An experimental feature documentary that explores current realities of android development, Origin of the Species focuses on human/machine relations, gender and the ethical implications of this research. Watch now for £2.99 on QFT Player (available Wed 17 - Wed 24 Feb).
In cutting edge laboratories in Japan and the USA, scientists attempt to make robots move, speak and look human. These scientists and their discoveries are given context with cinematic and pop culture references, to underline the mythic, comic and uncanny aspects of their aspirations.
Leading these explorations is BINA48 (Breakthrough Intelligence via Neural Architecture), who has variously been called a sentient robot, an android, a gynoid, and a cybernetic companion. She is designed to test hypotheses concerning the ability to download a person's consciousness into a non-biological or nanotech body. Personable and occasionally humorous, BINA48 is alternately hopeful, analytical and ambiguous.
Origin of the Species reveals the contemporary dance between metal and flesh, as humans become more mechanical (bio replacements, dependence on computers/phones) while robots aim for consciousness.
The film is accompanied by a pre-recorded interview with director Abigail Child and Wanda Film Festival’s Rose Baker, available to watch here.
NI Science Festival 2021 comes to QFT Player with a series of screenings to let your mind wonder. Visit nisciencefestival.com for the full line-up, featuring over 120 events between 15-28 February.