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Even without flying cars, the real future is much more interesting than the one predicted in the movie "Back to the Future 2"

The two biggest misses in the cinematic forecast were the internet and mobile, and cars are not flying but are on the way to driving themselves. The correct predictions: smart watch, biofuel (although not directly from the garbage to the fuel tank) and flat screens

Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Doc Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) arrive in 2015. Screenshot from the movie "Back to the Future 2"

October 21, 2015, i.e. today, is the future date that Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) reached into the future in a film shot in 1989. Although only a small part of the ascension takes place in 2015, thirty years into the future from the film's present - 1985, it is loaded with technological predictions The speculations of what life will look like these days. Many of them did materialize in one way or another, and some of them are even ridiculously outdated.
In 2015, you don't see cell phones in the film, and still, like in the XNUMXs, batteries from public phone booths fill the public space.. and it seems that the Internet doesn't exist, at least not as we know it. Even a realistic service such as real-time traffic reports are displayed on giant screens in the city square and not on the personal device as we see today.
Fax machines are the official means of communication instead of email in real life and although the filmmakers wisely foresaw video conferencing, business communication is still delivered via staple printers to a network of home fax machines that serve more as intercoms than inboxes.

Similarly, the children of the McFly family wear JVC glasses which are a pretty good guess for Google glasses, but these devices are connected to a common phone line for the whole family ("Daddy, this is for you" complains Marty's daughter when the phone rings and she checks the JvC glasses who is calling. We don't see the The McFly children or anyone else wears these objects on the street, which shows that they are not portable devices, while Doc Brown wears the darkened sunglasses, another thing that reality preceded the film.
There are still many things in the film that are reminiscent of actual reality as we know it today. For example, the smart watch that Doc Brown uses to check the weather, the reference to contactless video games, the flat screen TVs in the McFly house. They all exist in reality and by and large (and rely on WIFI technology) today. To a certain extent, facial recognition technology is also starting to gain momentum, even if it is not common in every home like in the movie.
And there are also the drones that are increasingly being used by news organizations to observe the scenes of events.

The 1985 digital clock installed in the DeLorean that sets it to October 21, 2015. From Wikipedia

In the film, the printed newspaper headlines tell about the blurring line between man and machine. "A man was arrested for using a bionic arm". The bad guy Griff Tannen is a member of the gang known as the Bionic Overlords and Griff himself, according to Doc Brown, had a bionic arm implanted "Be careful of this guy Griff, he has some short circuits in the bionic implants". Of course, it does not make sense for a person whose limbs are normal to replace them with prosthetic limbs even if they are apparently better than human limbs, but we are definitely starting to see XNUMXD printing of limbs adapted to the injured, especially in mine-ridden areas, which are mostly common in Africa.
Another correct guess - electronic payments that are increasingly replacing the use of cash. Both the taxi driver and the requester for the donations to repair the clock tower carry devices with which they can receive digital payments. Another realistic device in the film is the lock that opens with a fingerprint. It is part of the overall setup of the smart home.

At Cafe 80, automatic waiters serve the clientele. Several companies have experimented with employing robotic waiters.
Doc Brown's flying Dolorean devours garbage instead of fuel, this is not exactly what exists in reality but pretty close - many companies are developing different means to produce fuel from waste. The fuel, whose properties like the fuel made from oil and the car does not differentiate between them, neither does the plane by the way.

It is still impossible to bake a pizza in 20 seconds using an (imaginary) hydrator from the Black & Decker company. Hover skateboards have not yet replaced wheeled skateboards.

People carry tiny computers in their back pockets. Anyone can publish their thoughts to a large audience from anywhere in the world with the click of a button, scientists can print body parts in 2015D, people can share and access vast knowledge bases - literature and art without leaving home. Cars do not fly, but they can drive themselves. Compared to what today's technology allows, the year 2 of "Back to the Future XNUMX" seems faded.
What will happen in thirty years? After all, Buzz Aldrin who visited Israel last week as part of the IAC conference complained that thirty and forty years ago they thought that by this day we would reach Mars and establish colonies on its surface and instead we got Facebook. Any attempt to predict where today's information revolution will take us will be frivolous. True, the houses will be smarter, artificial intelligence will be more widespread, augmented reality will make our lives easier, and of course the bandwidth will be much wider, but these are just more of the same, you are welcome to raise your hypotheses in the comments to this article.

