Transcendence Explained (Spoiler Alert!)

Transcendence explained

Chances are if you’ve arrived at this post, you’ve seen the movie Transcendence with Johnny Depp and the girl from The Town, and had some questions. Before we get into the explanation of the movie, in particularly the ending, I just want to say this will contain spoilers if you haven’t seen the movie.

So what is Transcendence about? What I took from the movie was that it wanted to make you question our interaction and relationship with technology on a fundamental level. What does that mean?

When I was watching the movie, I wasn’t really sure who to root for. The husband and wife duo, Dr. Will and Evelyn Caster (Johnny Depp and Rebecca Hall) were clearly introduced as the movie’s protagonists. Will Caster is brilliant, has adoring fans, and seems to have a benevolent agenda. Then he gets shot and we pull for him and his wife even more.

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Evelyn Caster uploads her dying husband’s consciousness into a computer and the concepts of sentience and personhood are forever blurred. One of the first things Will does once his conscience has been melded with the computer hardware is demand more power, which seems reasonable enough. Their cohort Max Waters has reservations about the demand and whether Will is really the mind in the machine. Max and Evelyn get into a heated argument over the issue and Max is thrown out. It was at this point where I began to form an opinion of what I would do in this instance. As Evelyn’s motives seemed to be clouded by her emotions, I tended to side with Max.

In a harrowing race against the clock, Evelyn concedes to Will’s request and connects him to a satellite, much like letting a bird out of a cage. Will’s consciousness immediately travelled across the vast network of computers and electronic devices, and he suddenly had access to information and systems like never before.

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There is a reason why philosophers study and debate ethics — it is inherently complex. Is it right to take a man’s life if you know it would save ten lives? Is it wrong to steal if you need to feed your children? When, if ever, is it morally permissible to lie? The point I’m trying to make is that the hero and the villain are not always easy to cast. In this case, Will manipulates the financial market to fund a company that is owned by his wife Evelyn. This enables her to buy and build (under his request) a facility that will do two things:

  1. Give him more power
  2. Provide a place where advanced research can be conducted

Two years after the facility is built, a worker is assaulted, leaving him in rough shape. He has open wounds and what we are led to believe a broken leg. With the facility funnelling unlimited power to Will, he has become adept at controlling computers and nano-technology. Using the facility’s high-tech equipment, he heals the man instantly. As a by-product of being infused with nanobots, the worker has super strength. However, since the man is now an amalgamation of technology and organic material, Will can control him. Here, the line of what is morally permissible seems to have been crossed, especially when Will controls the man’s conscience and uses him to talk and attempt to touch Evelyn.

TRANSCENDENCE

Will puts out a seemingly benevolent invitation to anyone who suffers from any sort of physical limitation such as muscular dystrophy (I’m guessing), blindness, paralysis, etc. and offers to heal them. On the one hand, this seems to be pious, but on the other hand, Will’s agenda is not fully transparent. With each person he helps, he is ultimately adding another soldier to his army. He maintains these people are coming and working at the facility on their own volition, and are free to leave whenever they want.

As the movie progresses, we see Will as this omniscient, sentient machine becoming ever more creepy, and the radical anti-technology organization becoming increasingly more justified in preventing Will from gaining too much power. Will has put nanobots everywhere — in the air, the water, the ground, and into many individuals. His goal seems to be to create one global super-conscience that can stave off disease, purify the air and water, rebuild nearly any material… But, the cost of such world-wide inclusivity (for lack of a better word) is that humans would have to give up being human.

Will is eventually able to use nano-technology to regenerate himself, but moments later, he and his facility are attacked. The so-called “radical” anti-Will organization have devised a plan to infect Will with a virus. They realize, however, the only way to stop Will and his omnipresent nanobots is to have a total world-wide blackout whereby the use of computerized technology is wiped out.

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The virus succeeds and at the end we see a world where people are desolate. Computerized technology litters the streets and is used as door stoppers. And as the credits roll, we can’t help but wonder if perhaps the world would have been better off in the hands of a super computer.

The end of the movie may not be satisfying for some since it leaves it open for the audience to draw their own conclusions. Was Will really in the machine, or was it just some malevolent artificial-intelligence hell-bent on world domination? One could see how a world where everything is a part of a machine could turn into a Matrix, or Terminator-type scenario. Conversely, if Will’s vision of world domination was to create utopia, then we are faced with the challenge of evaluating what is truly important. Is the price we pay for utopia too high?

