March 5, 2024

Transhumanism reaches Hollywood in new high budget film

Transhumanism has reached hollywood in a new high budget film called Transcendence.

Transhumanism is a movement receiving increasing attention on various levels of society. It has even sparked the curiosity of Hollywood. A new film by director Wally Pfister, Transcendence, warns of the dangers of the transhumanist project.

The film tells the story of an artificial intelligence researcher Dr Will Caster, who develops a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of the world with the spectrum of human emotions. The machine is intended to represent the transhumanist idea of ‘the singularity’. After being pursued by anti-technology activists, Caster chooses to upload his own consciousness to the machine’s mainframe. In his new computerised form, Caster embarks on an aggressive search for further knowledge.

Sci-fi fans are decrying the anti-transhumanist sentiment of the film: “Looks like a cool flick but seriously anti-transhuman and technophobic”, commented one viewer of the official trailer. “I am genuinely afraid what people, especially young kids, will take away from this. We already have enough people out there who are weary of high tech and even more who are scientifically illiterate. Do we really need to aggravate them?”

Blogger Rebecca Taylor is looking forward to the exploration of what it means to be authentically human: “I am hoping it goes beyond simply the technological aspects of artificial intelligence but sparks a discussion about what it means to be an organic human, full of flaws and limitations, and yet sublimely beautiful at the same time. That is true ‘transcendence’. The ‘I can’t feel anything’ line is promising.” 

Xavier Symons
Creative commons