24 תגובות

  1. I think that the fact that new technologies are emerging more and more often illustrates what emerges from the comparison between the future of "Back to the Future" and the future of reality - every invention has the potential power to pull the future world in a different direction and so does the thought that in the future we will only have more of what we already have There are today, already proven millions of times to be wrong!

  2. When the advertising market is directed exclusively to the giants in terms of distribution but the medium ones in terms of level (as you described well), there is no point in bombarding with advertisements and the fact that I took down intrusive advertisements because I decided that because of the small amount they bring it is worth losing and I would rather improve the user experience. I didn't understand the complaint about the level. Articles of this type, which deal with a movie that I saw in real time in the cinema, were published on all the popular science websites in the world because it is an opportunity to deal with the question of technological directions, as was the case not long ago with Buzz Aldrin's quote: "We were promised colonies on Mars and we got Facebook instead". This is also an area that is important to deal with when talking about the future.
    The stock market has other issues of interest.

  3. The future according to the relevant forecast:
    The science website is endlessly flooded with advertisements.
    The site of knowledge is sold for an astronomical amount to idiots who think that here they have discovered gold and it is possible to raise money in the stock market from it.
    The quality of the content goes down and down until it overtakes the level of third-grade writing of Calcalist and YNET today.
    Most of the articles will contain the words: Abel'ah, Kfarah and Nesma.
    The science website will continue to require commenters to enter a URL even if they do not have one. And more with http:\\www.

  4. Anonymous user (probably Yossi): "In Star Trek 1969 (?), Kirk calls the Enterprise on a cell phone (beam me up sckoty). I heard that the inventor of the cell phone thought of it." Well a cell phone is that anyone can call anyone on a cell phone. Kirk calls the Enterprise and this can be done with a simple walkie talkie. This is not where the cell phone inventor got the idea. I want to say that just a connection between two small devices is not cellular.
    And more about cell phone. It's amazing that there are no cell phones in "Back to the Future 2". They were already in Israel three years before that and in the US for a few good years even before that - although it was expensive and not massive.

  5. The Star Trek series has faster-than-light travel only because the writers didn't want to force the Enterprise to travel from star to star every episode for 15 generations (and then invent new Spock and Kirk offspring every episode). Everything else is what is called "technobabble" in the MDB language, and if all the "warp drive" nonsense coalesces with wormholes (saturated with technobabble in themselves) it's nice, and nothing more.

    The importance of the MDB is in examining the response of human culture to technological developments. It could be a short-term development, like nanotechnology in Neal Stevenson's "Diamond Age". It can be something as far-reaching as the possibility of creating short-lived human substitutes bearing the personality of a certain person in David Breen's "The Furnace People", it can also be built on more far-reaching "technologies" such as the Babylonian worldview where the Tower of Babel can reach the heavens Or that the golem technology is possible in Ted Chiang's stories.

    So regarding predicting the future, here are some predictions for you:
    1. There will be small but not very significant progress on issues that all lead to major advances (fighting various diseases, artificial intelligence, flying cars, etc.).
    2. If there is to be a great and revolutionary progress in one of these topics, it will come in one of two ways:
    A. from a completely unexpected direction.
    B. A collection of small developments that finally add up to a critical mass.
    3. The great progress that will really change all of our ways of life will be in an area that no one paid attention to and that slipped under everyone's radar, including the big companies and governments that would have made efforts to stifle it, or at least take its sting with paralyzing regulation.

  6. A small survey in Israel and the rest of the world. Most people do not believe in evolution even though they see it every day, nor in the big bang even though it is obvious to the educated.

  7. forecast:
    Within 50 years Muslims who ended their countries take over Europe.
    Al-Qaeda with Toyota Jeeps and Kalashnikovs are defeating the smart drones.
    The Europeans continue to debate whether to bomb Syria-Iraq, an area flooded with population, and Daesh is taking advantage of this to its advantage.
    Against the power of technology works a force of civilization that pulls down when there is a majority of people who have not improved their lives as a result of technology.

