the film

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 accelerating rate of technological progress.

Clearly, some emerging technologies could have unknown consequences that could lead to catastrophic events or be abused for malicious purposes.

While we cannot be certain of what our future brings, it is nonetheless important to understand the great strides being made in fields such as nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and molecular biology, and how 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 speaks with leading futurists, computer scientists, artificial intelligence experts, and philosophers who turn over the question like a Rubik’s Cube. Those who insist this paradigm shift is only decades away emphasize that we’re 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 makes clear that 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 technology’s accelerating rate, and deftly addresses the resulting moral questions.