Nearing the end of Luc's sci-fi film Lucy, she says, "I'll download my knowledge...". Then, at the very end, her knowledge is saved to a hard drive. My question is, what format would it be in, and how could it possibly be read by a computer so lacking in computing power compared to her "computer form"?

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    "..what format would it be in.." Holograms or Pixie dust would be my best guesses. Seriously, given the fact that matter was never addressed in the movie means it is unlikely described anywhere (by the makers) and is therefore a matter of opinion. Jan 26, 2015 at 4:21
  • @AndrewThompson I see your point. Humorous answer though. Makes sense. Jan 26, 2015 at 4:23

1 Answer 1


What format would the data be in?

At this point, Lucy has immense knowledge of the universe, more than mankind has ever attained. The fact that the sum of this knowledge can be stored in a device so small in size implies that the data storage format she uses is much more efficient than anything we are capable of today. This idea is also suggested by the otherworldly visual effect applied to the drive in question.

How could it possibly be read by a computer so lacking in computing power?

This is not addressed in the film, but again, given Lucy's vast knowledge of the workings of the universe by the time she creates this drive, she might well have bestowed upon the device the ability to convert its data to a familiar format that can be accessed by conventional computers (e.g. by providing a USB port).

  • Interesting interpretation. I certainly don't disagree with your idea. However, I do have a proposal. Assuming get that the USB does have these abilities, even a supercomputer would crash or hang if it were to attempt to read such vast amounts of data. Human knowledge is, theoretically, limited to a near infinite amount. Therefore, attempting to read this data could prove fatal to the computer in question. Jan 26, 2015 at 5:56
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    @JamesLynch: Computers don't read everything that's stored on a drive at once. The point is, once the drive can interact with the computer in a language it understands, Lucy could expose her data in various ways. A handy file index, a user friendly program with search tools, even an A.I. entity, for instance.
    – Stephan B
    Jan 26, 2015 at 6:02
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    Of course, there are mathematical limits to how efficiently you can compress data, and Lucy would have to either use an existing compression format (limiting efficiency) or write some data describing the format (using space proportional to the format's efficiency), so really, this is just a hand-wavy thing. Jan 26, 2015 at 7:12

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