In the upcoming sci-fi thriller Transcendence, Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall and Morgan Freeman play scientists working on artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and complex technological innovations. But how much do the stars of Transcendence really know about the vast and complex world of immerging scientific discovery?
According to Depp, not a whole lot.
"My technological abilities stop at about pong," joked the 50-year-old star. "Phones are just a thing to basically insult my thumbs."
As for Depp's co-star Paul Bettany, when asked if he learned a lot about nanotechnology or AI from shooting this film, Bettany said, "Not really. In the same way that I've played surgeons in the past but you wouldn't want me to operate on you."
However, what about the science of the film itself? The story revolves around Depp getting shot by anti-technology activists. Before he dies, his mind is uploaded into a computer, and the newly-digitized Depp begins to grow his network of knowledge and power out of control.
While the plot itself may be a little wild, what about the core concept of uploading a person's mind into a computer?
"This is Science Fiction right now… but it's near science," said Bettany, 42. "Every neuroscientist I spoke to, when I asked, 'How realistic is this? How farfetched is this?' They all said 25 to 30 years."
However, you won't have to wait that long to watch it happen to Depp. Transcendence uploads into theaters April 18.