The Journey From Science Fiction To Reality With Hollywood

3 min read

A copy of the article I posted on LinkedIn on June 21st, 2017.

Think about the technology transformation we’ve witnessed over the last two centuries. From Postal Service to Telegram and then from Switchboard dependent Telephones to Dial Phones. Then the transition to mobile phones and onto smart phones. If someone had lived through most part of this change cycle, it definitely is a surreal feeling and I’m sure they didn’t see this coming. But now as progression in all fields is at a lightning speed, it is anticipated that the change isn’t going to be this slow, translation – it won’t take two centuries for us to witness significant changes! Word is that Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) coupled with software and hardware advancements will take over from here. I believe we will be in a sit back, relax and enjoy mode pretty soon. But are we ready to take the responsibility and be accountable or leave that to the machines as well?

Credit: Flickr Creative Commons
Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

Being a movie buff, I’ve noticed a pattern where the concepts depicted in some Science Fiction (Sci-Fi) and Technology movies have either become a reality or will eventually be. Below is a list of few fascinating scenarios from some of the movies in the recent past that are already a reality.

  1. In the movie Ex Machina, a popular search engine corporation’s CEO, simulates a more human like behavior of the humanoid robot and explains he does it by hacking billions of cell phone recordings of people’s expressions and body language and harvesting the PII (personally identifiable information) data of all the search engine users and their search queries which provide valuable information on their thought process. As recently quoted that Data is the new Oil of the digital economy, but how much sharing and extraction is too much?
  2. There is no such thing as a free lunch. A billionaire in the movie The Kingsman: Secret Service, offers free SIM cards to everyone with free internet, free WiFi, forever. Like most things that are free in the digital world have an underlying trade off that normal person would not fathom or not made transparent for a reason. Watch the movie or read about the implications and intent of terms of service (ToS) agreements that most organizations enforce in Marc Goodman’s book – Future Crimes.
  3. The year 2054 from the movie Minority Report has officially arrived in 2015 with the advent of facial recognition advertising.
  4. The movie Aloha portrays an attempt by a business man funding a project that would put a satellite into the orbit obviously for nefarious reasons. So it has become easier to put your own satellite into the orbit for either a good or bad reason is very subjective and debatable.
  5. Judgement Day may have been averted as depicted in the movie The Terminator 2 but there are references that autonomous robotic weapons similar to the Terminator or may be more like The Iron Man are being built.

Next time you watch a Sci-Fi movie you can be more than sure that it would eventually become a reality possibly in your lifetime. I guess the exceptions here would be Back To The Future and may be Passengers. I wouldn’t rule these out for my great grand kids though! I am sure you’ll have many more to add to this list but the point being, we should surely be excited about the future but also need to consider the implications and risk that come with the benefits. We need to be more vigilant and educate our kids to be savvy enough to survive in this digital wild west.

I’ll be back…until then enjoy the ride safely!


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The Journey From Science Fiction To Reality With Hollywood

by Indrajit (Indy) Atluri time to read: 2 min