Daily Ticker

Google robots, iPhone trackers – which sci-fi movie is coming true?

Daily Ticker

When Google (GOOG) bought Boston Dynamics a few weeks ago, the public got a look the amazing robot maker’s Atlas model. I think almost everyone had the same pop-culture tinged thought though: the terminators are coming.

That’s, of course, a reference to the 1980s film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a killer robot sent from the future by an artificially intelligent, humanity-hating supercomputer known as Skynet.

That make us think: Which dystopian Sci-fi movie (preferably with killer robots) is coming true the quickest?

It may not be "The Terminator" -- last time I looked, we hadn’t given control of the nuclear launch codes to any computers and I’ve yet to see a robot that can ride a Harley.

A couple of other movies similarly saw bits and pieces of their fictional plots and technologies coming true.

Apple’s (AAPL) iBeacons let retailers know who you are and track you around their stores and they're just as creepy as individualized mall ads in "Minority Report." But self-driving cars aren’t for sale yet and pre-crime arrests remain a Rudy Giuliani fantasy.

Another robot firm called Knightscope built a little security droid dubbed K5 that looks like something out of Star Wars, or with the climate going to hell, maybe more like "Wall-E." Jeff Bezos’ drone fleet seems kind of Pixar-ish as well.

The U.S. Army ordered up some super powered battle suits that could have come off the drawing board of fictional billionaire playboy Tony Stark, but Ironman’s much too comic book to count as dystopian sci-fi.

The recent movie "Her" starring Joaquin Phoenix as a man falling in love with a Siri-like talking operating system also hits close to home. But the movie is too close to the current day and it's not even original — the hit comedy "The Big Bang Theory" ran an episode almost two years ago where a character fell in love with Siri.

No, the real winner in the scary fantasy come true sweepstakes in 2013 is that Stanley Kubrick classic, "2001: A Space Odyssey."

Remember Hal 9000? The talking supercomputer that can suffocate astronauts on a whim and refuse to open the pod bay doors?

2013 was the year that Siri got a male voice and new abilities to control more of our smartphone lives. AT&T (T) introduced a smartphone-run security system called Digital Life that gives the phone control over door locks, lights, even the plumbing. The whole crazy “Internet of Things” movement to put everything under network control seems tailor made for Hal.

Let’s remember not to teach the supercomputers to sing Bicycle Built for two.

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