By Nilufer Atik
Human genetic modification might sound like a science fiction fantasy, but it’s increasingly becoming part of our reality. The topic was touched upon in more ways than one in the recent film Transcendence. While it proved a disappointment at the box office and attracted many negative reviews for its ropey characters, dialogue and structure, the thought-provoking themes in the film exceeded its narrative grasp and may well have dealt with reality much more than we realise.
The movie, released in 2014, tells the story of a dying scientist called Will (played by Johnny Depp) whose drive for artificial intelligence takes on dangerous implications when his consciousness is uploaded into a quantum computer. When Will’s ‘soul’ survives his body’s death, he asks to be connected to the Internet so he can grow in capability and knowledge.
His thirst for power soon takes a sinister turn in the film however, as he begins to release nanoparticles into the atmosphere, which enable him to remotely connect to and control people’s minds.
It may sound far-fetched and little more than science fiction fluff. But there is actually a growing army of people worldwide who not only believe a scenario like this may one day be a possibility, but that it is the only way to progress and save the human race.