Do movies and TV shows really predict the future?
From family guy predicting 911 and Caitlyn Jenner's tranning and personalized advertising displayed in The Minority Report to The Simpsons predicting Donald Trump becoming president of the united states - these are some of the famous movie predictions that have turned out to be spot-on in recent times and the gag is that there have been so much more.
The big question here is; are they really predicting the future? My answer is yes and no and I'll tell you why. There have been a lot of movies that displayed some technology ideas that may have seemed far fetched at the time but had some relevant use cases and scientists decided to look further into the possibility of making them a reality. In this case we won't necessarily say that the future was predicted; rather we can say that the present chose to catch up with the ideas these movies came up with to give us interesting real life innovations.
Whether or not tech companies or the geniuses that create some of these things would openly admit (although some interestingly do admit to have inspiration from what they saw in a movie), a lot of innovations have come from the brilliance of movie writers and the directors that came up with futuristic concepts. Here are some examples of movies with similar technologies to real life innovations that are too clear to be denied credit.
Just in 1990, before the advent of even smartphones, Disney's underwhelmingly received movie Dick Tracy gave us a taste of wearable smart devices with the main character "Dick Tracy" having a wristwatch that he could use to make telephone calls, and although the movie did not really grow to be a sensation, we can safely say that the technology depicted there has done that in it's stead. The popular movie franchise Back to the Future in its third installment showed us levitating hoverboards and videocalling. Although we are yet to get it right with the hoverboards of our time actually hovering, we are doing amazingly well with the video calling technology today from private communication to video confrencing.
Although not all the technologies in the movie Blade Runner (1982) depiction of 2019 Los Angeles have come to reality, we have digital billboards everywhere now (I think where we are at right now, we have only spared gravesites for our digital advertising to be honest). Not to mention a big shoutout to all the movies that had driverless vehicles; one of you inspired Elon Musk and I'm very certain it is not the same one that inspired Google.
Now these are the movies that came up with things that could inspire innovation, but what about the movies that accurately predicted events? Did Al Quaeda get inspired by the Family guy episode? Did Donald Trump finally get convinced to run for President because he saw it on The Simpsons? Did we all wait to send R-Kelly to jail after we were through with his singing like that Boondocks episode?? Or how the series Parks and Recreation were able to predict that The Cubs would win the world series? I really want to believe these were all flukes and that movie and TV show makers do not actually have a special gift of predicting the fure?
What are your thoughts? Let's talk in the comments.