Jules Verne predicted much of the current advances such as space exploration or submarine travel. His visionary ability has been the subject of a recent report in the National Geographic magazine. You can understand literature as a laboratory of ideas, where you can experiment with different ingredients and even discuss them.
We can also think about the future from the television series. The quality and diversity of current productions allow us to make cartography about predictions, interests and the ethical problems they present.
Many series explore the relationships between technology and current day-to-day life. Startup addresses the world of cybercrime, Mr. Robot the idea of cyber justice, CSI the possibilities of a digital forensic science or Silicon Valley the importance and risks of discovering a very powerful algorithm.
Science fiction is a peculiar literary genre, because its verisimilitude allows us to explore tomorrow. TheForbiz.com – for example – is a company that helps accelerates innovation with the help of science fiction writers. Its founder, Ari Popper, uses narrative to assist large corporations to plan the impact their projects could have on society.
A future full of possibilities thanks to technology has already been raised in classic series such as Star Trek. Space exploration, interstellar communications, medical advances, the use of robots and processors are found in their scripts. Even when a civilization of robots threatens us, the technology of ships like the Battle star Galactic are the ones that would allow humanity to survive.
Based on a script by Michael Chrichton we find in West world, a theme park where the hosts are androids. The question about their rights and duties is a disquisition about the humanity of Artificial Intelligence.
The daily use of technology is presented in Black Mirror where there are numerous dilemmas around the technology and its uses. Their episodes are independent and each tells a disturbing story that has to do with the ethical boundaries of a hyperconnected and digital world. In The Passage a girl is the protagonist of an experiment that could cure all known diseases.
The possibility of a dystopian society is also explored by the Canadian series Orphan Black where the possible lives of a series of cloned women and the dark interests behind it are proposed. The Danish series the rain also presents a post-apocalyptic society annihilated by a virus in which only a group of young people has been able to survive. Other series in that record are The 100 or The Walking Dead.
What would have happened if… is investigated in series like The Man in the High Castle, an extended adaptation of the novel of Philip K. Dick that tells the story of a world from the triumph of Nazism in World War II. Another twist is the dystopias like The Handmaid’s Tale, where a feudal society after a viral debacle subjugates women and establishes an inhuman and slavish hierarchy.
There are also productions whose scripts explore phenomena at the frontiers of science. A classic in this regard was the series The Twilight Zone created by Rod Serling in 1959. Or Fringe where a North American federal division investigates parallel universes, dark matter, teleportation, preconocimiento, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, telekinesis or suspended animation. Or Sense8 that experiences normatively about mental connectivity between human beings. In Touch a child can predict the future and interpret reality thanks to mathematical patterns.
Following this trail is Altered Carbon, a series that takes place at the end of the XXIII century, a time when the essence of the human being can survive beyond the corporeality and the consciences and memories can be reinserted into other bodies. In this case the protagonist, reimplanted two hundred and fifty years later, has a mission to investigate a possible murder.
From the first stage of Doctor Who the possibility of traveling through time has been treated in many television productions. Some of them play with the possibility of “changing history” as the Spanish series The Ministry of Time, where its protagonists prevent anyone from altering historical events. In Twelve Monkeys James Cole travels in time to avoid creating a disease in the present. Or the series 11.22.63 -inspired by a novel by Stephen King- where a professor tries to avoid the death of John F. Kennedy.
Although time travel is closer to the fantastic, they are also an interesting terrain to contrast ideas and perspectives from different eras. This is a very suggestive essay to understand the types of technologies or the differences in social and economic organization at each stage of history. In the end, all this highlights, in one way or another, the complex relationship between the human being and future technology.