Back in 1982, Ridley Scott released his landmark film which took place in… November 2019.
It’s November 2019 and Los Angeles is in a state of urban decay. Humans were facing threats from manufactured biological robots that had turned against society. Did we get that right?
Today is November 2019. Are humans at risk by machines? Did bio-engineered androids go wrong? Have real-world robotic sex dolls conquered the market?
True, Blade Runner was NOT predicting the future. Blade Runner just happened to be set in 2019, a year suitably distant from 1982 when it was released to qualify as ‘the future’. When Philip K. Dick wrote Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, the book that Blade Runner is based on, he wasn’t predicting off-world mining and replicants, he was writing about what he saw as the dehumanising effects of technology. And the movie, directed by Ridley Scott, released 37 years ago, explores this theme further and questions of what ‘humanity’ is and what being human means, a theme as relevant then as it is now and will be in the future.
Nevertheless we take a look at the things it did predict:
- For starters, video-calling is a big thing. The increased demand for video streaming and the continuous expansion in the number of internet users has the video market set to reach USD 24.09 Billion as an industry by 2026, according to recent reports. Even though video calling actually started as early as the 1920s with AT&T, Skype came to really shake the market in 2003, kicking off the video-calling industry as we know it.
- Deckard, Harrison Ford’s character, had a virtual assistant which allowed him entry, and that is also a thing today, as Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant can identify our voice patterns and help us with anything from putting music, to moving curtains, alter lighting, and open doors.
- Lie detectors also happened. In the movie, it was used by blade runners to separate humans from robots. And even though their reliability has been disputed, they are yet another thing to come true.
- Robots and flying cars are not a real thing… yet, but sex doll brothels exists in Europe and drones have peaked in recent years as a competitive market.
- AI (Artificial Intelligence) is getting much smarter, and it’s been dominated by the likes of the United States and China when it comes to investment, talent, research and companies in the sector.