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Transcendent Man (2009)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,372 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 4 critic

Ray Kurzweil is on a journey to bring his ideas to the world.

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TRANSCENDENT MAN chronicles the life and ideas of Ray Kurzweil, an inventor and futurist that presents his bold vision of the Singularity, a point in the near future when technology will be changing so rapidly, that we will have to enhance ourselves with artificial intelligence to keep up. Ray predicts this will be the dawning of a new civilization in which we will no longer be dependent on our physical bodies, we will be trillions of times more intelligent and there will be no clear distinction between human and machine, real reality and virtual reality. Human aging and illness will be reversed; world hunger and poverty will be solved and we will ultimately cure death. Critics accuse Ray of being too optimistic and argue that the dangers of the Singularity far outweigh the benefits, pointing out the apocalyptic implications that once machines achieve consciousness, we may not be able to control them. Whether Rays controversial ideas incite excitement or fear, dogma or disbelief this ... Written by Felicia Ptolemy and Celia Black

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Will compete in the World Documentary Feature Competition at the Tribeca Film Festival 2009. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent documentary of a man and his vision of the future
22 April 2011 | by See all my reviews

Ray Kurzweil has known he wanted to be an inventor from the age of 5, and has now been at it for all those years. Along the way he realized that the timing of inventions was critical to their success, otherwise most inventions fail. Think e-readers 10 years ago, tablet PC's 7 years ago, and the Apple Newton – all bombs then, but now the timing is right. So he started analyzing technology trends and discovered the "law of accelerating returns"; in summary that technology grows in a predictable and exponential patterns and that amazing things our in our future. Ray has had amazing success with his publicly made predictions. For instance, in the book "The Age of Spirtual Machines", he made 147 predictions for the year 2009, of which 86% are correct or essentially correct. (Reference: "How My Predictions are Faring, Ray Kurzweil, Oct. 2010; http://c0068172.cdn2.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/predictions.pdf ) In other words when Ray Kurzweil speaks, people listen and you should too. I will admit, when I first heard is ideas of how man will evolve with technology, I was quite skeptical. But as I dug deeper into why he was saying this would happen, I began to see the trends are in his favor. Think about it; have you noticed that technology has been moving at a quickening pace lately?

The film follows Ray over several years, catching him on his lecture circuit, at his company, his home, and traveling about. Throughout the film Ray explains the "law of accelerating returns" and where it will lead to. Also Ray's critics and supporters give their opinions throughout. Ray himself seems to be an incredibly calm individual who rarely strays from his relaxed tone of speaking. Ray's trends predict that technology trends are crossing over into health-care and that if you can live for another 15 years you have the chance of living a very long time. Ray's predictions give us hope in a time when so much around us seems gloomy. The documentary is a fascinating look at Ray and his ideas, and I highly recommend it.


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