Set in the not too distant future, Transcendence tells the story of Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp), a top researcher in the field of artificial intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that will combine the sum intelligence of mankind, including the full range of human emotion.
Caster’s progress garners him fame, but makes him a target of anti-technology extremists. In an attempt to stop Caster, these extremists inadvertently set him on a path towards his own transcendence, aided by his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max (Paul Bettany). However, Will’s thirst for knowledge evolves into a seeming omnipresent quest for power, one that soon becomes terrifying.
Transcendence deals with the singularity, an event often talked about in a great many of the science documentaries, a point in time when mankind would have created a self-aware artificial intelligence, and shift mankind to another level. Long have there also been projects that hope to record a persons mind, and store it on servers on The Internet. Transcendence looks at these possible futures, and combines this science with a simple story of love, one where Will has a driving passion for his work, and a love for his wife he wishes to protect, and Evelyn’s love for him means she wants more time with him, and the debate becomes how far would she go to achieve this.
The film is well cast, well written, and told in a way that will leave audiences debating their own moral choices. The science is not too involved that it will appeal to sci-fi buffs only, but provides plenty of explanation to the average viewer.
At the heart of all the science, is a love story, and a story that looks at what is is to be human, and how do we define our state of being.
Transcendence, a thought provoking story, of love, and humankind. It opens 30 May 2014 in South Africa.