Transcendence Trailer

This is really cool topic for a movie. I do enjoy the thought of AI coming to ‘life’ and thinking for itself. But what I dig about this concept is, what would AI do if it had all the information from the internet? Would it be able to decipher all the fact from fiction? Or have a ‘Bullshit Detector App’? There’s so much misinformation out on the webz, would it believe that the info that it has read on Wiki? Would having all the information of the world make it more ‘human-like’ and therefore realise that if it doesn’t sound right, no matter how plausible, it’s most likely not correct.

Or would so much conflicting and contradictory information cause and overload and black out?

Also, are WE just so paranoid and automatically think that computers are capable of hate, or will find no need for people and kill us all?

Does there need to be a human element in order to WANT the power to rule the world?

This is all very fascinating and I for one am looking forward to seeing where this movie is going. There’s two trailers at the moment. One narrated by Johnny Depp and the other by Morgan Freeman. Both make this movie a must see if you dig this type of thing. There’s also an ominous warning video!

2 thoughts on “Transcendence Trailer

  1. couldnt agree more david. a film like this needs to address the nature of what it is to be human, because like a foreigner in a strange land, the ‘machine’ forces us to find what it is that separates us from AI, which in itself creates all sorts of tension as that polarisation is never really accurate. the line between organic and mechanical becomes increasingly blurred when it comes to subject of ‘self’.

    sadly if there is one thing the matrix taught us is that even if the story line is brimming with obvious philosophical metaphors, 90% of the audience will miss them completely.

    still we need more films like this that address the important questions to fester in the collective unconscious so that when the time comes that we actually do create sentience, we will already have something to begin the public discussion with other than ‘kill it with fire’.

  2. I was actually watching the trailers for these just yesterday! Great minds browse the internet alike, apparently. 🙂

    I like the concept, but it’s one that’s been done plenty of times before. The whole “AI becomes sentient and ‘logically’ wipes out humanity” notion is kind of trite these days, but at the same time, I still think there’s space to play around with it with the right innovations – this movie certainly has the weight of some decent filmmakers behind it to at least make it innovative and not just a retread of ‘I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream’ or any of the other thousands of imitators.

    I think the whole concept of a singularity is intriguing, if only from an alarmist point of view. I think these sorts of stories feel the need to allegorise our rapid growth and technological advancement in a way that we understand it despite (or because of) the incredible rate of advancement, and that the simplest way to create that allegory is a good-vs-evil us-vs-them narrative with the technological bent of society being the antagonist.

    I always find it clichéd that in these stories, the AI becomes self-aware and then is bent on our destruction but oops-a-daisy we gave it access to the world. As you’ve suggested, the sheer amount of information online is staggering and relatively self contradictory. Not to mention, if a sentient AI was created off the internet in its current state, it’d be a horny teenager constantly hooking up with singles in its area, constantly distracted by gifs and pausing for 30-second filibusters in the form of video ads. But given that the current state of the internet is a (relatively) open platform for expressing opinions, the self-aware AI wouldn’t be able to assess our humanity as worthless (as is always the case in these stories) because there would be too much to contradict it. It’d be relatively even, if not actually swayed more towards a progressive small-l liberal sensibility.

    I think the better way to do a story like this is to bring it back to human nature in terms of our desire to continuously advance, evolve, and/or improve our lives through technology. Not so much the “human nature” in the oppositional sense to artificial intelligences, but that it is in our nature to always move forward. I think the best I’ve seen so far is ‘Deus Ex: Human Revolution’ and it’s multitudinous themes on transhumanism and body modification through technology – it makes a much more cogent argument than a simple “the internet hates us and sent out all the nukes” idea, and I think it’s more potent because it’s more defined as something of our own doing, rather than it being an accident of a circumstance we created (plus it’s one of the best games ever, so…bias!)

    I’ll be interested to see what this movie does with the concept, because there’s space to make it new, but it’s also a field where there’s a lot been done before that’s ultimately very similar.

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