A scientist uploads her dying husband's consciousness onto a computer, but as he expands his power, she grows scared of what he has become. Evelyn Caster is a scientist, working with her husband Will on unparalleled artificial intelligence technology. They've even come up with a computer they call PINN, which is the most advanced AI computer to date. It's also the last, as an anti-technology terrorist group called RIFT launches a series of simultaneous attacks on computer research across the country, including an attempted assassination of Will. They target Will for his focus on creating an event called "transcendence," in which a computer becomes self-aware and becomes more intelligent than every person who ever lived combined. Unfortunately for Evelyn, the bullet that grazed Will was laced with a radioactive material, poisoning his body and dooming him to die. Using new technology, Evelyn takes some of the drives from PINN and tries to duplicate Will's brain patterns on the AI computer, essentially keeping Will's brain alive and giving the computer "feelings." It doesn't seem to work, but when Will finally begins communicating via the computer, asking Evelyn to put him online so he can get more power, their best friend Max protests-- there will be no way to stop him if they set him free. Evelyn commands Max to leave, angry at his hesitance, and just before RIFT comes and destroys her equipment, she uploads Will to the internet. Will immediately takes advantage of the stock market, earning Evelyn millions in a day, and enabling her to help fund his project. They move to a small broken-down city, buy all of the property, and begin building a giant underground laboratory for Will to conduct experiments and continue to learn. He develops nanobots that he uses to not only heal the people in the town, but also to make them inhumanly strong and to connect them to Will directly. This begins to scare Evelyn-- her fears are reinforced when her friend Joseph comes to visit their new facility with some government agents, and Joseph tells her via note "Run from this place." Max, Joseph, and RIFT hatch a plan to capture one of Will's new disciples, take a blood sample to read the code used on the nanobots, and create a virus that will shut down anything that runs on internet power in the entire world. Evelyn volunteers, and when she is mortally injured, Will gives her the choice: he can save her or he can upload the virus she's carrying, he can't do both. Evelyn tells Will to upload the virus, he self-destructs, and all of the power is lost in the world, saving it from the damage Will could potentially have done but also denying it the incredible advances he brought to science.
Best part of story, including ending:
It's an interesting idea, but unfortunately, the script doesn't spend enough time developing the characters, so it's all a rather blah and humorless affair.
Best scene in story:
When the army tries to attack Will's base, they shoot down the solar panels which give him energy... only to have nanobots emerge from the ground and re-build them as quickly as they are destroyed.
Opinion about the main character:
Evelyn is blinded by her love to Will and her ambitions in science, making her hard to like, as she takes an obviously dangerous road without thinking much about it. The script also does her no favors, under-developing her relationship with Will.