At the origin of an innovation, of an invention there is a need, invented or not, but above all a lot, a lot of imagination.
If we consider the fact that Terminator or Star Trek fictions have imagined inventions that were as implausible then as they have become real and common today for some, we can ask ourselves the following question:
While the technologies nicknamed “Terminator” are technologies used to make genetically modified plants sterile, some of the technologies in the Terminator film have now become a reality. Killer robots and battle drones have been around for years and are increasingly used by armies around the world.
Many technology creators, such as Steve Jobs, have been inspired by the series. The voice command, the interactive tablet, the universal translator or the 3D printer are just a few examples that appeared in the series long before their invention. The “pocket communicator” with its foldable network antenna literally inspired Motorola engineer Martin Cooper to design the world’s first mobile phone in 1973. Unfortunately, teleportation has not yet been invented. Note that the concept was first used in the film The Black Fly (1958) by Kurt Neumann, 8 years before start Trek.
Colonel Steve Austin played by Lee Majors becomes bionic after a plane crash. Super Jaimie played by Linday Wagner joined him in 1976. At the time, man-machine hybridization was a chimera but robotic prostheses have become common today and implants of all kinds exist and are developing rapidly.
Stanley Kubrick was a visionary in 1968 when he made this film. Of course, everyone remembers HAL, the AI that interacts, but it included some very common technologies today such as videoconferencing or what will become our personal assistants such as Siri or Google Home..
Number 6 in the series, Patrick McGoohan tries to escape from the village where he’s being held. Prefiguration of an ultra-supervised society where individual freedom is absent, Chinese drift in which the surveillance of individuals with scoring is implemented, the technologies of population surveillance are developing at a fast pace thanks to AI, drones and smart cameras.
There is not just American movies that have anticipated the technologies of the future. Indeed, when his film was released, François Truffaut showed ultra-current technologies of today, such as giant flat screens hanging on the wall and small headphones. It wasn’t until 2001 that Apple released its first models.
Warren Beatty shoots a film based on a comic strip published since 1931 with as main character the policeman Dick Tracy.
He uses a radio that transmits and receives messages and is worn on the wrist… the ancestor of the Smart Watch!
A scientist develops Proteus IV, an AI that first cures leukemia. The computer connects to the researcher’s home to take control of all the technology and devices there. The computer could control the lights, the door locks, manage the home alarm system, and even the automatic pool cover. Home automation technologies that are commonplace and still developing today.
Michael Knight played on screen by David Hasselhoff is helped in his mission as a vigilante by a smart car named KITT. The car is controlled by an on-board computer with artificial intelligence. On-board computer, artificial intelligence and autonomous driving make their appearance in a series and will inspire all car manufacturers.
If series or films inspire the technologies of the future, what about current series such as Humans, Trepalium or Black Mirror, which explore their excesses? Do they presage the future?
Currently the Westworld series, on its way to becoming cult, takes up virtually all existing technologies and explores futuristic technologies that may one day become reality or are in the process of doing so, such as 3D synthetic muscle printing using a printer… which already exists.
In 50 years time, storing the information of a human brain that has an estimated 58.75 terabytes could be possible when we better understand how it works. Maybe we will be able to create AI equal or superior to humans without being able to distinguish them physically or even intellectually.
In short, cinema with the overflowing imagination of its screenwriters has not finished inspiring scientists.
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