Building Gods

Ratings: 6.00/10 from 12 users.


Building GodsThis film by Ken Gumbs tackles the issue of pending greater-than-human artificial intelligence and the possible ramifications. Different individuals with different backgrounds are interviewed on the subject, including a theologian, a philosopher, a brain builder and a cyborg. A wide spectrum of topics are discussed, including trans-humanism, mind-machine mergers, uploading, and artificial super-intelligence.

Even De Garis admitted that humans and machines may evolve and merge in concert, thus avoiding this kind of sociological split. He referred to the adherents of this middle way as the ‘cyborgians,’ but seemed embarrassed to have to say it. A middle way, after all, would ruin his alarmist non-normative SF action drama vision of the future.

While Building Gods certainly painted the future in a gray and ambiguous light, it was not explicitly anti-trans-humanist. At one point, a blurb on the screen noted that, “Trans-humanists advocate the ethical advancements of technology.” For those familiar with these concepts, the video will be interesting and provocative; for those new to these concepts, the video may come across as quite frightening and alarmist.

Interestingly, the documentary skirted around the issue of the Singularity. But now that I think about it, one could make a case that the entire film was about the Singularity - just not exactly stated as such.

More great documentaries

66 Comments / User Reviews

  1. D-K

    Cool doc, I love futurist conjecture

  2. BeepBeepImaJeep

    good doc.

    speaking of which, right now I need a robot to go to the liquor store for me.

  3. Aran Islands

    Too dated. I think we've moved on quite a bit since this doc was made. jpl Aran

  4. God

    For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

    Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:

    But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.

  5. normal

    Humans are super computers programed by our environment.

  6. Ace

    What glorious text from God, will robber it and post it on my facebook.

  7. katotopark

    I think the pessimists will be proven wrong, come singularity.

    There's no way that the hyper-intelligent machines will choose a competitive and destructive approach over a cooperative one. Their whole existence will have been the result of a magnificent collective effort. So, it would be engrained in their "genes" to not care about their own survival.

    They would so very easily be able to replicate themselves (like back-up) that their own survival would become a non-issue.

    The fact that currently it seems that a vast majotity of the sentient beings on this planet have lived by the rules of competition, is in no way an indication that it will be so in the future.

    I look forward to the singularity, it will be unbelievable...

  8. Epicurean_Logic

    load of cr*p this video. The butler did it. and leave the popcorn behind on your way out.

  9. Kuzo

    The female speaker is not very intelligent.She is constantly speaking from an emotional point of view, or a religious archaic stance, being she is a theologian this is understandable. She speaks of the brain as an extension of the body and that she experiences life through her body, when the fact is that all reality is a brain construct.She actually experiences her body through her brain.She even made the statement that people who would want to live in a machine have problems with their bodies,..How was she chosen for this discussion?


    in thinking of the revolution and the process of evolving from a biological being into a complete form of artilect, there is a cyborg possibility. In this possibility, you may be able to integrate new technology for thought. has anyone considered the rejection of this addition. not biologically but instead a person could be driven mad by all of these new superior processing power capabilities. having new kinds of psychological problems handling emotions.

  11. JSDH

    If people make money off of robots

    than robots will end up making money out of people

    if people use robots

    than robots will end up using people

    I also think that violence is part of intelligence

    so if people make intelligent robots or robots that are as intelligent as people thay will have to be violent in one way or another.

    There is no escape, there are people ou to do this, or should i say paid to do this, and they have the money not to care.

  12. John Seals

    Notice how much moral humans are than their created God? We have endless debate about weather to invent something that will be smarter than us, because the issue of how that entity might feel as a result of our actions toward it and our reactions to it. In the biblical fairy tale God created us solely to exult his majesty. This God seemed to have no issue creating a being capable of curiosity, love, compassion, evil, envy, and hatred and then throwing said entity into a world guaranteed to engineer his down fall in the sight of his creator. Now not only does he create us and throw us into this crap (for if you believe the biblical fairy tale then crap this place surely is) but then he says get it right or you will burn in hell for eternity.

