Tech & Science

James Cameron talks deep sea exploring on

Oscar-winning Canadian filmmaker James Cameron met with his longtime mentor, Dr. Joe McInnis, at an event hosted by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society at its headquarters in Ottawa to discuss everything from deep-sea exploration to the threat of artificial intelligence.

This discussion, which can be seen in the video at the beginning of this article, graced the opening of the exhibition PRESSURE – James Cameron into the Abyss.

The film features the Deepsea Challenger, a submarine piloted by Prime Minister Cameron in 2012 to explore the deepest part of the ocean in the Mariana Trench, for which McInnis served as advisor and medical director.

It was a life-changing relationship for Cameron. McInnis encouraged him to pursue his interests no matter how difficult and distant they seemed to him at an early age.

“You wouldn’t think something as great as this is possible,” he said, stressing the importance of using this opportunity to empower young people.

“I never imagined I would be a director in Hollywood.

The conversation also included information about McNiss’ role as a leader for Canadian explorers like Cameron who have devoted their time to ocean observation and research.

After the event, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society also awarded the famous filmmaker and explorer a gold medal for his “outstanding contributions to the geographic field”, which Prime Minister Cameron called an “incredible honor”.

Here are some takeaways from the conversation between Cameron and McInnis.

The human brain is still superior to artificial intelligence

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Cameron was asked in an exclusive Canadian one-on-one interview with CTV News’ chief political correspondent Vasily Capellos whether he agreed with the view that many so-called “godfathers of artificial intelligence” technologies are a threat to humanity.

Cameron, who directed and co-wrote the 1984 sci-fi action movie “Terminator,” about a cyborg assassin, called those concerns “exactly the same.”

In response to Dr. McInnis’ question about his “brute ingenuity” and “radical thinking,” Cameron said he believes the human brain often works in a rational, linear way akin to “complex quadratic equations,” but also believes “the human brain has another level of functioning like a quantum computer.”

“By the way, I think we work on a linear, rational level, but not as much as we think we do. I also think we have the ability to freely relate all these variables at the same time and come to a conclusion,” he said.

“Some call it instinct, but I think it’s the most powerful form of human computation,” he added. “By the way, if you’re worried that AI is better than us, you can talk to a chatbot. It sounds human, but it’s an acre of processor that consumes 10-20 megawatts. It probably weighs thousands of tons, but we’re doing it with 3 pounds of meat.”

Marine conservation affects the future of civilization

Part of the exhibit’s focus will also focus on other aspects of ocean exploration, such as overfishing, pollution, climate change and the need for conservation, the importance of which Cameron touched on during his conversation with McInnis.

Responding to an audience question about “blueprints for ocean protection,” he said that in the decade since he piloted a submarine into the Mariana Trench, his perspective on the issue has changed.

Mr Cameron said that humanity is now facing a “certain existential crisis” and that he sees an urgent need to shift focus from exploring new depths to understanding how the oceans themselves affect human life and the planet.

For example, more research is needed to understand the relationship between the water column, atmospheric carbon dioxide and ocean acidification, he said.

“This is a complex issue of really understanding what affects us and the fate of our civilization,” he says. “So this is not a very attractive answer because it’s not about going deeper into the trench or discovering new species. That’s cool and I love it, but I don’t think that’s where we need to put the money right now.”

Similarities Between Titan and Titanic

Cameron has visited the wreckage of the Titanic several times and has been asked many times what he thinks of the Titanic submarine tragedy.

The Titan submarine, piloted by Oceangate, lost contact with the surface less than two hours after dropping into the sea on the morning of June 18. After an international air and sea search operation, the wreckage of the submarine that exploded on June 22 was found near the Titanic by a remotely operated underwater probe.

Early Tuesday morning, Cameron told reporters that the Titan tragedy was “an extreme outlier” in more than 50 years of safe deep-sea exploration.

In conversation between the two, Dr. McInnis described the incident as a “psychological failure” in which he believed excessive “magic thinking” was taking place and the submarine was “invincible.”

“Don’t forget to be humble,” Cameron added.

“How can you jump onto the Titanic without remembering the basic lessons of Titanic history: human arrogance and arrogance, pride lost before it falls?” he asked. “So there are two shipwrecks sitting next to each other right now, but both are there for the exact same reason: the human tendency to believe in one’s own story and one’s invincibility and not be humbled by one’s surroundings.”

“If you go to space, you have to be humble about what space is and how scary it can be,” he said. “If you go into the deep sea, you must be humble, not arrogant, before the forces, pressures and inherent challenges of that world.”

Cameron also said he understood the desire to innovate and push boundaries, but that deviating from the “true and proven way” would require explorers to be “double rigorous”.

Using files from Daniel Otis and Dorcas Marfo of

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