Q: What technologies are depicted in the show?
A: The movie I chose to watch was Blade Runner (1982). With the movie taking place in 2019 Los Angeles there were many pieces of futuristic technology presented. Some of the most prominent were flying cars and regular space travel that would sore above the crowded streets that were overrun by pedestrians and busy shops. Another example of technology were the A.I.s used in the movie. One kind were artificial animals such as birds and snakes. Artificial versions of these creatures were probably created due to the fact that many species would become endangered by the year 2019 and they were replacements programmed to be pets. One character even replied when asked about her pet snake with “you think if I could afford a real snake I would work in a place like this”. Probably the technology with the most presence in the movie were the humanoids known as “replicant” as they strike a great resemblance to their organic human counterparts so much so a special test is needed to tell the two apart.
Q: Briefly, how have the technologies changed people/business/society/government choices and behaviours?
A: The replicants in the movie were built to be stronger and agile than their makers with an intelligence that was either equal or less than that. So they were used primarily for slave work in very physically demanding jobs. This forced many people to try for work they were under qualified for but was deemed a human occupation such as police work. Since many of those workers would not meet the qualification for such jobs there are many people suffering poverty. The movie would also have the same audio ad playing on in the background as a sort of transition noise in an attempt for people to leave Earth and live on some other planet claiming it was a land of golden opportunity most likely to combat the over crowding on earth. Along with that the problem with creating A.I.s that have such high intelligence level is that rebellion in inevitable which is driving theme is the movie.
Q: Overall, are the technologies portrayed in a positive, negative or neutral fashion? What evidence do you have to support this?
A: The future portrayed in Blade Runner is very bleak. The movie is named after a character whose job is to “retire” (or execute) replicants that have been banned from earth. Replicants though may seem essential to life in 2019 Los Angeles are constantly being ostracized and discriminated against though the way they are built makes them virtually identical to their organic counterparts or just as human. With history repeating itself slavery has essentially come back “in style” and technology drawing great divides in society.
Q: Would you want to live in this future? Why or why not?
A: I would not want to live in the future portrayed in this film. Blade Runner is a great example of dystopian writing. By definition a dystopian society is one where citizens lead very dehumanized and fearful lives. Though the technological advances seem incredible the amount of problems that arise the future the society progresses does not seem like a good trade off for the bleak and terrible classist society that you have to live in.