Monday, October 23, 2017
When Man Collides With Technology
By Nicole Williams, Sentinel Contributing Writer
Published April 16, 2014

Will Caster will prove what it’s like ‘when man collides with technology’ (Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

‘Transcendence’ challenges ideas of futuristic artificial intelligence

Can you imagine being able to upload the feelings, memories and self-awareness of a human being to a hard drive? Well, the new movie “Transcendence” starring Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman explore what that reality would look like. Both actors play scientists who are mastering advancements in the world of artificial intelligence. When a situation outside of an event goes wrong, the very life of Will Caster will either die forever, or be uploaded to a hard drive to ultimately live there forever – even if it proves to help or be dangerous to society as a whole.  The research done for the movie even suggests that this type of scenario could be a reality for our world one day.


Johnny Depp’s character, Dr. Will Caster becomes almost a controller. Once he is uploaded he can do many things that people never expected him to be able to do. Depp says that his character is indeed much of an authoritative figure.


“Will is dedicated to the cause. And the power, essentially, you’re God,” Depp said.


Morgan Freeman plays Joseph Tagger, who is a scientist who actively works to advance in artificial intelligence, but also knows the dangers of it too. He sees that what has flourished and advanced has incredible potentials, but also a very real and scary side too. Freeman, himself, explores the idea of futuristic artificial intelligence.


“They talk about looking into the eyes of a beautiful woman and falling in love. What happens if you’re uploaded? You don’t have that chemical; you no longer have that chemistry of life. You have something else. What do you have?” Freeman said.

Joseph Tagger stands with Agent Buchanan (played by Cillian Murphy) as they assess the situation. (Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)


Rebecca Hall plays Evelyn Caster, the wife of Will Caster. She becomes the center of the entire movie as she is faced with the task of losing her husband, but instead uploading him to a hard drive. Hall says that she feels like technology has its bad, good and wonders.


“Technology is arguably what’s going to get us out of a lot of problems. It’s probably our greatest hope in turns of solving everything that are problematic now in turns of the environment, disease or the rest of it. It equally is likely to throw up a whole world of problems that we have no understanding, perception or even imagination to anticipate what they could possible be,” Hall said.


Evelyn’s partner is Max Waters, a scientist played by Paul Bettany. His character, just like Joseph Tagger, recognizes the good and bad of advancing artificial intelligence. When researching for his role, Bettany spoke with Professor Christof Koch at Cal Tech and discovered the reality of the role he was playing.


“I said, listen, I’m an actor and I’m a science guy [in the movie] and I deal with trying to make unreal things seem real, so what is the truth of this? How far-fetched is this? And he said, 30 years,” Bettany said.


30 years is not too far away for the type of suggestions “Transcendence” makes. Make sure to check out the movie to see what could maybe become a reality of our own world. “Transcendence” is in theaters April 18, 2014.

“Transcendence” Movie Trailer:

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