Within the coming decades we will be able to create AIs with greater than human
intelligence, bio-engineer our species and re-design matter through nanotechnology.
How will future technology change what it means to be human?
The Singularity is defined as the point in time when computer intelligence exceeds human intelligence. This notion of superhuman machines has long served as fodder for tales of science fiction. Yet most scientific leaders argue that these changes are inevitable, based on the great strides being made in fields such as nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and molecular biology. These technologies will radically alter the way we live. Inevitably, the question arises: what kind of humans do we want to become?
Director Doug Wolens sits down with leading futurists, computer scientists, artificial intelligence experts, and philosophers who turn over the discussion like a Rubik’s Cube. We are on the cusp of creating nanotech machines that patrol our bloodstream and repair cellular damage, athletes with jacked-up genetic code who sprint like gazelles, an Internet that downloads directly to the mind, and medical labs with computer-replicated brains working by the thousands to cure disease.
Ultimately, if we become more machine-like, and machines more like us, will we sacrifice our humanity to gain something greater? Or will we engineer our own demise? Even if the answers are impossible to know, THE SINGULARITY film is an AI movie that makes clear we cannot postpone addressing the questions.
The down-to-earth and visually fun animations created by Jerry van de Beek and Betsy de Fries of Little Fluffy Clouds, illustrate the complex ideas with clear and simple artistry. These animations build upon our past notions of the future and playfully complement the talking-head interviews.
The film’s score, composed by renowned cellist Chris Lancaster, resonates to the viewer’s core. Wanting to stay away from heavy-handed music and sound cues, Wolens and Lancaster collaborated to create a cohesive sound that reflects the film’s sensibilities and aesthetics.
THE SINGULARITY is a comprehensive and insightful documentary that examines future technology’s accelerating rate, and deftly addresses the resulting moral questions.
Doug Wolens grew-up in Chicago, earned two BA degrees, a law degree, and spent seven years as a practicing attorney in New York City; he moved to San Francisco and became a filmmaker in 1993. Wolens’s first short, Happy Loving Couples, was selected to screen at the Sundance Film Festival. He’s made two other shorts, Reversal (1994) and In Frame (1995), all of which have played at film festivals throughout the world. His 1996 feature documentary, Weed, premiered at the International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam and had a 40-city theatrical tour of the U.S. In 2000, Wolens feature documentary Butterfly was broadcast nationally on P.O.V. PBS’s award-winning documentary showcase and on The Sundance Channel. Wolens successfully self-distributed Butterfly to more than 50 theatres throughout the country.
Doug lives in San Francisco with his wife Katie and two sons. He is currently making a documentary on American urbanism, racial segregation and equity.
Mark is a freelance general specialist in video production living and working in San Francisco. Mark shoots, edits and creates motion graphics for a wide variety of corporate, nonprofit and independent clients. Mark’s work has appeared on Japanese televisions, international conferences and even the giant screens of Times Square.
In 2002, Mark completed post-production on American Dream 2.0 a feature documentary for which he was also the Director of Photography. American Dream 2.0 explores issues of displacement that occurred in the San Francisco Bay Area during the internet boom.
Little Fluffy Clouds (Jerry van de Beek and Betsy de Fries) specializes in high-end motion graphics and digital animation of all flavors bringing an imaginative edge to every production. Jerry and Betsy like to experiment with different styles and looks ensuring that they are always at the forefront of new technologies. Staying hands-on, by working in 2D, 3D and live-action they mix up the usual to come up with the unusual.
Chrizzy is a composer and performing artist living in New York. His live and recorded music is created by the processing of acoustic cello sound through real-time samplers, audio effects and filtering. He composes predominately for Theater, Dance (including Bill T Jones) . His compositions have been performed at U.C. Irvine; U.C.L.A.; U.C. Berkeley; the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.; the Biennale De La Danse, in Lyon; Bellevue Teatret; Kanon Hallen in Copenhagen; the Kaleidoscope Festival and Sergio Porto in Rio de Janeiro; Dance Theater Workshop; Symphony Space; the 42nd Street Duke; the New Victory Theater; Tisch School of the Arts at NYU; the Joyce and Joyce Soho, in New York; and the American Dance Festival at Duke University. Currently Mr. Lancaster is working on commissions from, Staccato Movimento, Palindrome Inter.media, Colleen Thomas, Sean Curran, and making videos for You Tube.
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