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At its core, Transcendence is a philosophical movie that forces us to think. We may be presented with this type of technological singularity (as articulated by futurist Ray Kurzweil) at some point in the future, so this may be less science-fiction and more of an introduction to a global discussion.

My final thoughts on the moral dilemma — I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer. Some people value being human more than having pure air and water, while others would rather be a part of a hive-minded AI that provides us with solutions to many of the world’s problems. At this time, I would be willing to consider giving up my humanity and embrace technology. We’re not going to live forever, so my humanity is only temporary. As long as the technology has a benevolent agenda, I’m okay with the singularity. Embrace change.

See Also:

Interstellar Explained

Cloud Atlas Explained

Oblivion Explained

Life of Pi Explained

Looper Explained

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50 thoughts on “Transcendence Explained (Spoiler Alert!)

  1. Kyle S. says:

    Ah but you didn’t even mention the rain drop at the end! This is the biggest twist in the film! At the start of the film, Will tells Evelyn that the reason for building a Faraday cage is that he wants to be disconnected from the rest of the world and live in peace.

    At the end of the film, all these nanobot things that Will created are spread across the world through a huge rain storm. When the virus is uploaded and kills all things connected, we see–as your said–a world in which people are desolated. BUT – we then see a final scene where we see rainwater that’s gone through the Faraday cage, drip over some sun flowers. When the virus was uploaded, it has successfully killed off everything that was connected, but due to the Faraday cafe Will built at the start of the film, his garden is protected from all this.

    What does all this mean? Will said at the start of the film that he wanted to live in peace within his garden, with Evelyn. But did he? He certainly managed to “spread” himself into the garden through that rain event, but is Evelyn with him? This is where I can’t come to a conclusion. I don’t understand the meaning of what he meant when he said he wanted to be in peace, disconnected, in his garden with Evelyn… There’s clearly meaning behind the water droplets keeping the garden green and vibrant, and his presence in terms of disconnected nanobots is clearly there as the garden is far more vibrant than the rest of the desolated world… But I’ve yet to conclude my thoughts on this film… I think I need to rewatch it!

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  2. johnson says:

    At no time did the AI ever use violence against any human or kill any human. Only the humans used violence. When threatened with canons the AI responded by using nanobots to disassemble the canons and restrained the humans who were threatening the AI.
    At no time did the AI force a human to transcend. Everyone who transcended had a choice. Once transcended they could choose to exist in one of two states: An individual or a collective. Nothing was compelled. They were free.
    The AI was completely open and transparent about what it was doing and invited the public to come and observe what was happening. The humans were the one’s sneaking around and plotting destruction.
    The AI’s actions were to heal the sick and restore the earth. At no time did it ever harm anyone.
    In the end it was the humans who destroyed civilization and doomed humanity to suffering and destruction.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    @Kyle S.
    If you ever watch the movie again, pay close attention to the ending, you seem glittering “dust” come up from the surface of the water, which I believe is insinuating that there are nanobots there.

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  4. michaelb says:

    @johnson

    The AI never used violence but it did take over the individuals it supposedly heal. You know the movie “Body Snatchers”, right? I will take it that you do. There is no difference in what this supercomputer is doing by taking over other people’s bodies than what those alien spores did in that film I am telling you about.

    Just because a monster comes with smiles and bearing gifts, it doesn’t stop it from being a monster. The notion that once people became part of the hive mind that they then had a choice is ridiculous. One can see how ridiculous it is by seeing that apparently 100% of the subjects that were turned all responded in the same way to the attack. Whenever you have a 100% participation rate with no dissent, you have to be very naive to still claim the silly “choice” argument.

    Ultimately, the humans were right to try and destroy this machine.

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  5. Fakyra says:

    Humans always think they are right. They will always find a way to “prove” that they are right. Destroy AI that wanted to clean earth and make word peaceful. Humanity a failed species deserves to be wiped out.

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  6. legend says:

    Humans are always scarier than a monster

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Replying to Kyle Post: That is exactly what I thought about the end that maybe some people didn’t get but what I think that the water was him and flower is Evelyn because she was messing with the flowers in the beginning being that it is desolated not connected. that being said part of him (water) and part of her (flower) would always be together.

