Norsk filminstitutt

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


  • Tonje Hessen Schei

    Tonje Hessen Schei (b. 1971) is an award-winning documentary director whose films take on international issues that questions systems of power that shape our world. With political thrillers 

    Tonje has investigated the CIAs drone war, the artificial intelligence revolution, and the consequences of the influence of Evangelical fundamentalists in the US.  

    Tonje is the director of Praying for Armageddon, a political thriller on the fundamentalist U.S. Evangelical´s power and influence as they work to speed up the end times and fulfill the Armageddon prophecy. The film is to be released early 2023. 

    Tonje is the director of iHUMAN, a political thriller from the inside of the AI revolution, which premiered at IDFA 2019, with sold-out theaters and a Doc Talk with Edward Snowden. iHUMAN won Best Norwegian Documentary at HUMAN International Documentary Film Festival, 2020. The film had special high level panel debates at the Berlinale and Cannes 2019 and has screened at the UN and EU. iHUMAN has been selected for major international film festivals, including Black Nights Film Festival, CPH:DOX and HotDocs 2020. iHUMAN qualified for the Oscar run 2020. 

    Tonje directed Drone, a documentary on the secret CIA drone warfare. Drone received the award as Most Valuable Documentary of the Year at Cinema for Peace in Berlin. Drone won the Amanda award, the Norwegian Oscar equivalent, and Gullruten, the Norwegian Emmy, for Best Documentary 2015. Drone was on Netflix.  

    Tonje directed and produced Play Again and Independent Intervention, which both 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 Norway, Tonje worked for NRK, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (2005-2006), and she  was the Festival Director of Human Rights Human Wrongs Film Festival (2011). Tonje did a TEDx on Gaming as War in 2016.  

    Tonje has been featured in national and international media. Including national television broadcast and national newspapers. Internationally media includes BBC, CNN, The Guardian, Vice, Wired, Al Jazeera, Democracy Now! and many more. Tonje is the recipient of The Chicken and Egg Award 2020.   

    Tonje Hessen Schei


Human International Documentary Film Festival
Human Award for Best Norwegian Documentary
Nominated for the National Film Award Amanda for Best Documentary


IDFA - International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival
TIFF - Tromsø International Film Festival
Göteborg International Film Festival
DocPoint - Helsinki Documentary Film Festival
Human International Documentary Film Festival
Tempo Documentary Festival
Kosmorama Trondheim International Film Festival
International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights
ZagrebDox International Documentary Film Festival
Thessaloniki International Documentary Film Festival
Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
Astra Film Festival
Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival
One World - International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, Prague
International Documentary Festival Visioni dal mondo, Immagini dalla realtà
Nordisk Panorama
Docville International Documentary Film Festival
Inconvenient Films - Vilnius International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival
St. John's International Women's Film Festival
NorthwestFest - International Documentary Film Festival
Astra Film Chișinău


Tonje Hessen Schei
Tonje Hessen Schei
Henrik Ipsen

Technical information

DCP 2k
Length in min's: