The God Question

A startling breakthrough at MIT produces the first super-intelligent computer capable of thinking independently. However, when it shuts down hundreds of websites it finds offensive, federal regulators quickly padlock the MIT lab in order to study it. Stephen Kendrick, who runs a supercomputer at University of Massachusetts in Amherst, taught at MIT previously and was one of the key code writers for the project. Hearing this, a Yale philosopher, Jane Hurst, suggests this: Feed the computer every book, news article, research paper - essentially all human knowledge - then ask it the ultimate question. Is there evidence for God, for a spiritual framework to life? Kendrick tells her the question was one of the first the MIT team planned to ask - until the federal ban was imposed. However, Kendrick has a copy of the MIT software and a computer capable of running it. He decides to secretly defy the federal ban and ask the question, aided by a colleague, Alan Moss. They make plans to try on the weekends, when they can work undetected.There is an obstacle, though: The computer itself. Each time they load the MIT software and ask the question, the computer eventually shuts itself down, destroying its memory and leaving no trace of what it was thinking, no matter what they do to get around it. When the FBI begins to question Kendrick, Moss loses his courage and drops out. However, Jane Hurst joins Kendrick for one final attempt to get the answer.

Keith Langsdale, Cate Damon, Frank Aronson, Jim Lobley

My Films Sessions

Thursday, July 31

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