iHuman is a political thriller about Artificial Intelligence, power and social control. The film follows pioneers at the frontlines of the AI revolution and investigates the consequences of how AI is developed and implemented by the new tech super powers. How does the corporate and military control of AI impact us, our society and our future? What algorithms are we governed by?


iHuman is a political thriller about artificial intelligence, power and social control. With unique deep access to the inside of the booming AI industry this film shows how the most powerful and far-reaching technology of our time is changing our lives, our society and our future. 

iHuman follows pioneers at the frontline of the invisible AI revolution to see how this technology is developed and implemented. Through some of the brightest minds in the AI industry iHuman draws the roadmap to where we are going. Who punches in what codes for our future? How does AI impact who we are? 

iHuman shows a growing conflict in the tech world. On one side corporations like Google claim we need AI to solve climate change, cancer or hunger. On the other side people like Bill Gates and Elon Musk fear AI is the biggest threat to humanity. iHuman investigates the consequences of the power concentration of the multi-billion-dollar AI industry that barely has any regulations. Some compare artificial intelligence to the nuclear bomb as we do not know the potential power or the consequences of this new technology. What is coming our way? 

Ilya Sutskever is the Head of Research at Open AI, a new company started by Elon Musk, to create AI for the common good. Jürgen Schmidhuber is called the father of artificial intelligence as he invented neural networks that revolutionized the development of AI. We follow the two leading computer scientists as they work towards creating Super Intelligence at some of the top AI labs in the world. iHuman puts the character-driven stories in perspective by thematic sequences that feature some of the leading minds in the AI field today, including Max Tegmark, Kara Swisher, Michal Kosinski, Stuart Russel, Ben Wizner, Hao Li, Ben Goertzel and Philip Alston.

iHuman features its own AI as a character that develops through the film. This character has an abstract VFX form done by the Oscar winning animator Theodor Groeneboom. Our AI character visualizes how AI is everywhere – it sees everything and hears everything as we are under constant surveillance through our phones, online lives, systems in society and through an ever increasing system of surveillance cameras. 

iHuman questions if we already are governed by algorithms that are programmed by big tech corporations, governments and the military industry. What goals and values do we program into our AI systems? What is at stake? 

iHuman investigates who controls the development and implementation of the AI technology. We see how young white male billionaires run the few top corporations that lead of the development of AI and we see how AI is predicted to shift the power balance in the world. China claims they will take the lead in the AI race, and we see how their Social Credit System could be the largest social control system in history. Here China rates its citizens after their digital footprints, shopping history and general behavior through a facial recognition camera program. The Western world is not far behind and iHuman shows how citizens in Europe and North America are monitored with similar systems. 

iHuman explores the need for international standards and regulations for the development and implementation of AI. As governments, corporations and the military are in a race to control artificial intelligence, iHuman questions how this technology is implemented, by whom and for what purpose. 

This documentary film is made for both theatrical and broadcast release. With strong character-driven stories and groundbreaking use of AI in the making of the film, iHuman is made to entertain and inform a wide international audience about the impact of the most powerful technology of our time.  

Production and distribution

Production Year:
2019
Release date (international):
2019-11-23
Production company:
Up North Film AS
Co production company:
Made in Copenhagen
Executive producer:
Sue Turley
Philippa Kowarsky
Annie Roney
Producer:
Jonathan Borge Lie
Co producer:
Helle Faber
Christian Aune Falch
Torstein Parelius
ingrid Galadriel Aune Falch
Danielle Turkov
Sales agent:
Cinephil - Distribution & Co-Productions

Director

  • Tonje Hessen Schei

    Tonje Hessen Schei (b. 1971) is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who has worked with independent documentary production since 1996. Her films mainly focus on human rights, the environment and the changing relationship between man and machine. 

    Tonje is the director of Drone, a documentary on the secret CIA drone warfare. Since it’s release in 2014 DRONE has won Best Norwegian Documentary and Checkpoints, the human rights award, at Bergen International Film Festival and the Film Peace Prize at Tromsø International Film Festival. The film received the award as The Most Valuable Documentary of the Year at Cinema for Peace in Berlin. Drone won the National Film Award Amanda (the Norwegian Oscar equivalent), and Gullruten, the Norwegian Emmy, for Best Documentary 2015. 

    Tonje has been featured in national and international media. Including national television broadcast with NRK, TV2, as well as national newspapers Aftenposten, VG and Dagbladet. Internationally media includes BBC, CNN, The Guardian, the Monocle, Vice, Wired Mag, Al Jazeera, Huffington Post, Democracy Now! and many more. 

    Tonje also directed and produced Play Again and Independent Intervention, which have won several international awards. The films have been screened on all continents in over 100 countries, and are used by schools and universities globally. In the U.S., Tonje worked for ENG (Electronic New Group, LA) and she was co-distributor and the researcher for All Power to the People! (1997) and Downwinders (2000). In Norway, she worked for NRK, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (2005-2006).

    Tonje was the Festival Director of Human Rights Human Wrongs (2011), Scandinavia's sole documentary film festival that focuses only on human rights. Tonje started Ground Productions in 2005, an international documentary production company based in Portland, OR, USA and Oslo, Norway. 

    Tonje is the Co-Founder and director at UpNorth Film in Oslo, Norway.  

    Tonje Hessen Schei

Festivals

2019:
IDFA - International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
2019:
Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

Crew

Director:
Tonje Hessen Schei
Screenplay:
Tonje Hessen Schei
Cinematographer:
Henrik Ipsen

Technical information

Format:
DCP 2k
Colour:
Colour
Length in mins:
99'
Language:
English

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