Science Fiction on the big screen, I love it! And especially in this age! Let me explain.
In the past, Science Fiction movies have mainly been about the gadgets; lasers, teleporters, flying cars, space travel, you name it. 40 years ago we envisioned a future where gadgets helped humankind do incredible things, like video-calling, even with holograms, machines being able to make anything, devices that monitor your health, computers on your wrist, glasses and helmets that can analyze your surrounding and serve different purposes. All these things, have to this date, actually been invented. Isn’t that amazing?
In their time, it was simple, it was just there, only tools for the plot and to people’s amazement. Futuristic design being casually used.
Today we have these things available to the majority of the western world, and we’re trying to bring them to the rest of the world. And as such, we are only beginning to see their true purpose and their true nature. How do we use the Internet? Mostly to watch cat videos, apparently. We have powerful computers in our pockets, which we use to watch cat videos, and go on Facebook, tweet random stuff on Twitter, post a cat gif on Google+. We even take selfies all the time. That’s vastly different than what we might have thought some 40 years ago.
Of course, we don’t all just do that, smartphones are used intellectually with anything from solving Rubik cubes (with Lego) to calculate life changing algorithms for scientists around the world. So 99% may use smartphones casually, but the 1% is defining what is actually possible, and what is being defined are advancements that have impact in our daily lives.
So as that as a segway, let’s turn our attention to modern Science Fiction.
Lately, I’ve noticed how sci-fi movies often revolves around consequences of our new technology, or at least show them in a light that is very relevant today. We question our privacy online, government wants our data, big firms like Google collects a huge amount of data, simply to get to know you, and sell ads to your liking. However, as important is what companies are doing with that data, they analyze and track you so they can deliver a service to you, that you can use. Almost like an assistant of your own. There’s tons of options, but I won’t dive into that now.
Technology is changing fast these days, and they are inching closer and closer to our personal data. There’s a lot of distrust and a lot of politics that needs sorted out, and on top of that, it’s all so new, so we also need to socially accept these changes and our new behaviors. Science fiction is beginning to tackle these issues on the big screen. A recent example is the movie “Her”, the movie is about an Artificial Intelligence as an Operating System. And in the near future, it’s everywhere, always a part of you and what you do. This AI has a personality, and the movie doesn’t tackle the privacy concerns, but rather the social interaction with this AI, and how a human can fall for an AI. After all, humans can be attracted to personalities, and an AI like Her is quite advanced, and as such, the main character falls in love it. That’s a really interesting angle, especially in this day and age. We don’t need to procreate as much (far from it), the physical attraction to humans are less relevant today, as you don’t need a prime specimen anymore to survive and thrive. Of course there’s still physical needs and wants, but the movie tackles these as well. It’s interesting and it’s not even debated much today – but it’s clearly somewhere along those lines we are headed, if ever possible to create a truly Artificial Intelligence. RoboCop (the latest installment) presses on bionics and when a human no longer is human, but more a machine. Artificial human parts are no longer impossible, and are quite functional today, so when we start replacing parts in our body to live longer, or to improve our lives, when are we no longer human? This, however, I think returns to the old sci-fi from before. We actually don’t really know. If we can replace almost any human part, how will people be when they are 100 years old and are physically as a 25 year old? How about 150? How will the brain work? Will we need to refresh the brain as well with computers? How does this affect our human and personal selves?
The list obviously goes on, but notice that we have moved on from the gadgets, to ourselves. To give ourselves perspectives and wonder how we will live our technological advanced lives. How will politics be? What will society be like when certain stuff are the norm, what makes logical sense, but isn’t exactly accepted as a social norm?
The age of context is upon us right now. Computers are getting to know us on a personal level, scientist and programmers are working on using this data to assist us and guide us, and we question these possibilities more and more, and I absolutely love it. You can do something entirely different today, than what you could just 10 years ago. Imagine what is possible in 10 years, and how we will change for technology. It’s a brave new world, and a very exciting one.
It’s one of the reasons I’d like to help people understand their smartphone more, because the smartphone is so far like a little window into the future, where exciting things connect, and understanding that will be beneficial when technology can do even more for you. And it will probably help understand the next wave of devices more; wearables and the data they collect.
Happy Friday, it’s my birthday today, and I turn 25. Quite the age I think 🙂
Be sure to follow me on Google+ “The Bear Blogs Android”, or just my personal account; Cebastian Rosing, you can also catch me on twitter @C_Roxing. Have a great weekend, and consider watching a modern sci-fi. Try to notice the social aspects and the underlying question of technology. If you know of any good Sci-fi movie, be sure to comment below, as I’d like to know, and if you aren’t sure you know what to watch, I can make a quick list in the comments I recommend – just let me know 🙂