The other day, I had an interesting conversation on Twitter regarding our future and although short, the replies show how some of us think about the future and what we will be doing in years to come, the guy I was talking to said how he would like to go 5000 years into the future then build a time machine with all the latest technology to come back again, my reply was in 5000 years would we still be here, the conversion continued with a positive reply from the other man saying did I mean we may of left the planet for a better life, I hadn’t thought that way and in fact was thinking a more negative outcome of finding no more than a desolate uninhabited desert of a planet that we as a species had destroyed.
There are always two sides of the coin.
As a science fiction writer, I see my job of writing three ways, either science fiction set in the near future, the far future or a present day twist, in the future my aim is to try and be realistic and believable as possible, or set in the far flung future and let the imagination run riot.
What the other guy in the conversion was looking at in the future was a Utopian outlook where we would all be in an ideal world with super advanced technology, which, hopefully will happen one day, but we are more prone as the world is at present to follow a more Dystopian scenario, whereas some form of disaster or ‘back slide’ in our future progression is more apparent.
Why, because it is the way we are heading, trying to evaluate where we are going in the future is simply looking at where we are now, how we got to this point and where it may possibly lead, enter Dystopian or even Ecotopian scenario’s.
Of course this is all but speculation and no one really knows what the future brings, or do they?
Arthur C Clarke was one of those completely switched on to how things could turn out and in fact most of what he said back in the sixties is now coming or has come true.
Some of the films I’ve seen and books I’ve read are pretty ‘on the ball’ about how they anticipated things would turn out or could possibly turn out and to give examples I will use a film I watched again recently released back in 2004, I Robot.
It’s about the fourth time I’ve seen this film but as I already knew the storyline I started to notice much more and how since 2004 when the film was made , how much of the little details have actually become part of every day life in 2013.
The film is set in 2035, and is based around a storyline of robots taking over all the menial tasks we all hate to do and as the film starts it’s obvious that the technology has come a long way and robots were as common a sight as cars on the street.
One of the scenes that you may of missed was where Will Smith pays the drinks tab on the way out of the bar using a card but just waved the card to the machine, remember this is made in 2004 and although there was a contactless payment system in operation in the USA in the early part of this century, The first contactless cards in the UK were issued by Barclaycard in 2008, As of May 2013 there are approximately 32.5 million contactless-enabled cards in circulation in the UK and over 147,000 terminals in use and now in everyday use.
So did the writer/director foresee this coming or just use what was current technology and take it to the next level, the ear piece phones in the film are already in existence, a Bluetooth add on for mobile phones and after seeing a programme the other day of mobile phones now small enough to be put in a watch now being produced, it’s not to far off to expect the entire phone to be in the ear piece.
The cars in the film were indeed fantastic, but then again I am a bit bias as I love Audi’s, the cars were in fact designed and built by Audi and called the Audi RSQ, this went on to become the Audi super car the Audi R8, the Audi cars of 2013 bear more than a little resemblance to the RSQ although a while off before the whole concept of petrol is replaced like the film hinted at.
So in twenty two years time (2035) can we expect to see robots doing the menial tasks, cars that run on something other than petrol, yes anything is possible, in fact the film was set thirty years in the future, just for a second take a look back thirty years and see how we have changed, the technology has come on in leaps and bounds, the cars of today would have been the subjects of sci-fi movies thirty years ago, but little else has really progressed, the film showed that although we had robots clever cars that could drive themselves, yet another thing that is now possible, and smaller compact communications the urban areas, bars and house interiors had changed very little to what they had been like in 2004, from that point alone I think the writers got it bang on, nearly ten years on from the film and little has changed except for the technology and the engineering in our cars, so why would it change much in the next twenty years or so.
As for the far flung future, we have still got the two sides of the coin and that is far harder to predict the outcome, a thousand years on will we still be holding on to our traditional surroundings with blindingly amazing technology around every corner or will we be a bit more organised at rebuild out towns and cities to resemble townscapes from ‘Star Trek’ or ‘Logans Run’ or will we continue to fight each other and finally bring the human race to a slow and bitter end? Or as the film ‘I Robot’ and the likes of ‘Terminator’ seems to suggest, will it be the machines that take over.
There are always two sides to every coin….
If you have a clearer image of where we may be going then do let me know, I’d love to hear you views.