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TagWill Caster (character in Transcendence)

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Transcendence Review, Part 2: Spoonful of Water with the Nanotech

When Will — now an AI — “possesses” a tradesman so that he can touch his wife Evelyn again, Evelyn begins to have second thoughts…

Last Saturday, we reviewed reviewed the first half of Transcendence (2014); now, wrapping up, here are some final thoughts. Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) builds her now-AI husband Will (Johnny Depp) his facility, and he begins a variety of experiments using nanotech for rejuvenation. Things seem to be going well enough until a construction worker is mugged outside the facility. Will witnesses the mugging through the cameras and Evelyn has the man brought inside where Will heals his wounds using the tech developed on site. Things seem to be going well… at first. But two problems arise. First, Will allows a video of him healing the man to circulate so that he can attract others to the facility. Second, he puts a…

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Portrait of a man with pixel dispersion effect

Review: Transcendence — The Soul Meets the Singularity

In Part 1 of my review of the 2014 classic, we start with the question: Can a human mind be completely transferred to a computer?

Since Johnny Depp has been all over the news lately, this would be a great time to review his contribution to the world of sci-fi, Transcendence (2014), or as I like to call it, “Oh Great. Now, We Have to Kill the Internet.” The movie plays on two themes. First, there is the idea that futurist Ray Kurzweil calls the Singularity, a moment where AI surpasses humanity. Second, the movie explores two closely related questions: Is there a soul, and does this soul reside within the brain? Johnny Depp’s character, Will Caster, does not believe in the soul, but he does recognize that there is some unmapped region within biological life that allows a human to distinguish between right and…