Science Fiction has always reflected our dreams and deepest worries about the future, new findings and technology. Scientists playing at being God, invincible robots from the future with the aim of changing the timeline and galactic battle cruisers crossing the universe are some of the stories of this genre. However others have focused on their effects on human relationships and society, rather than creating terrible technological monsters that threaten mankind. These prospects even show us how the labour market will be. So, let’s take a look at what they are trying to tell us about the future.
1. Gattaca: Science, The Social Ladder and The Working World
In the 90’s the film Gattaca showed us a society in which people were divided into different groups based on the way they were born. Those who had been born in natural way were outcasts fated to low quality jobs, whereas those born in a lab had access to the best jobs and a successful career. A working world, in which inequality is sadly common and supported.
The rise of the genetic made people speculate about its consequences. Although now we know that this is far from happening, Andrew Niccol’s film also tells us about the social ladder, which is still a very controversial topic. How to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor is a problem that remains unsolved and the possibilities of an upward social mobility are dwindling. That’s why the warnings from this science-fiction tale are still relevant.
2. Black Mirror: The Influence of Social Media on Jobs
The third season of Black Mirror, the science-fiction series from Channel 4 has brought us a very interesting reflection about the current use of social media. What if everything in your life was affected by other people’s opinion of you? In a dystopic future where everyone rates their interactions, your score can decide your whole social status. Satisfying others can become a very hard work in itself and can be crucial to the course of your life.
This point of view can sound exaggerated but, it can be said that this is actually happening in a subtle way. People are becoming more and more aware of the importance of their digital footprint and invest a lot of time and effort on their virtual lives. Scores and reviews drive the market and people are under more watch than ever before.
3. Ghost in the Shell: A Working World Full of Robots
Although Ghost in the Shell’s main plot is about the singularity, this famous piece of work shows a world where robots and cyborgs don’t represent a danger for humans (at least no more than other humans) Instead, they have started replacing humans by mixing with them. On the one hand, prosthetic bodies contain the “ghost”, an artificial consciousness that wonders if it’s real or not; on the other, normal humans without enhanced brains are scarce.
In our society body implants are becoming more and more sophisticated and there are already cyborgs among us, although their appearance is not as it is presented in the science-fiction films. This situation is raising some ethical issues and creating new branches in old jobs. Artists explore these topics through new media and hack the body itself. So rather than taking our jobs, robots are more likely to keep helping us in our tasks and enhancing our abilities. At the same time, the boundaries between robots and mankind become more and more blurred.
These are only some of the most famous works of science-fiction that warn us about the dangers of the working world. Is there any other that you’d add to this list? If so, please leave us a comment.