The year is 2025 at the Federal Drone Headquarters in Los Angeles County…
POV is a short film that re-imagines what the future of law enforcement might look like if we worked with drones and smart technology to eliminate human error and bias within policing systems. An interesting idea that might actually work, but at what level to a person’s privacy? We sat down with POV‘s director Alton Glass to discuss the themes of his film, his inspiration, and more.
The Knockturnal: First I want to start by saying, congratulations on having this premiere during Tribeca! How does that feel?
Alton Glass: Oh, wonderful! You know, as a storyteller, you want to show your work and get it out there. Cause definitely one of the places that hit the mark in terms of being honored is to be able to be showcased amongst some of the best creators and storytellers.
TK: So POV is set in 2025. That’s actually not very far off. When did you first start developing this concept?
AG: We made the project actually three years ago, and it was initially just a proof of concept. We went through a lab called YouTube Google’s VR lab and they gave us a very small amount of money to just prototype a concept. But, you know, we decided to try to do Avatar on the Clerk’s budget!
TK: That’s amazing! Your film is so interesting to me for a number of reasons, but mainly with AI, there’s so much talk about like how to use AI for good. And this is something where, when we think of re-training or re-establishing the police systems in this country, what does that look like? Do you think AI can be created for good without any type of racial bias?
AG: We give AI the wrong problems to solve. I think we have to really understand that’s the bigger question. That’s what I’m hoping POV is bringing awareness to. If you dig to the root, whether it be policing or the history of policing, and then let our own implicit biases, whether it’s me as a black man saying I have a fear of an encounter with the police at a particular moment. Well, that should be the bigger question of “why,” right? And then we should get to the meat of that and you can’t just throw the same mechanism into a new system that’s already broken. That’s where I believe this whole ethics system came in. Who are you bringing to the table to help see what the problem is and how to design it. And that’s the journey that I’ve been on, learning and discovering about artificial intelligence and its underpinnings.
TK: From what we’ve seen in the past year and a half, it’s like it’s airing out the dirty laundry. And so we’re also seeing what hasn’t been working and now how do we fix it? So I commend you for this. I love the story and I’m definitely going to share it with as many people as possible.
AG: I really appreciate that. Thank you so much.
You can Watch the ‘POV’ in 2D Trailer now on Youtube: