So, Johnny Depp is interested in being God, but Morgan Freeman prevents him from becoming one. Putting away the jokes, action and some inaccuracies, it’s a realistic and dramatic film about human stupidity.
Be warned, spoilers incoming…
So, a mastermind of artificial intelligence gets shot by some activist of a group that claim AI is bad for humanity. The scientist gets poisoned by the bullet and dies a couple of weeks later. Before that, his mind gets copied into a supercomputer, he gets himself uploaded on the internet, gathers impressive amount of resources, and systematically starts to slaughter huma…wait, actually, he does research using his computing capacity to make life better. He achieves many contributions in medicine, biology and nanotechnology, and more or less becomes a god, curing the blind and such. And the story progresses with the most logical series of events. Some aggressive, anti-tech group tries to kill him, just because. His beloved woman also leaves him and becomes the key figure of the activists, that leads to the death of both of them. Well, done, woman.
There is already a vast amount of pieces of art around the Ghost in the shell concept, most of them portraying AI is bad in some way, so we can find nothing astonishing I guess. People fear from technology. People feel endangered by smart computers. They think AI has the same nature as humans have. Nature of a careless predator. We live in a competitive world with limited amount of resources, so this AI concept can be reasonable to some level. However, I’d embrace a world where this AI doesn’t get shut down. Let’s just continue the film from the point where Will Caster lets his love leave. If he had made the sacrifice of not letting his love come back and infect the AI, he would have made the world a better place. A place where the planet is coverered by solar panels, power plants using water and wind. A place where no biological life is needed, since everyone is uploaded into the hive. In such a place, death is no longer a threat as long as the planet stays in one piece. And after performing a large amount of computations, life reaches to a whole new, unimaginable level. Feelings are just biochemistry and I’m pretty sure we will manage to simulate them in the near future. Same with consciousness. Our biological evolution reached a local maximum, and we can jump out from that state by technology. I wish we could evolve more, just like species 8472 in Star Trek, but to be honest, I think evolution is far more possible in the way of the Borg. Dolphins are intelligent, but they probably won’t travel to the Moon by themselves. I think we should wait far more to become biologically trans-dimensional than making spacecraft capable of doing that. But there is nothing wrong with the Borg. It’s a representation of unity, so is Transcendence. I’d be glad either way. My needs would be satisfied, since all members of the hive all equally important. Being uploaded is being connected, it is being immortal. There is no reason to resist something that’s comfortable and beneficial.
Even though I didn’t enjoy Transcendence very much as a film, it gave me hope. Hope about today’s sci-fi becoming tomorrow’s life. And I hope AI will win this time.