Science fiction falls under the genre of fiction in which the stories about the correlation of science and technology of the future are often told. It deals with imaginative concepts such as futuristic science and technological possibilities, space travel, time travel, faster than light travel, parallel universes, and extraterrestrial life.
According to Niels Bohr, Prediction is hard to do, especially about the future. Prognoses were evident even before the existence of the atomic bombs (Kaku, 2010). In so many times, curiosity has pushed people to explore the impossible, in the process, new insights and vistas have been opened, forcing scientists to redefine what impossible" means. Sir William Oster comments on the same, that The philosophies of one age have become the absurdities of the next, and the foolishness of yesterday has become the wisdom of tomorrow. It is not easy to predict the future as seen in the film I Robot (2004) that is set in a future earth in 2035 A.D., where anthropomorphic robots are common assistants and workers for the humans who own them. They are programmed with the triadic robotic laws: to never harm a human or let a human come to harm, to always obey humans unless this violates the first principle, and to protect its own existence unless this violates the first or second laws.
How We Got Here
The power of human imagination has brought to attention the possibility of a futuristic society bedeviled with inequality, dehumanization, and restriction of human movement, free will, and information. Such a future is the opposite of the desired perfect peaceful utopian world. Science fiction can be used, in combination with artificial intelligence, to bring equality in the future world as well as equity in the distribution of resources.
Imagine a scientific fiction film called How we got here,' a movie using dystopian character struggling to escape a social, political or a corporate trap. This film addresses how the imagined future subjected to corporate, bureaucratic, technological and philosophical control gains freedom through fictional characters. The world presented here depicts how the media, products, and advertising are used by one or more giant corporations to control the operations of the society. The limited and restricted world allows only specific product available for usage, and failure to do so results in death penalties. This scenario results in the rich having the ability to afford such products while the poor die often creating a social stratification.
Technological manipulation is a typical feature of a dystopian realm. Robot, machines, supercomputers, cyborgs, or other scientific means are used to drive selfish interests of governments and outlawed scientific research labs. For instance, the HAL supercomputer featured in 2001: A Space Odyssey comes out as a threat to human life and free will. The same can be said of Virtual Interactive Kinetic Intelligence (VIKI) in Proyas I, Robot (2004). The protagonist and other characters in How we got here should first of all show the significance of free will as opposed to coercion. There should be an emphasis on the ability of humans to solve social problems in ways that machines cannot succeed i.e. showing love and embracing unity.
The path of success for this film should present a character whose actions defeat the logic of political or religious dictatorship causing ideological divisions in the dystopian world. Various technological advancements have showcased invisibility, wormholes and teleportation elements. While such features are meant to improve human life in the utopian world, they are misused in the dystopian existence. The resulting conflicts often result from betrayals and false promises from those in the society thus creating a heterogeneous society faced by hatred. Fairness can be a vital tool in the public eye, just like the lottery-of-fate strategy used in Deep Impact (1998) to determine those who are to be saved when the comet land on earth. How we got here would follow the same plot when faced with dilemmas in decision making. Sacrifices have to be made for the human race to be saved.
In conclusion, science fiction though basing its focus on the future technology, the issues confronted are microcosmic of the real society. The actions of characters bring people together in the processes of solving social, political or technological problems. Their decisions increase awareness on humanness thereby bridging the gap between the different social classes of people in a society that is evil.
Kaku, M. (2010). Physics of the impossible: A scientific exploration of the world of phasers, force fields, teleportation and time travel. London: Penguin.
Kubrick, S., & Clarke, A. C. (1988). 2001: A space odyssey. United States: MGM.
Leder, M. (1998). Deep impact. United State: Brown Productions
Proyas, A. (2004). I, robot. United States: Davis Entertainment
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