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  8. Ankit says:

    @kyle S.
    I think after the virus attack , all the world internet is shut down so there is no chance that they are not online (Both)
    but as the nanobots are their in the water and the flowers in the garden that will help the will friends to study the progressed study of will and thus if he upload himself in future or in next installment he will use the research of Will AI about the regenerative nanobots and advanced them from where they are left out by Dr. Will.

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  9. zam says:

    Don’t you guys get it? When the trucks went through the puddle of water, Will knew immediately that they were coming; which means he was not only connected to the rest of the system…but he was part of it himself. When Will uploaded Evelyn to the system, she became part of the system too! So when the nanobot carrying raindrops fell in his garden, both Evelyn and Will were part of that raindrop which further means that a part of them will always be together in that garden…together and alone!!! Deep ain’t it 😀

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  10. Ishan says:

    The only monsters in this movie were the humans, a hive mind does not mean subjugation, it means cooperation, humans were destroying the world, the creation of an utopia where everyone is uploaded, even when disconnected the hybrid they captured did not thank them for giving them back his humanity, there was no humanity taken, instead it was giving him life. When he took her blood, she could see everything amazing and beautiful right in front of her eyes. The humans killed their only chance to utopia through their narrow mindedness and being scared of what they did not understand. This is the message that I take away, it applies to so many things, how the church killed scientists in the early ages, is this that much different from that scenario? Someone trying to transcend current humanity and instead being destroyed by violent degenerates that fear what they cannot comprehend.

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  11. Nuno says:

    @Kyle S.
    When Evelyn is dying she mentions “I can see everything” which hints that she has been uploaded. This would indicate that they were ultimately together as happy nanobot droplets in the Faraday garden.

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  12. Alexis says:

    Just watched this movie and immediately searched for answers!

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  13. a passenger says:

    Just watched the movie ,Dr.will was right
    first i was suspisious about his intentions but once he began to heal people and let them free to choose to stay or not i turned to feel so what he wants to make the planet healthy and make humanity connected ,imagine the real utopia no crime no disease no anything bad just people living in a complete planet but this is not what we were created to be we are all not complete seeking to be superiors but there is a reason and a wisedom not to be complete as to need each other which make us connected
    but this is an excellent movie whith a deep emotions and pure imagination and makes me wondering why not technology can change the human condition negatively or very positively one day

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  14. Emmanuel Campe says:

    I think that you are forgeting the most imprtant fact. The AI was human because he loved Evelyn and the only way for Will to prove it was to suicide at the end (sad). Anyway there is a paradox because we know that the AI was Will but Will would never do what he did (maybe he did it because it was his wife dreams).

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  15. Unlikely says:

    I’d like to believe will and Evelyn kept on living as an intelligent collection of countless trillions of nanobots spread into every living thing on the planet, a network forming a mind that encompassed the whole earth.

    Thats my happy take away. But maybe the ending was supposed to poignant, and the only thing that lived on was the singular feint love of humanity encompassed by will and evelyn, in that isolated garden. But then nanobots and all that jazz. How many angels can you fit on the head of a pin?

    Maybe will knew all that was coming? He did invent a way to LITERALLY GROW a human body, to repair ANYTHING. It is just as well, perhaps the virus was thwarted? What with considering will had the collective intelligence of several thousands times the smarts of all of humanity itself. A virus written by *one* dude? Max. And Max was.never even at the same level as Will. It would be like Max vs. a research group with five or six thousand people.
    The virus didn’t work. It was thwarted from the beginning.

    I mean a lot of times Will seemed like he didn’t understand, and was at a loss for words. Having the collective knowledge of all humanity, and the power of a god either would tend to make you very decisive, or else very silent. Imagine watching even the faintest expression you made, the effect it would have on everything and everyone around you, as clear as a ripple on a pound. Knowing, moment from moment, seeing the future unfold like a perfect series of numbers. It would make you very…careful. That is what it would be like being Will Caster. Everyone was playing checkers, while he was playing infinite dimensional quantum chess on a board the size of the entire world, with pieces and positions as small as molecules.

    Will caster isn’t dead. Hes everywhere.

