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A scientist asks an experimental super-intelligent computer the ultimate question: Is there evidence for God, for a spiritual framework to life? To his astonishment, it arrives at an answer.

A startling breakthrough in artificial intelligence at MIT produces the first super-intelligent computer capable of thinking independently, as humans do. With an "IQ" that is incalculable, it is fluent in all languages and able to read a book in a fraction of a second. Stephen Kendrick, who runs a government supercomputer at University of Massachusetts in Amherst, previously taught at MIT and was one of the key code writers for the project. Hearing this, a Yale philosopher, Jane Hurst, suggests the following to him: Feed the computer every book, news article, research paper, and Internet posting - essentially all human knowledge - then ask it the ultimate question. Is there evidence for God, for a spiritual framework to life? "This computer is smarter than any of us, than all of us put together. Maybe it can make a novel interpretation of the human experience, something no one has ever thought of, to say whether the idea of a god makes sense," she says. Kendrick tells her the question is one of the first the MIT team plans to ask. "This particular question is exactly the kind of thing it could tackle. It doesn't think like us. It can see everything at once. Everything." News then emerges that the MIT computer was allowed onto the Internet and promptly shut down hundreds of websites it found offensive. As a result, federal officials quickly shut down the computer, padlock the MIT lab and ban any use of the program until it can be studied. However, Kendrick has a copy of the software - the only copy that exists outside of MIT. Since he has a supercomputer capable of running it, he decides to defy the federal ban and ask the question himself, aided by a colleague, Alan Moss. Moss, though, is more focused on the fame and wealth the effort is likely to bring him, should the computer get any answer at all - yes, no or something in between. The two decide to attempt it on a weekend, when Kendrick's supercomputer is idle. The story is about their efforts to wring the answer from their colossally intelligent but temperamental computer, as the FBI and a congressional panel work to thwart any use of the MIT software.

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IMDB Score
5.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Score
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