By Mark A. Ollig
The year is 2015; we have officially entered the beginning of technology’s future.
Before we get too far into our 2015, it might be interesting to look back at some of the science fiction movies and writings where the storyline future takes place in the year 2015.
In 2009, the science fiction novel “The Carbon Diaries: 2015” was published in the United Kingdom.
This novel dealt with a British family’s lifestyle changes as they adhere to “carbon rationing” rules enacted by the government because of climate changing catastrophes taking place during 2015.
The “Back to the Future II” movie (written in 1989) takes place in 2015, when it was thought there would be floating hoverboards, and flying cars.
In fact, there have been attempts to build flying cars, and you may have even seen some on YouTube; however, they are not being used as envisioned 26 years ago in the movie.
One video made a sensation in early 2014, showing an apparently floating and flying-over-the-ground hoverboard.
Professional skateboarder Tony Hawk demonstrated what looked to all of us as the real thing, as he traveled down, and a couple of feet above, a paved street in the middle of a city.
It was later learned the video was a hoax.
The video released to convince us the hoverboard was real (sure looked real to me) can be seen here: http://tinyurl.com/o32durp.
You can watch an apologetic Tony Hawk come clean, as he revealed how the flying hoverboard illusion was created in this video: http://tinyurl.com/nmh6v9g.
Another futuristic event taking place in “Back to the Future II” shows a USA Today newspaper company’s flying drone, taking photographs at the scene of a teenage gang arrested near the Hill Valley courthouse.
Today, drones are being used to capture hard-to-take photographic images from the air; this is known as “drone photography.”
Aerial news photography, and video of events captured by using drones, is occurring with greater frequency.
I look for this aerial drone method for recording news and events to continue to gain popularity and wide-spread use among the mainstream media, and independent citizen journalists, as well.
The movie “Event Horizon” (released in 1997) reveals humans establishing a permanent colony on the moon in the year 2015.
Another movie set in 2015, shows an attempt to limit the use of natural resources; including oil and gasoline.
The 1981 Canadian movie “Firebird 2015 AD” depicts the US government outlawing the public’s use of gasoline in automobiles, unless it was for “official purposes.”
This movie includes a scene with the president of the United States speaking before Congress about the deplorable actions of 10 states which have violated federal orders, and have allowed oil and gasoline to be freely provided to its citizens.
Of course, back in 1973 and 1979, we really did experience nationwide oil and gas shortages.
In many states, gasoline was rationed, and people experienced long lines while waiting in their cars at the gas stations.
Thankfully, the last time I checked, gasoline was plentiful, and was selling for around $2 per gallon.
So far, 2015 has not seen the gasoline restrictions as envisioned in “Firebird 2015 AD.”
In 1941, famous science fiction author Isaac Asimov wrote “Runaround,” which includes the famous Three Laws of Robotics:
• A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
• A robot must obey orders given in to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
• A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
“Runaround” is about a robot and two people who travel to the planet Mercury in the year 2015.
They are there to resume mining operations which began on the planet 10 years earlier.
While on Mercury, the robot begins to act in a very strange manner.
It begins running around in circles, and is speaking irrationally.
It was learned the robot’s behavior was caused by the effects of a type of chemical element called “selenium,” which is used to maintain life-support inside the human habitation base on the planet.
The story examines what can happen when the Three Laws of Robotics are put to the test.
I feel, with the continuing advancements in artificial intelligence and robotic technology, the probability of humans interacting with quick-thinking, autonomous robots will someday put these three laws to the test for real.
It’s 2015; let’s begin experiencing the next chapter of technology’s future.
Being I’m such a Star Trek fanboi, I wanted to end this first column of 2015 with the words Scotty said in the 1986 movie “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.”
“Hold on tight, lassie. It gets bumpy from here!”