Science Fiction Overview

Views of the Future Involving AI

 The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed.
 - William Gibson 

 Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
 - Arthur C. Clarke 

 A good science fiction story should be able to predict not the automobile but the traffic jam.
 - Fred Pohl 

 Most of us came to technology through science fiction; our imaginations remain secretly moved by science-fictional ideas.
 - Jason Pontin

Science fiction is an incubator for imaginative minds to create visions that help us to glimpse not only the future, but also something about ourselves in the present. Fueled by the extrapolation of "what is" into "what can be", science fiction transports us beyond the horizon of our current technologies enabling us to observe the possible incarnations of scientific progress and to experience and appreciate the many ways this may impact upon us. For example, George Orwell's classic work, 1984, introduced the notion of an omnipresent "Big Brother" and served as a focal point for discussion about our attitudes, perceptions, hopes and fears about technology, society, and how they intertwine. Also, the concept of rules of ethical conduct for robots was introduced as ‘Three Laws of Robotics’ by U.S. author Isaac Asimov in his book Runaround originally published in 1942.

For those interested in AI, science fiction offers a window to the future, a mirror for the present, and even interesting career opportunities.

Image from Fritz Lang's Metropolis.


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