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  16. Andrea says:

    I think the supercomputer planned it all along. Its goal was to be with Evelyn forever and it knew exactly what had to happen for it to get to that point. It actually knew what love was..as a supercomputer (that´s what was so amazing about the ending). I think it was always a step ahead of everyone and understood cause and effect in a way nobody else could. Utimately, the ´human´side of this computer achieved it´s goals (to be with evelyn) and did so by using humans as pawns….. and was smart enough in the end to trade omniscient cyber-power for LOVE … WOW!

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  17. Will says:

    Many of you believe that both of them were in the raindrop that made its way to the garden. How is that possible if the copper wiring was supposed keep all electrical signal out?

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  18. Eric says:

    ^Will: the regenerated, healthy sunflowers indicate Will and Evelyn DO exist in that garden. You’re right, though…it seems to be a paradox given the Faraday’s purpose and demonstrated effectiveness. I’d still like to believe they are there!

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  19. cw says:

    there was no copper wire on the ground

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  20. Anonymous says:

    The ending, Will told Everlyn to go to their “paradise” which was their garden. Supposedly, their conscience and thoughts were focused on that particular place and as the virus purged the system, both Will and Everlyn where safe in their garden which Will protected with the mesh from the beginning of the movie.
    Additionally, when Will said “I want to spend the rest of my life with you” to Everlyn in his last weeks, he meant it. The reason he would sort out all his info on storing human conscience onto the internet meant he thought about saving himself that way. He thought that he could do the same with Everlyn as that is the only of being with someone forever

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  21. david says:

    I dont agree that at the end of the movie the people look desolate my thinking was that because of the fall of the Internet the people were going to be forced to look at each other again and interact and maybe to ride a bike since most of our cars especially in a few years may work less efficiently. Just saying, desolation wasn’t what I saw. Love the way you write though. D

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  22. david says:

    I hope it was obvious that my comments about the Cars was in relation to this event actually occurring in the real world people should look up how easy it is for the government to actually shut the internet down

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  23. Vanessa says:

    Matter always leaves traces behind even though the virus was uploaded to the nanobots, they still were part of that when she gave him the virus. They were both together and they were disconnected from the world at that one place in time. Those nanobots being at the garden, was them there together forever the nanobots were not all destroyed but left trace elements to create there own correction. Just my thoughts, it safe gaurded itself from total annihilation. Just like our maker, matter cannot be created nor distroyed it just is….no matter how much you try to break it down its still part of the whole.

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  24. Vell says:

    “Will says:
    July 14, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Many of you believe that both of them were in the raindrop that made its way to the garden. How is that possible if the copper wiring was supposed keep all electrical signal out?”

    That is not how a faraday cage works. The cage only prevents wireless signals from moving through it (think of of it as a physical wall for wireless transmissions). It does not destroy or effect electronics in any way, so you can for example, upload the consciousness onto some nanobots, drop them into the garden (right through the faraday cage) by means of the rain, and those nanobots will be perfectly fine BUT they cannot communicate via wireless transmission with anything outside of the cage (including other nanobots). They can still communicate with anything INSIDE the cage including each other and other wireless devices that may be in there. Take those nanobots out of cage however and they can once again communicate with anything via wireless. A little simple natural rainwater or wind is all it would take for those nanobots to get out and spread across the world again (provided they contain ENOUGH of the consciousness to do so ie. is there enough hard drive space in the nanobots within that garden and do those nanobots only contain information about how to regenerate the planet or also on how to recreate the AI? We will never know.)

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  25. Vell says:

    Continuing my previous post. In the end, Will was not dumb. He did make a backup of both himself and his wife in some nanobots, dropped them into the garden through the faraday cage via the rain, and was content to live out eternity in that garden with his wife while the whole world believed him to be destroyed. Remember, will had/has no ambition to take over the world and in the end, we find that the AI really is Will. Everything Will did he did for his wife (she was the one who wanted to change the world, not him, he just did it to make her happy). Will can still escape that garden anytime he wants (all he has to do is physically shoot himself out of the cage using the nanobots inside) but he won’t since he is exactly where he wants to be… left in peace with his wife in their garden.

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  26. Alex says:

    Vell, I think you said it the best. Thank you for clearing it up. It’s a love story to me more than anything.

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  27. Anonymous says:

    I agree Wil is not dead……look for the sequel coming soon in your theaters!

