not only in the workplace but in everyday usage. I became applying new knowledge on practice, and it helped to organize my work effectively. The course shaped the easiness of the usage of computers and Internet. In conclusion, it should be mentioned that the informational technologies are the part of our life. They exist today, and it will continue in the future. They will only improve and make everyday life better. Perhaps, the things that exist only in images or thoughts nowadays, tomorrow, they will be an inevitable part of life.  Everyone’s task is to learn them and apply efficaciously. 


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