Tron's Creator Kvetsches Against The Machine

Downloading your brain into virtual reality is so 1982. Soul Code, the new movie from Tron writer/director Steve Lisberger, will be about backing up your memories instead. And unlike Tron's bouncy cyber-liberation theme, the collaboration with IGN diva Jessica Chobot will be a "cautionary tale" about technology, Lisberger says in a rambling new interview. Why has the creator of Tron gotten so pessimistic?

In Soul Code, an older woman backs up her memories. And then she restores the backup into the brain of a much younger woman. And we discover how that brain-swap affects both women's relationships. (Not well, judging from the hints Linsberger drops.) It's sort of Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom meets The Handmaid's Tale.


Linsberger says the idea came from an interview with Chobot that turned into a brainstorming session. The movie's special effects will be less about creating a startling virtual world, and more about representing the emotional states of the characters.

So why will this movie be such a downer? Linsberger is still worried that artificial intelligences could turn into an oppressive Master Control Program that will make us play frisbee for our lives. But he's also scared of the Singularity, the moment when AIs supposedly become more advanced than humans. He wants us to think about how to preserve our humanity in a world where consciousness can be simulated as well as recorded. Soul Code could be a throwback to beware-technology movies of the 1970s like Rollerball and Westworld instead of building on Tron, which arguably helped replace them. [SFSignal]

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