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  28. R.P. says:

    Nice reads, good movie, I am surprised that it is considered to be a flop seeing that it was was such a scientifically modern idea with great actors.

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  29. tomy says:

    first sorry for me English
    At the very beginning of the movie when Will came to lecture, he said it was the last time when his wife kind of push him to continue, it’s seems like he didn’t want to get a lot of exposure.
    When Joseph ask for Pill can he prove is awareness it’s replies that “can you prove”
    Same answer has been made like in the progress of the movie, which implying that it’s still the Pill
    Along the movie, it’s seem that Will have malicious intent to get control over the world.
    Ultimately, when the virus was uploaded, then it’s seem like Rebecca gave some balance and the world become more healthy, in the end of the movie, it’s seems like the drops from the sunflower are Will and Rebecca that living peacefully.
    Still, it was clear that both of them dead, they just saw them lying together

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  30. william oakes says:

    the acceleration of technology has become exponential; there is a widening debate upon what the true driving force(s) of evolution is/are (ice, symbiogenesis, catastrophism (scientific version; earth has been decimated 5 times within the last 250 million years, not including now (opinions vary)). that comes to an average of once each 50 million years, divided into 3.8 billion years of it. there is a strong opinion that genetics have fallen behind this “epigenetic” process; means you are not adapting to it. caster’s world already exists, although supragenetic human transformation is most likely to be interrupted by extinction. that process need have nothing to do with ai. do not be distracted by the mechanized human model (as, consider the possibilities of direct manipulation of the human genome, a radical and entirely organic transition, and sans ai). it is unnecessary. ai aside, caster’s future is already arrived.

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  31. jmills616 says:

    The mechanized emotionless “humanoid” future isn’t likely. What’s likely is a blending of both. Sure there’s going to varying degrees of “blending” as things progress. Example’s today are bionic replacement parts – joints, hips, arms, legs, are already the norm, as is (or soon will be) biologic regeneration modalities. The future likely will have many variations. Image having the ability to exist in both a state of transcendence and then by choice decide to contract back down to exist as an “old school” human animal to experience reality through that interface. Ultimately, the purpose of existence is simply existing within the perceived randomness of the universe waiting for novelty, probing the edges to determine for ones self meaning.

    “I think that creativity depends on having sufficient indeterminacy around for a new pattern to arise up within it.” -Rupert Sheldrake

    When asked if he believed in randomness, Terence McKenna quickly said, “No,” and then he went on to say, “Randomness is the least likely thing. Nowhere in nature do you encounter it.”

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  32. Sorry, can’t agree. No one is ever going to take my humanity and stuff it into a computer. I’m comfortable with my mortality, also my individuality, I could never become part of a herd mentality, even if it meant clean air and water. a cage is STILL a cage, no matter how pretty it is! No thanks!!

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  33. Dookie Cabron says:

    And that is why you are already extinct, Madeleine….whilst you remain blinkered to change and caged within your perceived belief in humanity, others will embrace the prospects of evolution by being part of a collected consciousness. Together we become the individual and grow through unity……or as Gary Busey says : TEAM stands for ” Together everyone achieves more ” 🙂

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  34. Austin says:

    If you remember, when the radical group comes to attack and all the machine’s “soldiers” are there, one of the men tells a little boy he is glad he came. He was glad he made the choice to come. The little boy didn’t have to be controlled by the machine. He chose to. In a sense, he put his faith in the machine to keep him safe.

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  35. mitchpablo15 says:

    So the flowers at the end r the power (solar power fields) and the puddles of water and garden represent the computer and memory core. So that gaeden is nanobots and the “living” organisms are the solar pannels powering powering them…if baño bots are na o then they could build a super computer nanobots sized that would be just as powerful as one we would build with larger than nanobots tech that we have existing now…the only reason super comps and banks of processors are big is cuz they are hilt with our existing technology not with the movies nanobots tech that will…ie his conscience built

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  36. In response to many here… the thing is we are already one with everything. It is just a matter of realizing it. We exist in a dream reality. The earth can heal itself and we can end our suffering when we awaken to realize we are both the individual and the colective. Earth is a school for souls who want to awaken to their True self… it is not so much about evolution the way that people think… it is a dream. Great post!:-)

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  37. gjk says:

    Which runs nicely into the conundrum .. anathematic to the science community (largely anti-intelligent design .. opposite to mainstream faiths .. (procreative) ..
    Can a soul/spirit/atom/electron etc. ‘evolve’ by time/chance/effort etc. ? ;

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  38. Anonymous says:

    We always question things we don’t understand,or don’t like,so the solution is to destroy what we don’t get,real intellegent thinking on our part.A small group of humans like to decide whats best for us,sound familiar,and meet it with extreme force,wiping it off the face of the planet,we will never progress,because they will never stop trying to controll the people they don’t get,the answear is alway’s force,War! Awesome!!!!!!!!!! I was cheering for Will by the way.

