This year’s Hot Docs opened with Ann Shin‘s thought- provoking documentary A.rtificial I.mmortality.
The film posits the question, If you could create an immortal version of yourself, would you? Drawing inspiration from her own life and her father’s memory loss, Shin speaks with experts in the field who suggest Artificial Intelligence (AI) can enable us to live forever and foresee a “post-biological” world where humans and AI merge.
Being a science ‘nerd’ and science-fiction fan, the film piqued my interest from the description alone.
Shin speaks with members of the Trans Humanist Movement, computer scientists, neurosurgeons, Deepak Chopra’s own digital clone(!), philosophers and many others on this very deep topic. She also does a great job of interconnecting these conversations with glimpses of herself with her family.
A.rtificial I.mmortality is more than a ‘talking heads’ documentary. It introduces us to some excellent research in AI and neuroscience fields, while also raising some deep and philosophical questions.
In an era when we depend so much on technology and we upload much of ourselves onto various platforms, the idea of wanting to save pieces of ourselves for prosperity is not far fetched. But what exactly does this all mean? By using AI to create ‘immortal’ versions of ourselves, are we really becoming one with technology?
What about memories? We know from research that memories are malleable and change over time. If we upload our ‘mind files’ to the cloud, are the versions of ourselves we upload stagnant?
These are some of the questions I found myself thinking about during, after, and even now as I think of the film.
Lucky for me, I was able to speak with filmmaker Ann Shin directly about the inspiration for A.rtificial I.mmortality, its many themes, and much more. Click below to listen to our conversation on this very excellent film.
A.rtificial I.mmortality is available to stream throughout Canada via the Hot Docs platform until May 9, 2021. Please visit hotdocs.ca to purchase your ticket and to vote for the film.