Over the winter break I indulged in watching some old favorite television shows and movies. On a couple occasions I laughed out loud as I thought about how futuristic and outlandish the technology looked the first time I watched as opposed to how archaic and outdated it looks now.
On New Year’s Day I watched the 1950’s sci-fi classic movie, “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” Aside from a number of strikingly relevant messages for our current day, there is a voice-activated robot named Gort, who seems to have a healthy dose of artificial intelligence. (Incidentally, “Klaatu barada nikto” has never been formally translated.)At that time a robot seemed an unthinkable and even dangerous possibility, yet many of you probably have a variety of smaller but more powerful gadgets sitting around your house –with names like Siri or Alexa.
I’m not much of a binge-watcher, but I did DVR the Star Wars movies in case I wanted to watch a few. I made it through the first one – no, not Star Wars I that actually came later, but the REAL first one – that magical movie I saw as a 10-year-old at the Indian Hills Theater in Omaha with: Dolby Surround Sound (very cool), Hovercraft (can you say drone?), and Holograms (there’s an app for that). At that time we all wanted our own personal droids (maybe we’ll have one soon to drive our cars), as well as Surround Sound (pretty standard in many basements these days).
No longer does the kind of technology we once saw only in movies and on television seem like it will only exist “in a galaxy far, far away.” Technology is here and it has infiltrated our lives in so many ways we’re often barely aware of its presence.
In fact, consider most children and adults these days cannot envision a world without technology. What was once unthinkable and unimaginable is exactly that – completely opposite from a mindset that existed only years ago and within our lifetime.
What movie did you see over the break? What television show did you watch? What technology did you see that seems unimaginable? The fact that it was part of the storyline means that someone has already imagined its existence – and its reality is only around the corner.
May the force be with us.