“That’s something that tends to happen with new technologies generally: The most interesting applications turn up on a battlefield, or in a gallery.” William Gibson (2007)
“AI will be the best or worst thing ever for humanity, so let’s get it right.” Elon Musk (2017)
How might media contribute to practices of futurology – the study and extrapolation of current economic, social and cultural trends in order to imagine possible and plausible futures?
Dystopian visions in films like Ex Machina (2015) and cautionary tales like Her (2013) are works of creativity that could be considered contemporary manifestations of an older tradition of “futurist art.” These types of films tackle complicated questions around technology and identity. While the original futurist movement of the previous century was art-based and sought to revolutionise culture by aestheticising modern life, contemporary futurology has extended to industries like business, public policy, and technology.
In this studio, students were asked to research, develop and produce stills, photography, film, video, audio and immersive art that explore the idea of Futurology. Their key learning also included practical components such as using green screen / chroma key effects, A.I. photo animation applications and AR/VR holographic technology.
For their final work, students created an Alternative Futures Project. Their docu-fictional films are about exploring palpable solutions to global issues with the use of technology and realising its potential benefits.
Consumer products, durable goods, cars and trucks, industrial and utility components, sensors, and other everyday objects are being combined with Internet connectivity and powerful data analytic capabilities that promise to transform the way we work, live, and play. Attention-grabbing headlines about the hacking of internet-connected devices, surveillance concerns, and privacy fears already have captured public attention. Technical challenges remain and new policy, legal and development challenges are emerging. However, there are global issues that really need solving. Despite the many advancements technology continues to bring to the world, there are still geographic regions that lack access to basic resources. This, along with issues that face developed areas, has become top priority to many tech founders who see opportunities to positively impact society while building successful businesses. If we can create a solution that changes the world in some way, we can help build a better future, and find the happiness that comes from helping others.