A quick spoiler free review of why you should see Transcendence and think about the ideas it explores.
I made it out to see Transcendence this weekend and simply put I would suggest giving it a go if you find yourself looking for a new movie to see. The cast works really well together, the ideas the plot discusses are incredibly interesting and pertinent to our world, and it was a nice break from the standard science fiction action flick that usually makes the silver screen.
Yes the plot might be a little convoluted and at times skims over issues that could use their own movies to discuss, but it brings to the fore front some serious questions we all will need to be asking within the next several decades. As humanity and technology continue to merge we will reach the eponymous transcendence, which is the films term for the real world idea of a singularity (the point when computers will be able to process on the same level as humans). Machines and humans are quickly headed for a moment when distinguishing them will not be so cut and dry, a day that is easy to assume is still in some far flung future.
In interview one of the actors from the film discussed a conversation with real world scientists working on the idea of an Artificial Intelligence. The scientist is quoted as saying that such a creation is not impossible but highly likely within the next thirty years. There are countless individuals and labs across the globe researching the possibility and practicality of true A.I. so the creation of more and more complex electronic intelligences is happening as you read this.
What does this idea that Transcendence explores mean? Well simply put it means that our definition of a being will be challenged greatly during the course of the next century and will likely change quite radically. By extension it also forces us to look inward and consider what makes each of us human and different from other beings on the planet. I am a lover of technology but these intersections of philosophy and technology even cause me to pause and ponder their implications.
So if you want a movie that deals with some real world technology considerations and explores the personal and global effects of things such as Artificial Intelligence and Mind Uploading; go see Transcendence. It is a good science fiction flick that does not fall victim to devolving into pointless action sequences just to showcase the latest in CGI. Transcendence wants to engage you on an ideological level and make you think, let it.
–Photo Credit: Trailer