The creative industry paints different scenarios of the future
How does culture influence the future? When it comes to laying out basic expectations of what the future entails, the creative industry — whether it be books, tv shows, or movies — all have ideas, visions and predictions to offer. It’s no surprise that artificial intelligence and the extinction of any form of personal privacy or human autonomy appear to be a recurring theme. Here are some eye-opening and thought-provoking picks that predict a future through a more realistic lens.
The Future Of is a 20-minute Netflix docuseries from the makers of Explained that imagines a future aided by the technology we are currently developing today. The episode of Houseplants is particularly mind boggling, detailing how plants will be able to store data and monitor pollution, helping to preserve the planet and minimize the use of climate damaging machinery. We were also big fans of the idea depicted in the Dogs episode, which suggests that we may eventually be able to interact with our pets more efficiently and easily understand their needs.
Tell the Machine Goodnight by Katie Williams has nothing to do with our current world and its principles, but we wouldn’t be surprised if a similar gadget appeared in the future. The plot is set in the year 2035 and follows Pearl, a woman technician tasked with gathering DNA samples to analyze what clients need to do to attain happiness. Her avatar resembles a talking fortune cookie to help clients find her advice uplifting and hopeful. This read will have you questioning whether positive psychology and affirmations are all we need to be happy, or whether our current and future reality is far from it.
Apple TV’s Ready Player One is a 2018 science fiction film based on Ernest Cline's novel, and the concept is more alarming now that we have the Metaverse. Set in the year 2045, the film takes place in a virtual reality simulation called the OASIS where individuals escape the dreadful society they live in. In this parallel realm, you’re given a second chance to live a better life and become a much better version of yourself. The movie follows a young orphan who finds out about a competition to control the OASIS and sets out on a series of adventures with his allies to win it before an evil business seizes it and destroys it.
The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey picks up on the future of an existing controversial science — cloning. This novel takes place in a future wherein cloning goes mainstream, and a host of challenges that will arise. The plot centers around Evelyn, a scientist so enthralled with technology that she tests it on herself and creates Martine. Unfortunately Evelyn’s ill-advised decision leads to her husband Nathan catching feelings for Martine, unable to resist the temptations of having two Evelyns for the price of one. Evelyn is devastated by the news, until she and Martine are forced to join heads and solve a Nathan-related problem. The plot takes a turn that will keep you intrigued until the very end.