Transcendence Clips Spell Out The Dangers Of Artificial Intelligence

By Kristy Puchko 2014-04-09 08:19:25discussion comments
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After decades of working as a director of photography, Wally Pfister is at long last making his directorial debut with Transcendence. Perhaps it was all his working with Christopher Nolan on such big concept features as The Prestige, The Dark Knight and Inception that inspired him, but for Pfister's first film, he has taken on a very complicated concept. Transcendence tackles how the evolution of Artificial Intelligence might lead to a form of immortality for mankind. This possibility is a lot to take in. And so Warner Bros is attempting to acclimate audiences with a pair of featurettes that diligently answer, "What is transcendence?"

What if your thought processes could be uploaded onto a computer? If we are our minds, then it would follow that even the death of our bodies wouldn't mean our end, if such a step could be taken. In Transcendence, Johnny Depp stars as Dr. Will Caster, a pioneer in the field of Artificial Intelligence, first as a researcher, then as a test subject. When anti-technology extremists attempt to assassinate him, his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and good friend Max (Paul Bettany) rush to save him through the very tech he engineered. But is a man freed from his body still a man? Transcendence tackles this disturbing question with all the pomp and circumstance of a big-budgeted, star-studded thriller demands.



In the first clip, Pfister, Depp and producer Aaron Ryder carefully explain this "combination of technology and biology," which Ryder deems "inevitable." The second featurette further explores what Transcendence means, with its makers discussing the vice and virtues of mankind's technological advancement.

Michel Maharbiz, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Berkley, explains, "The topics and ideas that are presented in the movie are definitely concepts that are being discussed in academia." Bettany tells us that a consultant from Cal Tech estimated this level of technology is only 30 years away, meaning immortality could become a reality in our lifetime. But does what we see as humanity depend on mankind's mortality?



Transcendence opens April 18th, whether we're ready or not.
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