Films from the Future: Twelve Science Fiction Movies About Technology Trends and Society

Source: Ex MAchina

What can we learn about emerging technologies and society from science fiction movies? Quite a lot, as it turns out.

This is the idea behind my new book Films from the Future: The Technology and Morality of Sci-Fi Movies (published by Mango).

Here’s the complete contents lineup:

CHAPTER ONE

IN THE BEGINNING

2001 a A Space Odyssey (1968)

“I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that” — HAL

Beginnings • Welcome to the Future • The Power of Convergence • Socially Responsible Innovation • A Common Point of Focus • Spoiler Alert

CHAPTER TWO

JURASSIC PARK: THE RISE OF RESURRECTION BIOLOGY

“God help us, we’re in the hands of engineers!” — Dr. Ian Malcolm

When Dinosaurs Ruled the World • De-Extinction • Could We, Should We? • The Butterfly Effect • Visions of Power

CHAPTER THREE

NEVER LET ME GO: A CAUTIONARY TALE OF HUMAN CLONING

“Who’d make up stories as horrible as that?” — Ruth

Sins of Futures Past • Cloning • Genuinely Human? • Too Valuable to Fail?

CHAPTER FOUR

MINORITY REPORT: PREDICTING CRIMINAL INTENT

“If there’s a flaw, it’s human — it always is” — Danny Witwer

Criminal Intent • The “Science” of Predicting Bad Behavior • Criminal Brain Scans • Machine-Learning Based Precognition • Big Brother, Meet Big Data

CHAPTER FIVE

LIMITLESS: PHARMACEUTICALLY-ENHANCED INTELLIGENCE

“I don’t have delusions of grandeur, I have an actual recipe for grandeur.” — Eddie Morra

A Pill for Everything • The Seduction of Self-Enhancement • Nootropics • If You Could, Would You? • Privileged Technology • Our Obsession with Intelligence

CHAPTER SIX

ELYSIUM: SOCIAL INEQUITY IN AN AGE OF TECHNOLOGICAL EXTREMES

“They are armed, and I’d like them dead” — Carlisle

The Poor Shall Inherit the Earth • Bioprinting our Future Bodies • The Disposable Workforce • Living in an Automated Future

CHAPTER SEVEN

GHOST IN THE SHELL: BEING HUMAN IN AN AUGMENTED FUTURE

“As an autonomous life-form, I request political asylum” — Puppet Master

Through a Glass Darkly • Body Hacking • More than “Human”? • Plugged In; Hacked Out • Your Corporate Body

CHAPTER EIGHT

EX MACHINA: AI AND THE ART OF MANIPULATION

“One day the AIs are going to look back on us the same way we look at fossil skeletons on the plains of Africa. An upright ape living in dust with crude language and tools, all set for extinction.” — Nathan Bateman

Plato’s Cave • The Lure of Permissionless Innovation • Technologies of Hubris • Superintelligence • Defining Artificial Intelligence • Artificial Manipulation

CHAPTER NINE

TRANSCENDENCE: WELCOME TO THE SINGULARITY

“You know what the computer did when he first turned it on? It screamed.” — Bree Evans

Visions of the Future • Technological Convergence • Enter the Neo Luddites • Techno-Terrorism • Exponential Extrapolation • Make Believe in the Age of the Singularity

CHAPTER TEN

THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT: LIVING IN A MATERIAL WORLD

“Why can’t you scientists leave things alone? What about my bit of washing, when there’s no washing to do?” — Mrs. Watson

There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom • Mastering the Material World • Myopically Benevolent Science • Never Underestimate the Status Quo • It’s Good to Talk

CHAPTER ELEVEN

INFERNO: IMMORAL LOGIC IN AN AGE OF GENETIC MANIPULATION

“If a plague exists, do you know how many governments would want it and what they’d do to get it?” — Sienna Brooks

Decoding Make Believe • Weaponizing the Genome • Immoral Logic? • The Honest Broker • Dictating the Future

CHAPTER TWELVE

THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW: RIDING THE WAVE OF CLIMATE CHANGE

“We were wrong” — Vice President Becker

Our Changing Climate • Fragile States • A Planetary “Microbiome” • The Rise of the Anthropocene • Building Resiliency • Geoengineering the Future

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

CONTACT: LIVING BY MORE THAN SCIENCE ALONE

“… okay to go …” — Ellie Arroway

An Awful Waste of Space • More than Science Alone • Occam’s Razor • What if We’re Not Alone?

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

Looking to the Future

“Don’t panic” — The book

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

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Snips, clips, and insights, from the forthcoming book Films from the Future: The Morality and Technology of Sci-Fi Movies (available now for pre-order)

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Andrew Maynard

Andrew Maynard

Scientist, futurist & Professor of Global Futures at ASU. Author of Future Rising and Films from the Future. Writing about tech, society, & the future

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