How does science fiction influence the real world?
Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: http://econ.st/2v5mUik
Daily Watch: mind-stretching short films throughout the working week. For more from Economist Films visit: http://econ.st/2v2vj63
Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk
Like The Economist on Facebook: http://econ.st/2v7sVey
Follow The Economist on Twitter: http://econ.st/2v1JFUm
Steven Spielberg’s new film “Ready Player One” imagines a future where people live much of their lives in virtual reality.
Do science fiction’s predictions of the future ever come true? Yes. And it’s no surprise, given that the tech industry is led by sci-fi fans turning their visions into reality.
If you’re watching this on your phone it is partly thanks to Captain Kirk. In Star Trek, first broadcast in 1966 he used a pocket-sized device to communicate with his crew. Martin Cooper, the man who invented the mobile phone says the show was the inspiration for his idea, which launched seven years later.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos based Alexa, the voice activated speaker on Star Trek’s talking computer.
Sci-fi fan, Elon Musk, is building rockets that he hopes will one day carry people to Mars. Submarines, helicopters, rockets and touchscreens all appeared in science fiction before becoming science fact.
Sci-fi inspires real-world technology. It also provides a way to explore the moral dilemmas that advanced technologies could pose.
Paul McAuley is a scientist turned science fiction writer. Few films better encapsulate this than Ridley Scott’s 1982 cult classic, Blade Runner. The film is set in a dystopian future where synthetic human workers are bioengineered by a corporate power.
In London, fans are arriving for a Blade Runner screening with a difference. The film explores the ethical implications of creating highly intelligent robots that have thoughts, feelings and emotions.
Steven Spielberg’s latest movie “Ready Player One” explores another emerging technology, virtual reality. The film imagines a future where overpopulation, pollution and climate change have forced most people to live in sprawling, slum-like cities. To be compelling, science fiction has to be convincingso writers and film directors enlist the help of designers and engineers.
Syd Mead designed the look of some of Hollywood’s most seminal sci-fi films including Blade Runner, Star Trek the motion picture and Aliens. In the real world, he’s designed cars for Ford and electronics for Philips.
Science fiction introduces people to real-world science and technology. Some fans develop a life-long passion. The tech-industry is led by sci-fi nerds who want to create the things they read about, or saw on screen. We all stand to benefit, provided that is, they can avoid the ethical pitfalls depicted in science fiction.
Through Initiatives like SailingforWater and GreenUSR we can empower people of all ages to make smart decisions today that will effect the quality of life for future generations to come. And if Blockchain can help with these efforts let’s DoIT!
BLOCKCHAIN HOLDS GREAT potential for improving payment systems, but for the moment that potential remains largely unrealised.read more
Algorithms automating repetitive legal tasks will allow lawyers to focus on pertinent legal issues while expanding their work portfolios.read more
From improving health care processes to predicting when you might need to go into the hospital, AI is improving many aspects of the way we obtain and pay for medical care. Most patients aren’t aware – yet – of what goes on to make AI a reality in health care.read more
An analysis of more than 400 use cases across 19 industries and nine business functions highlights the broad use and significant economic potential of advanced AI techniques.read more
Did the chicken you just buy at the supermarket have a nice life, roam free, and eat healthy grains? If you’re the kind of person who cares, Carrefour SA, the big France-based grocery chain, has the bird for you.read more
Blockchain technology can do more than underpin crypto-currencies—it could help save the Amazon rainforest by stopping so called “biopirates” from plundering its biological riches.read more
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery