2012-07-16

The Singularity movie is near

IMDB says The Singularity Is Near, Ray Kurzweil's film adaptation of his 2005 book, is opening in the US this Friday. I don't know where they got this date from (all the other sources I can find just say "Summer"), but let's spread the word anyway. After all, the more people are expecting it to open on Friday, the more incentive there'll be for it to actually open on Friday. (And if the movie's release can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, then maybe its subject matter can as well, but that's another story.)

TSIN is part documentary and part science fiction, and you probably don't have to agree with many of Kurzweil's predictions to appreciate both parts. In the documentary scenes, Kurzweil interviews dozens of experts, gathers opposing viewpoints about the history and future of technology like any good documentarian, and presents his own conclusions.

The fiction side chronicles the growth and development of Kurzweil's robotic avatar/companion Ramona (Pauley Perrette), and her fight for legal personhood after she becomes sentient. Her courtroom defence, presented by civil-rights champion Alan Dershowitz (as himself), should be interesting to anyone who follows the ethical and political side of high tech.

Since it's already been screened at film festivals, one critical review and one IMDB user review are available. Both were positive, even though neither reviewer likely saw the final cut. And while the sample is small, at least the film-festival audience probably wasn't as biased in Kurzweil's favour as the one he could have gotten by, say, only screening it at Singularity University.