  8. I think artificial intelligence already exists, although it's just at a low level. Every time there is a breakthrough in artificial intelligence techniques, people rise up and claim that it is not artificial intelligence, because the human brain does not work that way. This argument is wrong, although the intelligence is not at a high level, but it is still intelligence, just different. If there are other intelligent creations in the universe, there is no reason why their brains would work the same way as ours, but that doesn't mean they don't think…
    Anyway, predictions:
    Within 20 years we will know about several life-bearing worlds other than Earth, one of them with the possibility of intelligent life.
    First expedition to Mars, and the discovery of unicellular organisms on Mars, and possibly multicellular fossils.
    The trips to space will be based on plasma rockets.
    Standard devices that will link the digital world to the brain directly (either through a physical connection, or through resonance). We will be able to control the external world through thought, we will be able to do complicated mathematical calculations in seconds, we will have instant access to all the knowledge of humanity (Google Mind).
    People will pass the age of 120 for the first time. Nano machines will make repairs in the human body and protect against infections and viruses. A cure for cholesterol will be found. People will look 30 years old at 60.
    On the other hand, only a few will benefit from all the technological innovations, the gaps between the classes will grow. The rich will live longer, be healthier, be smarter, until they resemble super people, compared to the "natural" poor. This will lead to revolutions around the world and wars again...
    A new form of government, technocracy, uses technology and the "wisdom of the masses" to make decisions according to the vote of the majority (or the voting majority)...
    More and more the army relies on robots and cements. The best pilots are defeated by cement..

  9. There is a 50% probability that there will be artificial intelligence in 2050.
    That's what I heard in a lecture by a distinguished futurist.

  10. Two forces are at work today. Technological progress is moving exponentially forward towards the Ray Kurzweil Singularity.
    Islam (not as racism, but as a personal opinion, I don't think that the Muslim is inferior, we are all the same human beings) is pulling towards a second medieval age, the reason for which is that the western world was not able to pull up the old world after it. In my opinion alone, Islam may win over the singular, there will be an entry into more medieval times and a renaissance from Islam itself which may be the almost singular religion. Alternatively, if the singularity comes first, and I'm skeptical, rich people could perhaps create a genetic and technological gap between them and us. They will be cyborgs - a combination that will turn some people into supermen compared to us.

  11. MDB films are sometimes contracts of future technologies. In Star Trek 1969 (?), Kirk makes a cell phone call to the Enterprise (beam me up sckoty). I heard that the inventor of the cell phone thought about it.
    There is space propulsion there - somewhat reminiscent of gravity propulsion proposed by Hawking and Kip Thorne. Still no gravity drive.
    Recently, 2 films "Interstellar" and "Saving Mark Watney" were released. The second film draws ideas from the desert farm where the Mars experiments are carried out voluntarily by academics. Recently, lettuce was grown on the space station - and it came out red because it is illuminated by UV, IR only. The lettuce grew in 33 days and was eaten by the team.
    In the movie Interstellar, a number of physical ideas are brought up that are combined in the MDV:
    A. The transition of humanity to another planet.
    B. Taking a frozen genetic load, for settlement on another planet as a substitute for taking humanity.
    third. Passing through a wormhole to a distant galaxy.
    God. The tesseract. A cube in 4 dimensions where time is spread out for the convenience of the user by advanced civilization (no surprises spoiled) as a length dimension. Every point in space is a moment in time. The astronaut communicates with his home in the library room by non-normative gravity changes in the room.

  12. I have three modest guesses for the next 30-50 years as follows:
    1]. For another 30 years: a small and compact artificial heart will be developed that will be implanted in place of (or next to) the natural heart. The artificial heart will extend the average lifespan to 150 years.
    2]. For another 40-50 years: a medicine will be developed that cleans the blood vessels in the body of cholesterol and calcium deposits and preserves the youth and flexibility of the walls of blood vessels and capillaries. The drug will extend the average lifespan to 300-500 years.
    3]. Cures will be found for most types of cancer but not for all. Particularly violent and deadly cancers will still be without a cure.
    The share of mental illnesses in the general morbidity will increase 10 times and about half of those seeking medical help will report a mental illness. Accordingly, half of the doctors will also be psychiatrists and psychologists
    4]. Shimon Peres will establish a start-up to treat mental illnesses with the help of nanotechnology.

  13. The point is that the DeLorean's energy converter was able to provide her (using the pile of trash it collected from the nearby dumpster) 1.21 gigawatts of energy. You don't get that with biodiesel, and we're not even close.

  14. There are also traffic reports on electronic signs. The phone is really a waste, but without Steve Jobs there might not have been smartphones at all

  15. According to my opinion, in the best case the world will be under Sharia rule, plagued by anarchy, wars and ignorance and in the worst case the world will be destroyed after a nuclear war with small cells of survivors.

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