Movie “Transcendence” Sparks Interest in AI Novels like Mindclone, by David T. Wolf

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The film “Transcendence,” opening with much buzz on April 18, is a dystopian look at the consequences of uploading a human brain to a computer. The novel “Mindclone,” available through Amazon, takes a more upbeat view.

Wild joyride to the Singularity!

Described as “a wild joyride…to the Singularity,” Mindclone asks basic questions about Artificial Intelligence: can a digital entity achieve happiness when it has no physical body? Will an intelligent computer think of humans as friends or as rivals?

Instead of a telescopic view into a distant future, both Transcendence, by first time director Wally Pfister, and Mindclone, by first time novelist David T. Wolf, explore the consequences of very real and possibly imminent scientific breakthroughs. The movie Her also explores this territory, and won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay this year. Science fiction fans have enjoyed an abundance of movies and books in the last few years, but rarely have they clustered so strongly on the subject of AI. Pfister is an award-winning Cinematographer, and Wolf is an award-winning writer.

When asked what attracted him to this subject, author David Wolf responded, “I wanted to explore the mind of a digital being who had human memories, but lacked a human body. Could he find satisfaction in surfing the web, as many fully-equipped humans do now? Or would he miss physical pleasure too much to ever be happy? And what about love? These are the things that make us human. Would their absence change the AI entity into something else?” The movie Transcendence appears to focus more on the question, “Is runaway super intelligence a threat to Mankind?” Both areas are ripe with possibilities. It’s too early for reviews of Transcendence, but reviews of Mindclone, have included such phrases as, “stimulating, convincing page-turner,” “a fast-paced leap into the future,” and “grabs you from page one.”

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David T. Wolf