Science fiction has been showing us alternatives for the future as long as stories have been told. Sometimes those stories are about what humanity could achieve if we all put our differences aside and tried to work together for a better tomorrow. Other times those stories are about what will happen if technological advancement falls into the hands of the nefarious and powerful few. Artificial intelligence is one of the things that is often billed in sci-fi stories as the latter — something that is going to enslave us all and lead to humankind’s eventual demise. But sometimes artificial intelligence is cast in a positive light, as something that can greatly advance our societies.
The Jetsons, a cartoon that made its debut in 1962, showed us a world where humans and artificial intelligence and machines all lived together in harmony, working together to achieve shared goals. Rosie the robot was one of the best characters on the show, and her job was to cook and clean for the Jetson family. Today many of her functionalities have become reality – we have robots that can do our vacuuming, mowing, and pool cleaning, and there are even robots that can cook for us.
One invention that has been featured in multiple sci-fi franchises is a language translator. In 1979’s Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, a Babel Fish was placed in your ear and would automatically translate alien languages for you. In 1966’s Star Trek (the original series) a Universal Translator could also help a communications officer translate the languages of new species they discovered while exploring the galaxy. Today we have a translator function in Google Assistant’s Interpreter Mode, which allows people to access translation services for 27 different Earth languages, certainly a precursor for artificial intelligence capacity for universal translators of unknown alien dialects should that become necessary in the future.
Learn more about the many ways in which artificial intelligence from science fiction movies and television shows have become reality below. Not all of the examples are positive ones, but there are enough positives to paint humanity’s future in a hopeful light.
What do you think about the portrayal of artificial intelligence in sci-fi? Do you think it has accurately predicted technology? What sci-fi predictions do you hope to see come true? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook, or MeWe.
Last Updated on February 3, 2021.