Singularity or Bust: In 2009, film-maker and former AI programmer Raj Dye spent his summer following futurist AI researchers Ben Goertzel and Hugo DeGaris around Hong Kong and Xiamen, documenting their doings and gathering their perspectives. The result, after some work by crack film editor Alex MacKenzie, was the 45 minute documentary Singularity or Bust — a uniquely edgy, experimental Singularitarian road movie, featuring perhaps the most philosophical three-foot-tall humanoid robot ever, a glance at the fast-growing Chinese research scene in the late aughts, and even a bit of a real-life love story. The film was screened in theaters around the world, and won the Best Documentary award at the 2013 LA Cinema Festival of Hollywood and the LA Lift Off Festival.
My favorite quote from Singularity or Bust is from Ben Goertzel:
“When I started my career as a scientist I was interested in a bunch of big problems: how to make space craft to travel to other stars; how to make time-machines to go back in time; theoretical physics and simulating immune systems; artificial life; how to make people live forever; and how to make thinking machines… So I figured I can solve all these at one time. But it proved significantly more difficult than anticipated. So in my late twenties I focused 80% of my time on one thing – on trying to make thinking machines…”