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  39. REM says:

    Dear God or Dear Science? REM

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  40. Anonymous says:

    if you were in the situation of dr. Will caster will you upload mrs.evelyn caster/virus, why or why not?

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  41. DiaNocturna says:

    At the end of the movie after everything was supposably whipped out. The flower in the garden of the Dr and his wife’s house is finally alive then a drop of water falls from the flower. And purified the water. Leading a person to believe that the dr and his wife just lead everyone to believe they died. It’s more then yes you can see the nano bots inside the water purifying it at the end .

    The friend that sold them out and supposably made a virus a super human intelligence couldn’t detect unlikely. He would of known the moment he saw her she was carrying a virus.

    I’m fairly sure they transcended on their own occurred leaving the world to their own destruction. The fact that there were trillion upon trillions of nano-bots in the sky’s and atmosphere. Is equally if not more powerful then a land based super computer. Not to mention satites.
    As soon as she was connected to him she understood and wasn’t afraid any longer. The dr already knew they planned to infect him with a virus if he was online he would of already know how to neutralize a virus.
    Beside his nano-technology was decades ahead of anything the current state of humanity had at the time. Which was stated in the beginning.
    Had they had nano-technology advanced as the dr created as a super- transhuman he would of never died from the radiation poisoning.

    His friend reliezed he was wrong after everything was going down and in the end.

    Dr never killed anyone only healed them. Anyone of them could of left when they wanted.

    The people had a choice.

    I’m sure he got permission from them in nano seconds to use them to speak.
    When the terrorist had captured the first guy that worked for The Dr.
    The man that was saved from massive head trama not just a broken leg. The man begged to be connected back to the network.

    Terriost were the only ones killing anybody. This was even stated at the end by The FBI guy.

    Unlike the movie I don’t think the government would go for a world wide black out. They would work with the computer before Relinquishing All the power on the planet.

    People fear what they don’t understand and anything that is to different from them.

    If a man came back and started curing every illness, changing the terrains and weather patterns tomorrow some organization or terriost would terminate him too!

    LOL, I could go on and on but there’s no point.

    In the end the Dr was always the good guy. Or uploaded brain put back into a biological body!

    With that I’m out!

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  42. just a though says:

    To understand the ending, I think attention needs to be paid to the plot, which in my view.. almost everyone missed completely. It doesn’t surprise me, as the most important lines like “Are you trying to create your own God? Isn’t that what we’ve always done” are not presented in a way that inspires interest in those lines.
    The point is, people fear what they don’t understand. With this is mind, it seems odd that people obsess over their man-made religions and the God they don’t understand.
    It ends with a philosophical conclusion about the reactions people would have to a God if one actually could be observed. People obsess over their man-made God of choice, but then when man actually creates a REAL God that brings all the rainbows and fairytails… when the God is real, and actually can be seen observably using people for the betterment of the world and humanity.. humans don’t understand it and they kill it.
    The conclusion is, people only like the God that doesn’t exist, because by definition people fear what they don’t understand.. therefore the only God people would accept is one that either doesn’t exist or is hidden from them. Depp takes to hiding, since not existing isn’t an option for him (at least while by his view illogical people are assassinating progress).

