More Human Than Human

Tommy Pallotta, Femke Wolting (US, NL)

Documentary film

More Human Than Human explores the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and its effects on our lives. Artificial Intelligence was once the realm of science fiction and futurist visions, but it is part of our current reality. Self-driving cars, autonomous drones seeking their next target or government agencies mining our personal data: we are surrounded by smart machines already. Increasingly, we expect machines to know what we want and understand us when we talk – just ask Siri.

As we take a look at the history and current state of AI, filmmaker Tommy Pallotta takes us a step further as he builds his own robot to see if it can replace him as a filmmaker. He and his team design, build, and program the robot to think autonomously and test if it can direct and interview him. Leading them to question “Can AI replace us as filmmakers and storytellers?”

The complexity of tasks that smart machines can perform is increasing at an exponential rate. Where will this ultimately take us? If a robot can learn to fold a towel on its own, will it someday be able to cook you dinner, perform surgery, and even conduct a war? More Human Than Human instigates this debate between futurists and sceptics, about the potential of Artificial Intelligence. The filmmakers take us on a quest of understanding these innovations, examining opposing views and challenging our aspirations for the future of man and machine.

More than just an exposé on the pros and cons of this new technology, the filmmakers’ journey takes them to the world’s leading AI experts and robot pioneers, confronting them with the existential questions that artificial intelligence begs us to ask such as: What are the values and ideas these scientists built into their creations? Has the artificial intelligence revolution taken us to the verge of witnessing the birth of a new species? Why are humans so driven to create a new species that might make themselves obsolete? How are our lives changing by these smart machines, what do they give us and what do we lose?


produced by Submarine Amsterdam
In co-production with SubLA, Savage Film, VPRO

Written & directed by Tommy Pallotta & Femke Wolting

Femke Wolting, Bruno Felix, Tommy Pallotta

Bart Van Langendonck

Director of Photography
Guido van Gennep NSC

Eddy de Cloe

Chris van Oers