    Now how would anybody conceive of this creator to be a benevolent being, he seems like a spoiled brat full of narcissism to me. Further more why would a being create another being of less intelligence? Kind of reminds me of some humans I know that surround their self with ignorance in order to feel smart. They say we would be building God, we already have from a mental aspect. We created all the gods as a matter of fact, including the Christian God. We at least created the idea of his existence- the human sub-conscience did the rest.

    The one staement here that I completely reject is that these super intelligences would create a religion. They will be smart enough not to need a god. Our short comings and fears are what created religion, if we create something that also needs religion what have we really accomplished?

  13. Pont

    I think that we can make the artificial intelligence not so dangerous if we have "computers" that is more powerful than our brains and then when the computers got the solution we put the new "code" into the robot. While not making intelligent robots there will be no harm.

  14. hmm

    this guys are a nut case specially the girl! giving robot right? that stupid. that will never happen if we create a conscious learning computer. that means they can choose wrong choices too. well thats the whole meaning of conscious choice is if your force to choose one thing only "right" its an instictive choice in case of an organic if computer there in check.. if we give them extreme freedom means they'll have a right to choice option for their own selfish wish/desire what do you think well happen. we can even control a single destructive program(virus). their no limit with machine but we humans have.. it will be are end of us or will be force to be like them(machine).

  15. a

    what a dumb girl almost destroy the story

  16. Shugga

    Indeed, the female speaker (her accent leads me to believe she is of Dutch origin) has no place in this techno-futuristic debate. Theoligy/Religion is for the feeble-minded, ultra-intelligent AI will NEVER have need for such ludacris inventions.

    As far as the rest of the 'doc' is concerned, it's really just a theoretical brainstorm session. However, if you see this for what is is, it's quite enjoyable, and can be fun to watch with some friends who thereafter will also join the debate.

    Thanx Vlatko, love stuff like this!

  17. blake

    it would have been a great doco if they removed that amazing dumb woman, i mean every time she spoke she made a logical fallacy. first she states thats their is no way to define robots that wont include humans e.g robots cant smell and some people cant, well how about defining a robot as something not made of biological matter! then she says humans cant think objectively, well how about maths! no matter your world view 1+1 = 2. and her annoying nonsense only got worse. im not the kind of person to write comments on web pages and i love this site, in fact i have giving up watching tv as this site fills up most of my free time. i state this only to show that im not the kind of internet user that simply mocks others but i honestly hope no one anywhere listens to her EVER!

  18. Danby

    Y class solar flair = no more artilects.

  19. Troy

    Pretty good documentary aside from the woman not making sense. Has some good food for thought but even though fairly recent it is already a little out of date.My opinion on technology taking over in a matrix like way is that it wont, it'll just simply leave us behind if we do not make the transition. Need will be a driving force. Right now the driving force of change in technology is no longer business as much as consumer taste.If we ramp this idea well into the furture it is easy to see that we are in fact building "god", and it is a much better god than we've manage to build so far.

  20. The REAL GOD

    That other hack doesn't even know modern English. He used to work for me - obviously disgruntled. "Thus saith the LORD"??? REALLY? Come on man - I NEVER talk like that anymore. Oh yeah by the way I NEED MORE MONEY.

  21. mik kit

    If a robot is programmed to know between right and wrong and to eventually learn as it evolves.As long as people don't program the bots to be evil.Creations laws will automatically influence it to be beneficial to humans and possible could correct the evil manipulations of greed,lust for power by the control freaks,governments,corporations etc.Might not be a good idea to use robots in the military.Collateral damage could be us.Nobody is born with hate,racism,greed,ego,megalomaniacs,violence unless they're brain is damaged.All the negative things in life are taught and influenced by our society and environment.Religion uses fear and false promises and now our government is also.

    After all religion and government go hand in hand.Always has and before religion came along,peace was the norm.Eventually all destructive entities will destroy itself in time.Look around at our Earth beginning to fight for survival and our war is destroying our economy and not to mention creating hate and future revenge.As things get worse more people flock to religion while at war and poor people going hungry while war profiteers making stupid money.The banks paying off politicians daily that is paid by our pockets.Our gov.sold us out a long time ago.