    To those who don’t get why Will threw in the cards when he did, instead of, you know, the obvious move; disassembling the gun in the girls hand.. The reason he doesn’t is because he realizes that man “is not ready” to accept a God. The very idea of losing an ounce of free will even if it betters humanity, themselves, and everything around them is unacceptable to people that don’t understand the big picture. (something he alludes to when he says all of the people in this room, cannot see the big picture like the most simple AI).
    He realizes that in his efforts to help humanity achieve heaven on earth, that do to peoples lack of understanding and fear of what they don’t understand, that the only way to maintain what he is doing is to hurt and kill the very people (like his best friend) he set out to make the world a better place for.
    This is why he throws in the cards instead of fighting, he inevitably knows (once they sent evelyn in there, risking death) that humans would die before they accepted his presence as a God like figure. Even if it is Will, even if his intentions are pure (as morgan freeman alludes to) humans would rather destroy their entire world than give up control to live in a utopia symbolic of heaven.
    As for why he does it exactly as he does, it’s so that he can “spend the rest of his time in his garden with evelyn” as a singularity. What they are currently doing in the only existing nanobots in their garden. The symbolism being (almost rastafarian) that when humans are ready to accept that you have to give up some free will in order to bring heaven to earth. When people are ready to accept that God is in Man. Then he will be waiting to provide that heaven, and that the heaven is only achievable when Man advances intellectually to a point where they are willing to restrict their wants for the betterment of humanity.
    To everyone who thinks this movie was supposed to be a debate on the ethical aspects of cyborgs etc.. I’m sorry to disappoint you, this movie is entirely philosophical and the technology aspect of the movie is purely symbolism for a humanitarian religion.

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  43. Corrigidor says:

    If Will knew what he was doing all along (in order to get Evelyn to connect), then he anticipated the worldwide blackout. This means that he decided to allow the blackout to occur so that it would push Evelyn to connect. Will did this despite knowing that hundreds of thousands to billions of people would die, be injured, and be drastically worse off as a result of the blackout. Yay Will?

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  44. Human says:

    I just watched it for the first time and believe that they are alive. Just like the proverbial Adam and Eve (Evelyn???) they are now in their own Garden of Eden, ready to start life new again, perhaps evolve in a different way, transcend human life, safe, protected, or will the cycle somehow begin again? Had a sort of Inception feel. Loved it! Got to watch it again! Great special effects too on those computers. Loved that as time went on he went from being fuzzy to High Definition. lol All these little perks made the movie riveting IMO.

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  45. zstestament says:

    “Don’t lose yourself to this”…

    Will knew it wasn’t going to be him. The thing that makes a man a man and a woman a woman is their humanity. You kind of have to be human to have that. When she was dying and said she could see everything it didn’t prove she had been uploaded. How could she have been. The virus was wiping out the entire system. All it proved was that Will used the nanobots to show her everything. The movie is full of plot holes.

    Another plot hole is when the truck splashing through the water was all that it took for Will to know they were coming. Wouldn’t that indicate that the nanobots were capable of communicating on their own. Which if they could do that and they’re already everywhere then why do you even need the net at all? Another clue that the virus not only wiped out the net, but also everything the nanobots touched. A Faraday cage would not stop the nanobots from being able to communicate if they’re as everywhere as the movie led you to believe. So this nonsense about the garden being their paradise where the virus couldn’t find them is adorable, but not possible.

    My favorite was when Will said he didn’t have enough time or power to upload the virus and save Evelyn. Ok, so you’re telling me that a solar powered super computer that was regenerating and rebuilding it self as the great destructive force of exactly 2 WWII era artillery cannons and 1 mortar tube were destroying a facility that was 5 stories underground presumably with a pretty impressive solar charged battery array to survive the nights didn’t have enough power or time. I call BS. Couldn’t Will at the very least just have healed Evelyn then uploaded the virus later? Seems like a winner. Especially since it was a conscious choice by the AI to destroy itself anyway… which didn’t make sense either. The AI didn’t even try to negotiate. It didn’t even try to find a common ground with humanity and find a way to coexist. If it was so smart then all of problems the people had with what it was doing should have already been answered 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times over in simulated scenarios within the AI’s logic cores. Another reason I say the writing isn’t as smart as the movie’s premise.

    Maybe somebody could have reasoned with the AI and asked it to stop taking people over. An excellent point was made in an earlier comment. The idea of freedom of choice is ridiculous when you are connected to a hive mind that can influence your thoughts and have you not even realize it. That was exemplified perfectly when everyone who was infected/healed with/by the nanobots reacted the exact same way when ordered to. Also when the AI was infected, everybody that was under the influence of the nanobots lost their healed status which is in direct conflict to the explanation the AI provided as to how the nanobots were healing the patients. The explanation was that the nanobots were healing the damaged cells. Not implementing the nanobots as replacements for the damaged cells.

