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  • If you're watching this on your phone,

  • it's 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.

  • Transporters engaged.

  • Welcome aboard.

  • Sci-fi fan Elon Musk

  • is building rockets that he hopes will one day

  • carry people to Mars.

  • Submarines, helicopters, rockets, and touch screens

  • 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.

  • All science fiction is basically about is presence,

  • so it's about a heightened version of the present.

  • It's about anticipating where technology is going to go

  • and it's about our fears of where technology is going to go

  • and what uses or misuses we might make of that technology.

  • Divers information paper's ready and--

  • Techno world, do you need to buy a suitcase?

  • Utopia, huh?

  • You know they set up shop here, right?

  • 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 bio engineered

  • by a corporate power.

  • In London, fans are arriving for a Blade Runner

  • screening with a difference.

  • Keep moving, guys, come on.

  • Let's go, quickly scan.

  • We are in World Terminus, checkpoint 4.C

  • We're in Los Angeles in 2019.

  • Secret Cinema is a multilayer physical experience.

  • We build these physical sets,

  • creating a world inspired by a film.

  • So instead of just watching a film,

  • you literally buy a ticket, you become a character,

  • and you become part of an interactive theatrical experience.

  • Hey you lot in there!

  • You thirsty or what?

  • I think the science fiction genre allows us to dream

  • about another world.

  • We've taken the inspiration from Blade Runner

  • and built an entire world around it.

  • The film explores the ethical implications

  • of creating highly intelligent robots

  • that have thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

  • My wife's just back from a convention about AI,

  • artificial intelligence, in Cambridge.

  • A lot of the AI people think about what would happen

  • if real AI came on very powerfully

  • and what they'd do to us and that's one of the things

  • that science fiction has been exploring

  • for quite a long time now.

  • 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.

  • Young people escape the desolation by living much

  • of their lives in virtual reality.

  • Are you ready?

  • Although there is a wide gap

  • between the virtual world shown in the film

  • and the capabilities of current VR technology,

  • the idea that young people can get hooked

  • on virtual fantasies is a long-standing concern.

  • No, no, no, no, no!

  • To be compelling, science fiction

  • has to be convincing.

  • So 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.

  • Because I'm a trained designer,

  • I can imagine how things might be made.

  • People always say that my stuff looks real

  • even though it's futuristic.

  • The pods for Aliens that I designed were

  • real mechanical articulations.

  • When they opened, they looked absolutely real

  • for people to be in for long duration space travel.

  • I was hired to design the vehicles for Blade Runner.

  • Deckard's vehicle was, in my mind,

  • a decommissioned aerial limousine.

  • It's overlaying the familiar with the weird

  • and that's a surefire formula

  • for interesting things to look at.

  • Science fiction introduces

  • people to real world science and technology.

  • Some fans develop a lifelong passion.

  • The tech industry is led by sci-fi nerds

  • who are creating the things they read about

  • or saw on screen.

  • We all stand to benefit from their creations.

  • Provided, that is, they can avoid the ethical pitfalls

  • depicted in science fiction.

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How does science fiction influence the real world? | The Economist

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    歐小拉 posted on 2018/08/04
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