The future can look bleak or beautiful, depending on your point of view, but it certainly looks more interesting–at least to creators of science fiction.
Ever since science fiction became a genre, writers, developers, and directors have been molding stories of a future heavily influenced by science and technology. To do this, they had to extrapolate. Star Trek: The Next Generation was using tablet devices long before the iPad ever came out, for example. More than any other genre, science fiction seems to get a lot about the future right. On the website Dystopia Tracker, you can be a part of an effort to catalog all the successful predictions of science fiction games, shows, movies, books, and more in one place.
Sorted into cards and labeled with “predictions” and “realizations,” you can quickly find some rather shocking matches. For example, the sci-fi classic novel Neuromancer by William Gibson predicted self-driving cars in 1984. Google is going to test its own self-driving cars within a year. Coincidence or something more?
Why does science fiction seem so good at predicting the future? Well, all lot of it is probably confirmation bias on our part, but some of it has to be due to the fact that science really can describe our world. As fellow science communicator Joe Hanson explains in his very informative video below, many science fiction giants had serious scientific interests or even degrees in science to inform them, and science works:
Head over to Dystopia Tracker and add realizations to your favorite sci-fi epics.