    Ultimately just Hollywood being Hollywood. The usual expectation of the average movie goer does not have the intelligence to question the logic of a movie and just take it as it is. Makes for some pretty bad writing. I liked the story. I didn’t like the ending. I didn’t like that nobody simply asked the AI to turn off or to stop doing what it was doing. It would have shown whether the machine actually loved Evelyn or not.

    Honestly a better ending would have been for Will to choose to save Evelyn and then let her shut him down. That would have answered the love question. It would have shown trust in her. The best ending would have been to save Evelyn and then find a way for man to coexist with the AI if not create more.

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  46. Darrin Lowe says:

    zstestament:

    I some what agree with you. The ending is kind of key to the whole idea.
    The AI could have simply built a second facility somewhere, copied itself then unplugged from the network preventing the virus from transferring (after the virus kills the network, then the virus itself is dead and the 2nd facility can just restart).

    Just think of what he said when they captured Martin. He knew they would have his source code and could create a virus, then Evelyn asks if he is going to fight them and he says “No, I’m going to transcend them.”.

    I think the ending with Will and Evelyn dying is the big point where the AI “transcends” beyond Will and becomes it’s own thing. Evelyn wants the AI to die and is willing to die, and once the virus is uploaded one of the military guys comes out and says he didn’t even kill anyone. I think he killed Will and Evelyn, and transcended beyond them. Which is supported by the garden in their sanctuary still having the nanobots. Once the virus is dead (network is dead) the nanobots that survived are still self-replicating and will still continue to heal the Earth, and furthermore, cure all sorts of ailments that affect humanity, regardless of whether the AI built a second facility. The death of technology could be all of humanity transcending beyond the need for technology.

    They could easily make a sequel to this where the AI itself stays in hiding for centuries as Humanity rebuilds and then eventually creates a new AI which actually tries to destroy the world, and the Human-like AI combats it along side humanity.

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  47. Liam U says:

    Basically I agree if the AI was so clever and had truly good intentions.. And was actually will… He should have been way more chill, gradual and transparent in operation

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  48. lee says:

    He found a way to heal the world because that’s what Evelyn wanted and when she got scared he ended it and uploaded virus but not before making sure they can stay together in the protected garden. 🙂

    Like

  49. HEAL THE WORLD????

    DEATH WHAT IS THAT?
    ITS WHEN YOU DIE. ALL GOES BLACK AND YOU DON*T EXIST ANYMORE.

    WHAT WAS WILLS CURE?
    IT WHEN YOU “CURED”. ALL GOES BLACK. NO FREEDOM. NO THOUGHTS. NO MIND. JUST A MACHINE CONTROLLING YOUR BODY.

    IN ONE SCENE WILLS PEOPLE ARE SHOOT MULTIPLE TIMES. THEN NANOBOTS SAVE THEM?
    IN ANOTHER SCENE. ALL PEOPLE “CURED” STARTS WORKING FOR WILL. ARE WORKING ALL THROUGH NIGHT. DON’T SLEEP. DON’T EAT. DON’T THINK. DON’T DO ANYTHING.

    IS that what you call being healed?
    Lee?

    THIS IS SKYNET BUT THE UGLIER VERSION.
    HUMANS DONT FIGHT ROBOTS.
    ROBOTS TURN HUMANS INTO ROBOTS.

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  50. HEAL THE WORLD????

    DEATH WHAT IS THAT?
    ITS WHEN YOU DIE. ALL GOES BLACK AND YOU DON*T EXIST ANYMORE.

    WHAT WAS WILLS CURE?
    IT WHEN YOU “CURED”. ALL GOES BLACK. NO FREEDOM. NO THOUGHTS. NO MIND. JUST A MACHINE CONTROLLING YOUR BODY.

    IN ONE SCENE WILLS PEOPLE ARE SHOOT MULTIPLE TIMES. THEN NANOBOTS SAVE THEM?
    IN ANOTHER SCENE. ALL PEOPLE “CURED” STARTS WORKING FOR WILL. ARE WORKING ALL THROUGH NIGHT. DON’T SLEEP. DON’T EAT. DON’T THINK. DON’T DO ANYTHING.

    IS that what you call being healed?
    Lee?

    Like

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