In fiction, human beings with integrated technology have been popular for some time, think of Darth Vader or the cyberpunk classic “RoboCop”. And did Kraftwerk not name their 1978 album “The Man-Machine”? Even in our digital age, the fascination for cybernetic organisms continues. In Ghost in the Shell, Scarlett Johansson is a cyborg soldier who hunts enemies of the state in the not-so-distant future. As Major, she jumps from high-rise buildings and turns invisible at will. In the back of her head she has interfaces where her designer downloads her consciousness. She does not know who she really is, but memories in her brain keep haunting her. A spectacular, visually stunning action drama, based on a seinen manga published in 1989.
When the boundaries between us and machines blur, the question arises: What makes us human? In Transcendence, Johnny Depp plays a scientist who, in 2021, shortly before his death, uploads himself – or rather his consciousness – to a supercomputer. As an omnipotent artificial intelligence, he starts to control the world over the Internet. The directorial debut of Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister is thought-provoking and a visual delight.
The idea that androids (robots that look like humans) could one day turn against us is at the center of TV series Westworld. In an amusement park, paying visitors can do what they want to lifelike robot hosts. Their memories are erased daily, but something remains in their artificial consciousness ...
Ghost in the Shell