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Transcendent Man (2009)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,511 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 4 critic

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

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Credited cast:
Tom Abate ...
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William Hurlbut ...
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Aaron Kleiner ...
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Sonya Kurzweil ...
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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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1 March 2011 (USA)  »

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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

 
Efficient Documentary Mostly Stays Out of the Way of the Mesmerizing, Thought-Provoking Material it Presents
11 January 2012 | by (Bradenton, FL) – See all my reviews

One part biography, one part brain food; as an appetizer to the thought path of noted futurist Ray Kurzweil, it can be difficult at times to separate fact from fragment over the course of this documentary. Kurzweil's favorite subject is one of increasing relevance, perhaps even by the minute: he seeks to pinpoint the moment of so-called "singularity," when mankind's built-in body chemistry will finally cross the line into his rapidly-developing technological and biological know-how. In short - how soon will we be able to back up our thoughts and feelings to an external hard drive, what sort of moral and philosophical arguments will be made for and against the practice, and where will the ball of wax roll after that debate is behind us? Though its post-production effects can get a bit over-the-top at times, reminding viewers more than once of the over-ambitious "world of tomorrow" predictions popular in the 1950s, the film is largely successful at fostering a curious sort of fascination with the current point in history and the staggering number of possibilities present within our lifetime. Kurzweil himself is to thank for much of that, as his smooth, relaxed speaking gives the impression that anything is possible, even if (as some of his detractors point out during the film's apex) he completely overlooks humanity's tendency to use such moments for evil causes as well as good. Intensely interesting stuff that effectively sows the seeds of conception.


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