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.
Futurist and artist Syd Mead has passed away at 86 due to complications from lymphoma. Even if you don't know his name, you've probably felt his impact on Hollywood, especially on the science fiction genre. Mead designed Blade Runner's world and technologies by serving as Ridley Scott's concept artist, and he conjured up the lightcycle for Tron, among other fictional vehicles and gadgets. His ideas of the future also helped shape other sci-fi films' universe, including Elysium and Tomorrowland. Mead's background in industrial design may have helped him think up advanced technologies that are still believable.
Since computer science began, a favorite science fiction trope involves the omnipotent power of a computer capable of analyzing any query posed in plain English, indistinguishable from the way a human might answer questions. Examples are legion but my favorites include TARS and CASE from "Interstellar," HAL 9000 from "2001: A Space Odyssey," and even the Computer from "Star Trek: The Next Generation." But artificial intelligence (AI) is more than just a screenwriter's handy MacGuffin. Today, AI can be found on the cutting edge of almost every industry from meteorology to healthcare, and even sales. As a technology writer, I am fortunate to meet and discover influencers and companies that act as real tech disruptors.
In his recently published book "Astounding," the author Alec Nevala-Lee brings American science fiction's Golden Age back into focus by following four key figures: John W. Campbell, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard -- and Isaac Asimov, who officially turned 100 today (his exact birth date was unknown). Nevala-Lee's warts-and-all portrait paints Asimov -- known to his fans as the Good Doctor -- far more sympathetically than the genre's other founding fathers. But Nevala-Lee is clear about another aspect of Asimov's story: He was someone who unapologetically groped women. As recounted in "Astounding," Judith Merrill said Asimov was known in his younger days as "the man with a hundred hands." Harlan Ellison wrote, "Whenever we walked up the stairs with a young woman, I made sure to walk behind her so Isaac wouldn't grab her tush."
Over the past 10 years, thousands of movies have hit the world's multiplexes. It's nearly impossible to watch, let alone review, all of them. Yet, looking back over the past decade, it's easy to recall the ones that left indelible marks. The ones that caused audiences to leave the theater gobsmacked (or heartbroken, or mind-blown). For us at WIRED, this list (in chronological order) represents those movies. Not everything here is a genre film--our specialty--but there are probably more sci-fi, fantasy, and comic-book movies here than on any other best-of roundup.
There's another Kubrick science–fiction project that received a similarly puzzled critical reception to 2001, and which is overdue for reappraisal. AI: Artificial Intelligence, which came out 13 years ago, was developed by Kubrick and latterly with Steven Spielberg, a perfect fear–and–wonder pairing. The film is an Oedipal fairy tale about a robot boy called David driven by his programming to seek a mother's love. It's equal parts Pinocchio and Frankenstein and, like those stories, is fascinated less by the creator than their creation. David, perfectly played by Haley Joel Osment, is a new brand of "mecha", or humanoid robot, invented by a Dr Hobby (William Hurt) as a kind of child–surrogate.
AI, as conceived of in popular culture, does not yet exist, even if autonomous and expert systems do. Smartphones might not be supercomputers, but they are called "smartphones" for good reason, in terms of how their operating systems function. Equally, we are happy to talk about a computer game's "AI", but gamers quickly learn to take advantage of its limitations and inability to "think" creatively. There is an important difference between these systems and what is termed Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) or "strong AI", an AI with the general intelligence and aptitudes of a human. Given that the reality of AI may be fast approaching, it's of the utmost importance that we work out what might a future with artificial intelligence might look like.
Artificial Intelligence was existed only in the domain of science fiction and fantasy until last few years. However, it has become a part of our normal lives today, in social as well as the business environment. From military, automotive, agriculture, legal, healthcare to education, this technology has touched in almost every field and sector impacting human lives to a great extend. AI systems are capable enough to reduce human efforts in numerous areas. Its applications help to get the work done faster and with accurate results.
The Artificial Intelligence (AI) that we first knew in the Science Fiction (Sci-Fi) movies of the 1980s was portrayed as fanciful magic, where computers would talk to us like humans and be able to understand our needs, hopes and perhaps even our emotional desires. The trouble, a quarter-century ago, was that the IT industry was conceptually capable of building the logic constructs and computation engines that would deliver AI, but even the smartest techies were held back by several factors… not all of which their fault. Today's AI has changed because the developers building it have produced vastly more sophisticated algorithms than those that were driving initial forays into this field. Secondly and crucially, our new AI systems have also benefitted from access to massively widened datasets that were never available before the birth of the Internet and cloud data centers. Thirdly, computers have quite simply become more powerful.
Sci-fi is a large and interesting genre for anyone who gets curious about what the future may hold. From flying cars to dystopian corporations, nothing is outside its range. RELATED: 10 2000s Sci-Fi Masterpieces You've Probably Never Seen There are tons of robot movies, B-grade schlock-fests like Chopping Mall, and big budget productions like Blade Runner: 2049. There's no such thing as an objective film rating, but IMDb is great for getting a consensus from the public. Let's see what they have to tell us about robots!