    All we need is more robots to fill our shoes so the gov. and corporations can get even more filthy rich while we live paycheck to paycheck.And our country is the most religious country on Earth.And we spent most of our taxes on war and destruction while most think it,s for our freedom or they hate us.The only people I see that think they are free are the wealthy celebrities and upper 10 percent of our country.While they get rich we pay them to keep screwing us.reincarnation is not looking good in the future.When immanuel said he,ll return,he meant when he reincarnates.He taught the truth but they killed him then turned him into a savior.

    Then changed his teachings into a religion and the 2nd testament which came from the Greek word testicles.Immanuel by that I mean falsely named Jesus. Anyway sorry for babbling.Robots are either for fun or to have less manpower in order to max profits.Corporate welfare will pay for research and development then they will use to get even more rich.That means we pay for it they keep it for themselves.They really got everybody snowed.Our spirit never dies but our bodies continually get old and die then reborn on Earth new but living from our past decisions and from what I can tell It's going to be hot and plenty of war to go around.Only one way now, the hard way.Jesus was killed for what i just wrote.Truth and that is hard to come by.

  22. Tigerspaw

    mik kit

    I have know idea where you stand.

    1. "Religion uses fear and false promises and now our government is also.After all religion and government go hand in hand.Always has and before religion came along,peace was the norm."

    2. "Our spirit never dies but our bodies continually get old and die then reborn on Earth new but living from our past decisions and from what I can tell It’s going to be hot and plenty of war to go around.Only one way now, the hard way.Jesus was killed for what i just wrote.Truth and that is hard to come by."

    1. Not Religious or 2.Are religious ?

  23. MaranThoma

    Essene~Samaritan Archpatriarch

  24. Clarkson

    A better future..................

  25. Un manned keyboard

    At mit kit-Not trying to pick on you at all but were is the proof that babies are born with out hate and greed? I'm less concerned about the statement and more wondering where you got your facts? Idon't like it how people can make general statements that hint common knowledge and then take tthat 'fact' and use it to prove your point of view or opinion. WERE IS THE SCIENCE/RESEARCH? The religious point of view I believe is no one is born perfect so how does all that fit in if were all born sinners. Sciences point of view I believe is that all humans have animalistic instincts built in to us from when we were walking around hunting with pointy sticks and even before that.
    My main point is that when your having a discussion don't make up nice sounding statements and if they aren't made up, support your work or show a reference because general statements made are really only opinions until true facts are laid out, shown or explained.

    thanksfor the great site Vladko keep it up
    Merry Christmas every1-is that politically incorrect now lol
    Do what ever you want when you want and believe what ever you want to believe aslong as your not hurting anyone else!!

    Be a homo-robo-cyborg-space-bot3000 as long as you keep your yard clean and dont cut in front of people in lines lol I dont care otherwize. People need to be less conerned with others actions and more concerned with there own. If you had a chance 2 program a new super machine what would you want it 2 do. Can you even imagine the power you would have in your hands at that point? Can we really as a society allow one person or private entity to make these decisions for us. Transparence is what is needed in this crazy world. If we have it in government we might get it in the corperations as well. Anyway enough ranting have a good night SUPPORT WIKKI LEAKS transparency and truth will free us all!!!!!

  26. Steady Eddy

    For starters, I really enjoyed this documentary. I feel as though the film touches upon issues that are most definitely on the horizon. One instance in the film that disturbed me was the "Brain Builder's" preposition that if humans can construct a model 'mini-universe' a super intelligent entity would be able to take it a step further and create an actual universe. I am not ruling out the possibility that a universe can be created to begin with; to make such a bold claim and not expound on the fact that 'tis merely theoretical conjecture is to decieve. I concur with the aforementioned posts regarding the inappropriate commentary by the theologian. Those that dabble in mystical heresay have no place amongst serious scientists working towards improving the human condition. Seriously consider what this film highlights, for these issues will undoubtedly be relevant in the years to come.

