I have just finished watching one of my best TV series called Black Mirror. The series examines modern society, particularly with regard to the unanticipated consequences of new technologies. Episodes are standalone and usually set in the relatively near future. The series paints a very grim picture of the ‘questionable course’ that technology will take in the future. Let me take you through some of my favorite episodes.
Parental Monitoring Implants
The episode “Arkangel” shows the end of helicopter parenting (extremely monitoring a kid) when a worried mother decides to have her daughter injected with an implant (more like microscopic computers in her bloodstream). The implant will be connected to an app on a tablet, which allows the mother to literally see through her daughter’s eyes, track her location, and even censor ‘things’ that she deems inappropriate for her daughter to experience.
Predictably in the show, the use (or maybe misuse) of the implant’s abilities to manipulate the daughter ends tragically. The question here is: how far fetched is the technology?
Y 68 smartwatch
Apple Airpods pro
Linovo laptop think pad
3 in 1 wireless charger
Well, this is an interesting question. Because I think we are still a long way off from chips that can be injected into a living person and perform that kind of function. There are already wearables that can track you, and apps that parents can install on their kids’ phones to track them and monitor where they are and what they are seeing on their phones.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is even working on computers that can be worn as contact lenses and could be used to censor reality just like its depicted in the episode. Ultimately, while the technology in this episode is a fantasy, its effects may, in fact, could become very a reality.
Simulated Dating Worlds
One of my favorite episodes of Black Mirror, “Hang the DJ”, shows a world surrounded by walls where dating happens under a stringently enforced tech-system which sees each person having set amounts of time with a potential mate. The time varies in length based on how compatible the system deems you to be. But when two people fall in love and decide to try to escape the system they realize that they are just one of the millions of simulations running to see if the real-life versions of themselves would make a good match.
Obviously, online dating has changed the world to some degree. But could it ever really get to this point?
Creating Digital copies of one’s mind
This idea actually pops up in a couple of different episodes, in fact, it’s the theme of the series. In the episode Uploading Consciousness, some guy creates or transfer’s digital copies of his co-workers into certain game-like cyberspace. Will, it ever be possible to create digital copies of one’s soul or human consciousness or Black Mirror just went over-the-top?
I’m not sure, but I wildly think that there some people who are working on taking an actual person’s consciousness and upload it into the digital world.
Killer Robot Dogs
One of the more memorable technologies depicted in Black Mirror appears in the episode entitled “Metalhead.” What’s it about?: At some point in the near future, in a place that’s never stated, where humans are few and sparsely populated, they will be on the run from autonomous robots which viciously murder any humans they see on sight.
The most interesting thing about these killer robots is that it appears as though they can hack and control other pieces of technology. And in this post-apocalyptic world, the dogs don’t have much trouble tracking and killing the humans still left. But again, the real question is: how realistic this technology actually is?
Well, it basically already exists. A company called, Boston Dynamics has been making robot dogs for a couple of years now. The robot-dogs are capable of following orders, navigating around obstacles, searching out specific items, and integrating with wireless technology to help itself get around. Scarry! Luckily for us though, these Boston Dynamics dogs are good robot dogs… for now. They are made to carry heavy loads over rough terrain and do repetitive tasks in work environments. Since inventors are aware of the risk I believe they take steps to guard against the outcome.
Where to watch the series?
You can watch the show on Netflix.
Image credit: Variety