Daily Archives: April 18, 2014

Redefining Immortality

(Source: Wikipedia)

(Source: Wikipedia)

Transcendence will project on movie screens all around the United States today. As a science-fiction thriller, first-time director (and acclaimed cinematographer) Wally Pfister and his all-star cast (Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy, Paul Bettany) will pose surprisingly relevant questions about the current state of mankind and womankind and whether racing on the autobahn of developing increasingly personal technologies and building machines with only “pure upside” is the road we should be taking. Or, at the very least, at the speed innovators appear to driving their savvy imaginations in this day and age.

Can (or should) humans live forever, consciously, inside a computer?

The term “the grid” is taking shape and evolving in ways many of us either didn’t think was possible or were, quite frankly, fearful of. Once this mainframe is built (or perhaps it already is), is it even possible to dismantle it?

There are infinite questions to be pondered from this movie and other science-fiction thrillers. For instance: What does artificial intelligence look like today? What is its true reach? Is that reach good or bad?

Some may think that technology is tinkered with in basement facilities with pale walls, computers, wires and varying degrees of limitations. But what if the concept of “the cloud” is as unlimited and open as its sounds?

This blog has written about technology before, including its benefits and drawbacks. Without seeing Transcendence, an opinion cannot rightly be rendered. But this film presents a couple hours to escape into a creative and entertaining story of artificial intelligence and the pursuit of advanced technology on a Friday or Saturday night, as well as to take a moment to pause and reflect on the subject matter.

How long until we are in the “age of transcendence” as defined by Pfister and Co.? What does this mean for society as individuals, as well as the collective? Is the infinite space above and all around us becoming finite and controlled without us knowing? Should it be if it’s guided by a genius?

There’s one way to find out and it’s called Transcendence, playing in a theater near you.

Maybe we should ask Siri about transcendence…