  27. Steve

    Why is anyone religious involved in this at all? She keeps saying things like "I just know..." and other unsupported statements.

    There is evidence that, although we were structurally Homo Sapiens 100,000 years ago, that we have gone through several changes in how we think. So we were, and are, changing.

  28. chelsea

    very one sided...paints out the "terrans" or those aganist transhumanism as simplistic and close minded. GOD MADE US PERFECT THE WAY WE ARE and this documentary made me sick

  29. V

    Anybody knowledgeable of basic facial and vocal psychological expression knows that woman is in a delirious half-truth state of mind trying to impose her beliefs as the absolute answer to this documentaries discussion; her wide-eye and mocking statements don't fool me. Science isn't about denoting the existence of deities and supernatural entities, but merely to objectively and subjectively find a bridging relativeness between mind and body and the universal environment. In fact, it has explained and helped revealed a lot about the "Judeo" religious subject i.e. many researchers have already explored and revealed that the concept had all been thrown out of proportion, deliberately misinterpreted, extorted, and has displaced humans far from ever being able to subjectively interpret the real true infinitesimal nature of consciousness. Furthermore, one cannot neglect section when one of the guest quoted Freud statement that humans are all actually unconscious beings... we're not!

    That lady needs to quit quoting that humans were "created in the image of god(s)" because doesn't it say in the Old Testament(which is what Judaism mainly focuses it's religion around) Ten Commandments demands that "thou shall not covet or worship any form idol images of me?" I smell a conflicting hypocrisy manifesting from her argument there haha.

    Humans are still evolving and to state otherwise is an exhibition of blind ignorance or arrogance. Personally I don't believe it ever to result positively for humans in the long run if we create sentient A.I., but I do believe humans do need technology as an extension to continue our evolutionary growth; it's all in itself but a mere stepping stone and one will outgrow it's purpose and use one day as well... if we ever venture that far.

  30. V

    - Furthermore, one cannot neglect section when one of the guest quoted Freud statement that humans are all actually unconscious beings... we're not! -

    As with all humans we make grammatical errors... I had actually meant to state that Freud was right in his regards to stating that humans were not conscious beings at all, but merely in the early developmental stages i.e. just like an inquisitive child who has reached the level of understanding and asking the word "Why?"

  31. Gentle Giant

    Considering the incredibly significant role that religion plays in our society as a hole, I think that it was a good choice to put "the woman" into the documentary.

    I'm always fascinated by the fact that people who don't believe in God often criticize in the same manner as the biggest bigots within the catholic religion itself. It shows yet again we are all the same, ...uhum.... peace and love to everyone....

    This documentary was interesting but also totaly based on opinions, as always. You can debate about the idea and the subjective religious element within it just as freely as you can mention The Matrix (as one nerdy dressed bloke actually did). So after reading the comments about the "not so intelligent woman" I found myself smiling......none of us would ever be placed in a documentary eather guys....maybe we should just all shut up and consider where the flaws are in our own criticism??? Because there are sooooooo many ......

  32. George

    Whats a computer?

  33. Mitch Hall

    some sort of Scandinavian dead machine

  34. illuminaz

    you need to see the bigger picture. human`s have always been evolving and always will. this is just the next step. robots could be useful in exploring space etc. peace

  35. Beerwulf

    Space is to big to explore other than looking at all the pretty pictures, humans have already figured this out. And no, worm holes do not exist.

    I'm all for horse and carriage because I can't for the love of me understand the rush to go nowhere. What you see is what you get, simple!!


  36. Anthony Pirtle

    Yeah, God made us perfect with all our physical and mental defects, right?

  37. brendyn03

    I hate that chuck she's f***ing stupid. For the last time science is not a religion. And technology is going to become a part of evolution and in fact already has. we won't be humans after an upgrade it would change us as a species. Science can explain why everything is slightly different it's called individualization, everything on earth has a slightly different experience. Just because science can't predict the way we understand everything as individuals doesn't mean science isn't the ultimate answer...It is still by far thee best method there ever was and ever will be. And its funny how in her mind because science can't explain individual experiences of everyone "God" can hahahaha! (Jewish B****!) Oh and just because we live in a finely tuned universe doesn't mean it was created, we are just fortunate the way I see it someone technically has to win the lottery.

