Throughout the years, various movies have managed to capture our imagination with their creative portrayals of advanced technology and the not-so-distant future. However, with the rapid advancement of technology, some of these movies are coming closer to being prophetic, and have accurately predicted the future our world is taking.
It is particularly interesting to note how Minority Report anticipated China’s Social Credit System and the Government of Canada’s oppressive anti-free-speech and thought crime laws.
In the movie Minority Report, the protagonist John Anderton, played by Tom Cruise, works with the “PreCrime” division. This specialized division uses psychic technology to detect and apprehend criminals before they commit crimes, echoing the controversial surveillance and preemptive aspects of China’s Social Credit System.
China’s system, implemented in 2014, utilizes big data to monitor and control the behavior of individuals and businesses, assigning each citizen a “social score” based on their actions. This score can significantly impact a person’s access to services and opportunities, such as loans, education or even travel. The surveillance technology used to monitor citizens’ actions aligns with the advanced methods shown in the movie.
Minority Report broached the idea of prohibiting free speech and controlling thought, concepts resonant with the Canadian government’s anti-free-speech and thought crime laws. In recent years, Canada has faced criticisms for implementing legislation like Bill C-16, which protects individuals from discrimination based on gender identity or expression or even the presumption of “thought” even if not expressed.
Critics argue that these laws stifle free speech and force citizens to adhere to specific ideological perspectives. Though well-intentioned, some fear that legislation like this could increasingly lead to an oppressive future, much like the world portrayed in Minority Report.
Minority Report (2002)
Predicted the Future: facial recognition technology, self-driving cars, and automated advertisements
Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi thriller Minority Report, based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, depicted a near-future where advanced technology could predict and prevent crime.
Aspects of the movie touched upon multiple futuristic technologies that have now become a reality.
Facial recognition technology is now widely used for various purposes, from unlocking smartphones to identifying potential criminals in surveillance footage. Self-driving cars, as seen in the movie, are now being developed by major companies like Tesla and Google.
Furthermore, automated advertisements have become the norm across social media and websites, tailoring product recommendations based on user browsing and purchasing habits.
The Terminator (1984)
Predicted the Future: voice recognition technology, militarized robotics, and artificial intelligence
With Arnold Schwarzenegger’s stellar performance as the ruthless killer cyborg, The Terminator became a classic sci-fi film in 1984. The movie accurately predicted the advent of voice recognition technology, which is now used by tech giants like Amazon, Apple and Microsoft to power their virtual assistants, such as Alexa, Siri and Cortana.
Additionally, militarized robotics have come to fruition. Unmanned drones and autonomous military robots are now an essential part of military operations, primarily for surveillance or to disarm potential threats.
The Terminator series of movies also gave us a glimpse of a future where artificial intelligence could become a threat to mankind, a concept that has been widely debated both in films and academia. With AI research progressing rapidly today, it is inevitable that the debate over its implications continues to gain momentum.
Blade Runner (1982)
Predicted the Future: video calling, robotics and biotechnology advancements, artificial intelligence
Another classic sci-fi movie, Blade Runner, based on Philip K. Dick’s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?,” gave futuristic visions that align with the present technological innovations.
Video calling has become a staple in today’s communication, thanks to platforms such as Skype, Zoom, and FaceTime that allow users to connect in real-time with family, friends, and colleagues across the globe.
In the field of robotics, humanoid robots are now being developed to assist humans in various tasks. Moreover, advancements in biotechnology, such as gene editing, are bringing us closer to creating designer organisms and even extending human life.
The core idea of Blade Runner – the potential merging of artificial intelligence and human emotions – remains relevant and continues to spark debates, as robots like Sophia make headlines for their lifelike appearances and advanced AI capabilities.
Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Predicted the Future: hands-free gaming consoles, hoverboards, and wearable tech
Back to the Future Part II, the beloved time-traveling adventure, showcased various futuristic gadgets and technologies, many of which are now a reality today.
Hands-free gaming consoles like Microsoft Kinect and virtual reality systems have revolutionized the gaming experience. Although the iconic hoverboard remains to be perfected, tech companies are working on prototypes that could soon make it a reality.
It is exciting to witness how these four incredible movies managed to foresee the future with an uncanny accuracy. It’s fascinating to think that what was once purely fictional is now part of our everyday lives. If nothing else, these films serve as a testament to the boundless creativity of the human mind, as well as a reminder of our technological progress.
We highly recommend you watch these movies not only for their eerie predictions but also because they are genuinely enjoyable and thought-provoking films.