What Is Transcendence? Terrifying, That's What.
Transcendence is a movie that could make you look at your computer in a totally different light. Just as Terminator 2 made you paranoid about the future, Wally Pfister's directorial debut looks like it is going to paint a terrifying picture of the price we could pay for our technological advances.
"Dr. Will Caster is an artificial intelligence researcher who strives to create a machine that possesses sentience and collective intelligence," reads the official synopsis. "Extremists who oppose technological advancement target him, but their actions drive him toward his goal. Caster also wants to become part of the new technology, and his wife Evelyn and his best friend Max Waters, also researchers, question the wisdom of this drive. Caster's goal to acquire knowledge becomes one to acquire power, and he seems to be unstoppable."
The synopsis and the description of events in the featurette above sound pretty terrifying, but the worst part is, this stuff could actually happen. It has been theorized by many a science fiction writer that one day artificial intelligence will reach a point at which it becomes sentient, self aware and ultimately reach a level where it does not need human input. What might happen at this point is up for debate, but Wally Pfister's movie certainly provides a bleak outlook. It's an outlook that boggled the mind of one of the movie's stars, Paul Bettany.
"We talked to this brain scientist at Caltech," says Bettany. "And I said 'How far fetched is this?' And he went '30 years'."
This is no exaggeration either. The rate at which humanity is advancing in the field of computing is scary, so when you the terrifying events unfolding in Transcendence on April 18th, just remember that all of this could actually happen. Well, the computers becoming sentient part, not the Johnny Depp becoming the scariest god-damn man/computer alive!