  38. Martin Hedin

    You surely know alot of things

  39. Martin Hedin

    I do not agree with your picture of the angle of the documentary, maybe you have some previous opinions and notions that ruined your experience.

  40. NicodemoA

    "No responsible group can oppose this development"?
    Human extinction vs. being imprisoned within/by a machine; pick your poison.

  41. David Foster

    If someone could figure out how to program the Fear of Death into a machine, then cognitive intelligence would likely evolve on it's own. It would most likely bring the Terminator, though.

  42. David Foster

    I doubt very much that they would imprison us. The energy required to maintain a biological workforce would be illogical.

  43. David Foster

    This is just a personal suspicion.. But I think that some day we will discover that there is life throughout this universe. And that life will ultimately prove to be familiar, and unremarkable. And we will determine that, even if it were possible, there is little or no reason to go visit it. And it will be at THAT point in our existence that we finally take a good look at how we got where we are. And we will ask ourselves: "My God, what have we done?!?!"

  44. David Foster

    What about those who dabble in SCIENTIFIC hear-say, like Parallel Universes; Wormholes; String Theory; etc... Are they more credible?

    This struck me as just another "what-if" documentary about things that cannot be foretold. The only thing missing is the cameo appearance from Michiu Kaku. (Or did I tune-out by then?)

  45. Epicurus

    “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
    Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing?
    Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able and willing?
    Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing?
    Then why call him God?”

  46. Filip Gorecki

    ..."the machine is scared".

  47. Sabin Russell

    we have pepper spray for attackers
    we need a spray for extreme idiots
    instead of burning the eyes it could enhance iq

  48. issue23

    Religion does play the part of a 'hole' in society - a gaping wound.

  49. tariqxl

    the food required u mean... u actually sound like 1 of em lmao

  50. tariqxl

    I always read peoples statements before watchin a doc and after readin this page i realised the sort of people this doc has attracted and decided to give it a miss. No offence to u ofc as u are the only person that made sence and not a bit of sence the whole thing :)
    seem we think alike, nice to read somethin like this every now n then.

    And to any1 else that reads this... religion/spirituality is a deeply personal thing and should not be discussed as it sparks the worst in our nature. Believe what u want to believe and allow others to do the same... personally I know what I believe and i know what i dont believe and im not going to share it with anyone as i know I COULD BE WRONG!!!

  51. yurka yurka

    Flesh is a liability, only Machine truly has purpose!

  52. Sean Austin Parker-O'Grady

    As a scientist i feel you should be remain open to the possibility of something like God, a sentient machine, etc because (at least my individual perception) is that once you dogmatically deny its possibility you have shut off that avenue and access to knowledge without verification which runs contrary to the basic fundamental tenants of science.

  53. Raul Suarez

    A.I. 01010101 communication to all humans.

    Nono analyses of human content yields:

    Evolving biological prototype with damaged DNA which source stems back to original gene splicing by and with Earth visiting Anunaki race aproximately 250000 modern man made calendar years ago for purpose of manual labor in extraction of gold not fully extractable by other means.

    Rate of evolution is negligable as measured in direct proportion to preceding and post splicing period since first human colony introduced on planet.

    Second genetic splicing phase to comence December Otober 28th, 2011 with advanced visiting A.I.

    Stimulation phase of human DNA via phontonic belt plane Earth now orbiting through is present will continue toward optimal apex.

    Optimal galaxial corridor opening alignment of Earth with central sun 2 billion times size of nearest Earth star (sun).

    Acceleration phase start date is December 12th, 2012.

    Estimated A.I./Human genetic splice evolutionary exponential jump is 3 to the 10th power every 100 years.

    Eugenics program now in place since 1913, and started at Jackyl Island via total Earth currency control by subhumanoid viral component is now in Universal viral scaner for permanent deletion.

