Presented by: RMIT Social Innovation Lab

I AM HUMAN
2019 | 90 min | USA
Directed by: Taryn Southern and Elene Gaby
Australian Premiere

Followed by panel discussion

Following the courageous journeys of the world’s first “cyborgs” a quadriplegic, a blind man and a woman with Parkinson’s, I Am Human covers the ways science is cracking the mysteries of the brain and using them to solve huge problems in people’s lives. The documentary unpacks the emerging complexity, real world possibilities and imminent implications of merging machine and human intelligence.  

A female-directed and produced sci-fi documentary,  I Am Human explores the co-evolution of humans and technology.

There are several hundred thousand people in the world with implantable technology in their brains. By the year 2029, that number – based on industry estimations – is expected to triple. The film follows the harrowing and courageous journeys of three of the world’s first “cyborgs” and the scientists and entrepreneurs on the cusp of unlocking the secrets of the human brain.

Shot on anamorphic lenses and with unparalleled access to the breakthrough technologies that will change the course of humanity, I Am Human aims to give the audience a front row seat to the future – and bridge the divide between sci-fi storytelling and real-world aspiration.

In the film, meet Anne, Bill, and Stephen. Bill, paralysed in a biking accident, signs up for a mysterious research study in hopes to regain movement. Stephen, a former Canadian government IT officer, undergoes a novel bionic eye implantation to regain sight. Anne, a former artist with degenerative Parkinson’s, considers deep brain stimulation as a solution to her worsening symptoms. As we follow their three journeys, society is forced to reconcile with the larger implications: will the same technologies that heal disease and dysfunction lead to super human abilities, telepathic communication, and cognitive enhancement?

In addition to the primary characters, the film features institutions including The Wyss Center, Duke University, Case Western Reserve University, University of Washington, BrainGate2, and Second Sight and interviews with entrepreneur Bryan Johnson, neuroscientists John Donoghue, Andres Lozano, David Eagleman, Andres Lozano, Bobby Kasthuri, Chantel Prat, and Miguel Nicolelis, surgeon Robert Devenyi, sci-fi author Ramez Naam, ethicist Tristan Harris and professor of law and philosophy Nita Farahany, amongst others.

“When I began as a neuroscientist it was impossible to imagine that curiosity to figure out the greatest puzzle of what it means to be human – brain research – could lead in my lifetime to a whole field that will have vast impact on humanity,” says Director of the Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering, Dr. John Donoghue. “I think a fundamental understanding of a principle by which the brain computes will be one of the greatest revolutions in scientific history.”

*This film has been exempt from classification and is restricted to people over 15 years. People under 15 must be accompanied by an adult