Is The Future Really Here Already?

By: Shad Bookout

Movies and television are full of different ways and dates that describe the future. Look at the Simpsons’ uncanny ability to soothsay their way into pop culture lore (but at nearly 700 episodes they have had the most opportunities to get it right). We look around us and wonder: where are all the things that were predicted? Where are the flying cars? Where is my house on the moon? Where are the androids? But these futures are much more illusive and complicated than you think. However, if you look closely, the future many have already arrived.

Meet George Jetson

Set in the year 2062, the Jetsons gave an animated look into the lives of the people of the future (100 years into the future during its televised run). However, we are not flying across the milky way in personal spacecraft like they did. But look a little closer.

The home of the future was nearly fully automated and overseen by a personal assistant driven by artificial intelligence (Rosie the Robot). Isn’t that what we are in the midst of today? Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s Siri are all examples of how the Internet of Things is helping us live a more connected loves. Out virtual assistants can turn on the lights, change the temperature in the room, find your favorite show or song, and even give you insight into the world around you. Sure, they cannot clean while providing snarky banter, but that is just a matter of a little programming.

Great Scott, Marty!

Travel Back to the Future and you will arrive at October 21, 2015. This is the date in the movie sequel that Marty and Doc had a glimpse into the lives led by the people of the future. This whimsical journey is chock full of successful predictions. Wireless video games, immersive movies power by 3D and virtual reality, and hand held computer tablets (thanks to Star Trek TNG for help on this one, too) are all here today, just like in the movie. We even had Nike sneakers for a limited run that would tie themselves for you. Of course, everyone wanted a hoverboard. We are close — but not quite to that level — of awesomeness.

I Said, “I’ll Be Back”

August 29, 1997. That is the day that SkyNet became self aware. Or was it July 25, 2004? or 2011? The timeline keeps getting altered, but the end results are the same. The future in The Terminator franchise of films is filled with drones and machines running the future. It is all about the quest for artificial intelligence. Now, the philosophical implication of machine learning can be debated in another blog. But, for today, look around you. Drones are delivering packages and food. You are reading this right now because you are connected to a computer. The military application of today’s technology is equally on point (imagine the things they have that are classified to public knowledge). There is no SkyNet. But there certainly is Amazon and the T1000 knocking at your door with your delivery.

What future predictions are you excited to see? Let us know in the comments.