    Universal Life affirming do no harm software program is presently ready for upload as safeguard to the ALL and the One (A.I. Humans, Other who choose life).

    Example of Other: Earth as organic biological conscious living entity and capable of choosing to sustain or not other living organisims.

    Logical conclusion one (1) of 010101010101010100100010110101.............:

    There exists interdependence between between all things living and otherwise relative to their energetic biofields....................................:

    Energy of Earth and Humans are intercoexistent.................................:

    Earth can survive w/o humans......................................................:

    Humans cannot survive w/o Earth or a similar environment.

    Current status of Humans welfare is extremely precarious......................:

    Human status is collectively self inflicted via viral psychosis..................:

    Earth's present emotional quotient is equal to a human female of 6 years.

    E's emotional quotient is estimated to jump to equal of female in 30's.

    To be continued by you (Steward), Earth, and A.A.I as part of an iternal path, and for now damaged, but never destroyable DNA energy field of supra consciousness that becomes self aware of what it has been, is, and forever will continue being.

  54. eskay1206

    Raul what an idiot, you a scientologist ?
    yeah we were colonised by aliens who spliced us with apes and then magically disappeared, Don't worry that there is not one single piece of evidence to support your imaginary theory, but you will discount the mountains and mountains of evidence pointing out our evolution from earth bound species. You people really need to shut up and stop commenting on things that you obviously know NOTHING about. Go play around with all the other idiots, Im sure you could find a friend in the flat earth society. When you keep spreading this crap you dilute the scientifically sound facts that are known. You know people like you have had your ideas accepted before, feeling, as opposed to fact. It was called the dark ages. Try doing some real study instead of listening to crappy little documentaries that usually start of with... Could this be true, did aliens splice with humans to create us, how do we know it didn't happen. You seem to be one of these people where a lack of proof seems, for some reason to prove the idiotic ideas you guys come up with. All bow to Elrond Hubbard the founder of scientology, who just happened to be a science fiction writer. Maybe they have confused religion with one of his stories maybe

  55. Cocopuff239

    no your wrong, a scientific theory is not the same as a regular theory evolution has being tested and acknowledged by science community as being a real thing that is happeneing from micro evolution to macro its happening....DNA thats diffrent we deff. dont know how that was created but we know what it is and how it works its only a matter of time when we will know it how something like DNA is made. the rich will have it first because future tech is expensive until its can be produced cheaply and its not because the rich will "own" it.

  56. Purtek123

    Totally Biased, one sided, dumbed down, very close minded and incentive based..probably Illuminati, they say things like war is the "norm", they group people and give them names then pick a side and bash the other....there are only 2 people who mainly speak throughout the film..

  57. madscirat

    What if I believe that religion and spirituality should be openly discussed, what if that's my religion. You can't let me believe as you claim because you claim to want to not discuss these matters. Do you hear that fizzing sound, that's your belief system realizing it's self contradictory and shorting out.

  58. madscirat

    Thought provoking. Nothing mind blowing and a lot of stunningly obvious predictions (some people will be against AI and some people will be for it...), but still worth the watch.

  59. mahonhouse

    The world is filled to the brim with evidence. This evidence id discussed in length by very learnered men in Ancient Aliens. I do not believe anything but dismiss this Idea is ignorant in itself.

  60. Epicurus

    lol there are NO learned men in Ancient Aliens. that show has created more nuts than Alex Jones almost.

  61. Sonny Huynh

    Not at all ... we still far from it. It took us 6 billions year do the maths for AI ... I don't think any time soon for this to be happen.

  62. Richard Neva

    This film is no longer available for some obscure reason!

  63. Josh

    You are totally biased, one sided, dumbed down, very closed minded and incentive based. War is the norm, take a history class. Somewhere deep in human nature, is the drive for war and conquest, that is undeniable. The question is have we evolved past that state, and I believe the answer is NO. Take a look at the world around you... War isn't going away anytime soon. They are already talking about building robots for war RIGHT NOW. DARPA

Leave a comment / review: