Black Mirror: Technology is constantly evolving, which can be both thrilling and frightening. Technological advancements are a two-edged sword. On one side, technology aids individuals. On the other hand, the purpose is no longer relevant once the technology is in place.
Black Mirror explores how corrupt technology can be more than any other show. Many episodes include “what if” scenarios involving ostensibly brilliant innovations, with often dark and unpleasant outcomes. So, what kind of real-world technologies did Black Mirror foresee? What are we doing with it now?
Dogs That Are Robots
Boston Dynamics is the company behind cutting-edge robot dogs. They dubbed their creature the name Spot and gave it 3D vision and 17 joints to let it move. The “dog” stands less than three feet tall, can avoid obstacles, and is designed to resist dusty and damp conditions.
It can open doors, perform backflips, climb stairs, transport cargoes, and more. Boston Dynamics expects that their technology will be helpful in public safety, construction, mining, oil and gas, electricity, and utilities. They don’t even include Cirque du Soleil regarding Spot’s massive list of possible implementations.
In the December 2017 episode of Black Mirror, “Metalhead,” additional horrifying robo-dogs appeared.
Bees That Are Robots
The Harvard Microrobotics Lab has spent decades developing its robot bees, dubbed RoboBee.
RoboBee features two wings and looks more like a dragonfly than a bee in reality. It contains solar cells, an electronics panel, and flies untethered.
It’s a micro-robotics triumph with world-changing potential. It aspires to work in various industries, such as medical gadgets and consumer electronics. Crop pollination, search and rescue missions, surveillance, and even high-resolution meteorological, temperature, and environmental monitoring can all benefit from it.
The “Hated in the Nation” episode of Black Mirror aired in October 2016 featured malevolent robot bees.
A System of Social Credit Ratings
The infamous “Social Credit” system in China assigns a score to residents based on their conduct, level of responsibility, and trustworthiness. If you are caught littering, jaywalking, or being a public nuisance, your score will drop. The more you lose social credit, the more your life is impacted.
If you have a low social score, you may be unable to buy a rail ticket or a flight, and your mortgage eligibility may be withdrawn. That’s remarkably similar to the “Nosedive” episode of Black Mirror, which aired in October 2016.
A Children’s Robot Companion
Finding friends might be brutal, especially if you’re a shy child. As a result, parents are frequently recommended to encourage their children to open up to one of their toys to help them overcome their shyness. And, until recently, cuddly toys have mostly served as listeners and companions. Moxie, a robot companion for children, is now available for purchase.
Embodied created moxie to assist children in engaging in playtime, discussing with it, playing games, or reading aloud while Moxie listens. The robot helper walks around, has an animated face screen, and spreads its “arms.” It’s now prohibitively costly, but if it weren’t, would you consider purchasing it for your child?
The robot helper who acts as a buddy to your child is similar to the one featured in the June 2019 episode of Black Mirror’s Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too.
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A Camera in a Contact Lens
Google is developing a bright contact lens with an integrated camera. The camera would sit at the edge of the lens, following your look without interfering with your view. It would allow you to transmit what you’re seeing to a nearby smartphone or Google Glass. Google boasts about the innovation’s potential.
The futuristic technology would function as a bionic eye system, provide a warning if incoming traffic is present at a crossing, aid with facial identification, and provide telescopic, infrared, and night vision.
But Google isn’t the only business working on a camera-equipped intelligent contact lens. Samsung and Sony have filed patents for the technology and said they are working on it. Who do you think will win the race, and would you be interested in participating?
Is It A Cautionary Tale Or A Goal To Strive For?
Some people watch the show Black Mirror as a cautionary tale of the worst-case scenario, fearful of what can happen in the future.
On the other hand, others watch the show and fantasize about all the showcased advances. A future where self-driving cars are commonplace and robot bees assist with pollination, where you can upload your entire existence and soul to the cloud before you die and live on, where you can have a full day wiped from your memory and save yourself some pain.
After all, who uses technology and determines whether it is valuable or harmful. Drones, for instance, may do both home deliveries and airstrikes.
It’ll be fascinating to watch whether additional technical improvements occur throughout time, as previously shown on the show.
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