Super AI in Transcendence – Will it become a reality?

Last week, i watched Transcendence movie, played by great actor Johnny Depp. The first time i saw the trailer, it looks like horror or thriller movie. But i was wrong. It was purely science fiction movie. And what stunned me more that the whole story was about how the scientists wanted to build a super AI, which can translate human brain functioning into data or AI.

Simply, the story is about Dr. Will Caster who has been researched how to map brain and integrate it with AI so that it will create super AI, which has automatic learning process just like genius human being, not just by applying several rules or learning algorithms like nowadays AI. This idea, however, scared some activists that said if that thing was achieved, it will cause harm for human. Activists have begun their actions, they attacked many AI research centers, they killed many AI scientists and Dr Will was not an exception. They shot Dr Will with radioactive things that damage his body slowly from inside.

Before Will died, his wife tried to map his brain to AI (using their colleagues unfinished researches). And, it worked! So, Dr Will’s was alive again as AI now, with his cognitive and emotions too. Just imagine, your brain copied to hard drive, and then the computer acts like you, talk like you. Isn’t it interesting (in fact, I think it’s really frustrating and terrifying).

Fast forward, Dr. Will guided his wife to build their own super high-tech data center in far far away land (to avoid public mass), including solar panel electricity (wow that’s really cool). Dr. Will became like God. He could repair almost anything (organic and anorganic things), thanks to his godlike intelligence, that he obtained through browsing the internet. I imagined his learning process like this, he asked his wife to connect him to internet, and then he just copied all the data in the internet like we copy file or folder, and he obtained (i think almost all) intelligence that now spread through internet. He found biological method to cure wound fast, with stem cell technologies.

In the movies, he was described as the invincible. Human attacks would not harm them lot, because he regenerated all the wound fast. Even worse, he could ‘inserted’ his code through particles like water and air. So, if you drink that kind of water, theoretically, Dr. Will could control all of your body and mind (as long as you connected through wifi?). In the end, Dr Will lost not because of the human attacks. It’s because he still has human emotion that finally he just voluntary gave way to human to win. He let his wife injecting the virus that able to stop him.

Honestly, I was quite scared watching this movie. It’s not like horror movies which you are getting scared because of supernatural power. I am scared because I think it was quite achievable. It was really realistic to build that things (super AI) on the real world (according to film) which can translate human brain and cognitive process to data/bits, although I don’t know how long will it become a reality. Don’t you think it’s scary if there is robot or AI that can learn anything that it get too smart and someday will defeat human, control human life? Even worse, how if the AI ‘turned off’ his emotion, not like Dr Will, and it act like God?

I personally think that someday, what was ‘invented’ in movies will finally become real objects in real world. Just look at Star Trek movies (it was filmed around 1960-1970, i guess). There were scenes that Captain Piccard hold iPad-like gadget. It was just like the tablet nowadays. And guess what, now tablet is easily to find everywhere.

When we watch movies, we should be imagining that someday it can really happen in our world (except mythical God came like Thor :p)