The Singularity is Near
is a 2008 documentary directed by Ray Kurzweil, author of the book of the same name. The film deals with artificial intelligence and the future of humanity, laying out Kurzweil's law of accelerating returns and what that could mean for technology, industry, and the definition of what it means to be human.
The film also features a sci-fi storyline about an artificial intelligence named Ramona, and the changes she undergoes from her creation to becoming completely self-aware. She also must fight for her right to be recognized as a conscious person.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Ramona is viewed as a threat by the government, who seek to delete her. She is forced to file for federal recognition as a sentient entity.
- Cyberspace: Much of the Ramona side-plot takes place here.
- Digital Avatar: Since Ramona is a virtual consciousness, the digital avatar is her actual body.
- Do Androids Dream?: Examined with the evolution of A.I. Ramona, until she attempts to prove herself a sentient person in a court of law.
- Grey Goo: A contingent of nanobots begins to replicate out of control, only stopped when Ramona implants a virus into their programming.
- Hey, It's That Girl: Ramona is Abby Sciuto.
- Humans Are Special: In order to avoid deletion, Ramona has to prove herself at least as human as other Turing Test participants.
- Subverted, in that it is not our humanness that makes us special, but our complex brains which allow sentience.
- Kiss Me, I'm Virtual: Kurzweil predicts this to happen once human-level artificial intelligence is achieved.
- Nanomachines: A group of them almost destroy the world, only averted by Ramona reprogramming them.
- Post-Cyberpunk: The world portrayed in the Ramona side-plot. Technology has become ubiquitous and much more capable than anything today.
- Robot Girl: Virtual girl, Ramona.
- The Singularity: The entire focus of the film, and its effect on different aspects of life.
- Transhuman: An underlying connotation of The Singularity, once technology is used to enhance normal human capabilities.
- Virtual Reality: Second Life is displayed prominently at first, until it is surpassed.