The Future of Being Human
The Moviegoer's Guide to the Future
Predicting Criminal Intent and the movie Minority Report. The Moviegoer's Guide to the Future, Episode 4
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Predicting Criminal Intent and the movie Minority Report. The Moviegoer's Guide to the Future, Episode 4

“If there’s a flaw, it’s human—it always is.” — Danny Witwer
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Image” Midjourney

Chapter 4 of Films from the Future: The Technology and Morality of Sci-Fi movies, read by author Andrew Maynard

In this episode: The movie Minority Report
Criminal Intent | The “Science” of Predicting Bad Behavior | Criminal Brain Scans | Machine Learning-Based Precognition | Big Brother, Meet Big Data

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This episode of The Moviegoers Guide to the Future (based on chapter 4 of Films from the Future) draws on the 2002 Stephen Spielberg film Minority Report. Based on the 1956 Philip K. Dick novella The Minority Report, the movie is based around “precogs” who can see into the future to prevent murders — a technology that turns out to be not quite as ethical or foolproof as it’s backers hoped!

While the precogs in Minority Report are fanciful, the themes that the film touches on allow for rich pickings around the slippery slope of trying to predict criminal behavior, and predictive policing.

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About Films from the Future: I started writing Films from the Future in 2017. The intent was to explore the deeply complex landscape around emerging technologies, the future, and socially responsible innovation, in a way that would be accessible to most readers, and at the same time provide nuanced and important insights that weren’t available anywhere else.

One of the challenges with most books about tech and the future is that they take a polarized stance — we’re either all going to die unless we do something different, or technology is going to save the world. These sell — people love reading about extremes. But they’re not that helpful when it comes to navigating a deeply complex tech innovation landscape where there few right and wrong answers, where it’s important to weave together insights from many different areas of expertise — including the arts and humanities, and where dialogue and discussion are far more important than preaching.

And so I set out to write about emerging and converging technologies in as inclusive and accessible a way as I knew how, with the aim of taking readers on a compelling journey into the future where their thoughts and ideas were just as important as mine.

The result was a book that uses movies as a way to open up conversations about what responsible innovation means in a world that’s changing faster than ever before, and where new technologies are transforming how we think about the future and what it holds.

Of course some of the technologies it covers have moved on since I started writing the book. But at the end of the day this is not a book about science fiction movies, or about specific technologies, but about how all of us can think differently about our roles in ensuring the future we’re building is better than the past we leave behind.

I hope you enjoy these recordings of me narrating it — this is a book that reflects my voice quite deeply in the writing, and so it only made sense for me to one day actually read it aloud!

For more information on the book, visit https://andrewmaynard.net/films-from-the-future/

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The Future of Being Human
The Moviegoer's Guide to the Future
A compelling and often-surprising journey of discovery through the world of emerging technologies, and the challenges of getting them right. Based on the book Films from the Future: The Technology and Morality of Sci-Fi Movies, and read by the author Andrew Maynard For more on the book, visit https://andrewmaynard.net/films-from-the-future/