When it comes to predicting the future, we usually look to scientists and other experts to tell us how the world is going to look years from now. But maybe we should be looking elsewhere. Science fiction writer Isaac Asimov is often called ‘the father of robotics’. Even though he was writing decades before we started to even consider robotics, the technology that we are developing today looks remarkably similar to the robots in his stories. Scientists predict that they will eventually use the laws of robotics that he created to safeguard us against that technology. At the time, it is unlikely that he realized how accurate his guesses were, and he isn’t the only one. These are the times that movies and TV have predicted technology that we have today.
2001: A Space Odyssey
Stanley Kubrick’s classic has been praised for so many different reasons. It was a groundbreaking moment in film and he has been given credit for the sheer level of scientific accuracy in the movie. But something that you might not have heard about as much is his prediction of a piece of technology that most of us have in our house right now. You might even be using one to read this very article. 2001 was one of the first movies to show characters using a tablet computer. What’s more, he was only nine years out when it came to the time scale, as Apple released their first iPad in 2010.
The Simpsons have predicted the future countless times, most notably the time when Lisa predicted Donald Trump becoming president. But one of the most recent technological innovations that they predicted is the Internet of Things. The concept of a house that is full of appliances that are connected to the internet and work autonomously is starting to look more likely with the invention of things like the Amazon Echo and the Google Home. But years before that, The Simpsons predicted this development in an episode set in the future where America’s favorite family lived in the Ultrahouse 3000. They also predicted a grizzly end to the story when the house turned on them, let’s hope they got that part wrong.
The movie Blade Runner, based on the much better-titled book, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep, featured lots of speculation about the future of technology, but one thing stood out among the rest. Throughout the movie, Harrison Ford was often seen speaking to people via video call. Plenty of other movies featured this technology that is now so widespread, but Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner was one of the first on-screen appearances of the video call.
Just this week, a group of leaders in the technology industry including Elon Musk wrote an open letter to the UN. They were urging them to put an immediate ban on the use of autonomous military robots, warning that it would bring about a revolution in warfare and make it far more dangerous than it already is. Robotics is already becoming an important part of the military, but that jump to autonomous robots is worrying for everybody. Although this idea is only starting to become a reality, it has been around for a long while. The 1986 movie, Short Circuit, followed a military robot that became self-aware after being struck by lightning. Obviously, that’s not going to happen in real life, but the movie did raise some serious questions about the dangers of military robots that have been in the news this week.
Back To The Future Part 2
We all wish that the back to the future hoverboard was a reality, but unfortunately, we aren’t there yet. However, a lot of the tech that they showed in the movie has since become a reality. The self-lacing shoes that Marty Mcfly wears were released by Nike last year. But one of the most accurate predictions that they made was wearable tech. This has become a massive tech trend in the last few years but it was a long way off when the Mcflys were wearing it back in 1989. The glasses that you see them wearing look eerily similar to the Oculus Rift.
Another recent technological innovation that is set to change the way that the world works is the driverless car. The first models are available to the public and, although they aren’t that widespread, there are some on the road as we speak. Although we don’t have the strange looking robot driver, the driverless car that we saw in Total Recall almost thirty years ago was pretty close to the ones that we are developing right now.