When science fiction accurately predicts the future

According to Bigthink, author Jules Verne has been writing about gasoline-powered vehicles, weapons of mass destruction, and global warming more than a century ago.

When the American financier JP Morgan hired the inventor of the light bulb, Thomas Edison, to wire a New York mansion, his father Junius Morgan thought the electric light bulb was just a fad.

When science fiction accurately predicts the future
The age of mechanization has been predicted by many sci-fi works. (Photo: Big Think).

In 1903, Horace Rackham, the personal attorney of the automobile manufacturer Henry Ford, was told that cars would never replace the carriage. But in his 1961 book The Wonderland of Tomorrow , Brendan Matthews claimed that soon, technology would allow humans to eliminate aging and cope with bad weather.

Accurately predicting the future is difficult but not impossible . As Czech writer Karel Čapek, with his 1920 work RUR coined the term “robot” , once said: “Some things in the future can always be read from the palm of the present”. The greater our understanding of science, society, and human nature, the more people can read about the future. There is no shortage of books that have made amazingly accurate predictions about the future.

Classical literary works have successfully predicted a series of modern inventions . Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein , one of the first science fiction stories to reality, heralded the development of bioelectronics, organ transplants, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence and more another thing.

On a deeper level, Shelley’s 1818 novel also predicts the inevitable confrontation between science, religion, and morality – a confrontation that continues to this day and remains unresolved. clear conclusion.

When science fiction accurately predicts the future
Talos may be the first robot. (Photo: Columbia Pictures).

The book with the most accurate predictions about the future may be Jules Verne’s Paris in the Twentieth Century . Verne, author of Journey to the Center of the Earth and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, is also one of the most influential science fiction writers of all time.

And Paris in the Twentieth Century, written in the 1860s, is particularly prophetic when it comes to gasoline-powered vehicles, weapons of mass destruction, global warming, and evolving gender norms. change.

Going back to ancient history, some predictions about humanity can be traced back to ancient times. In her book, Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology , historian Adrienne Mayor points to the myth of Talos, an automaton built by Hephaestus, as an example of how humans Greece uses imagination to push the boundaries of technology. “The idea of creating artificial life was conceived long before technology could create such products,” Ms. Mayor wrote.

Before the apocalyptic novel – the genre of science fiction that is so familiar today – the public was used to utopian fiction. Great writers and thinkers, from Plato to Thomas Moore, drew on the latest political, philosophical and scientific thinking to them to build blueprints for an ideal civilization.

In the 19th century, authors like H.G. Wells and Jack London set out to reverse this age-old formula, discovering how human development can lead to an undesirable future.

When science fiction accurately predicts the future
The book We opposes the mechanization of people. (Photo: gpschools).

Every novel about this dark world contains a negative balance of reality. Buzz Windrip, the demagogue politician elected president of the United States in Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here (1935), was originally considered an allegory about Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.

Today, the populism of this character is somewhat similar to the populism of Donald Trump. In Philip K. Dick’s The Minority Report (1956), police used algorithms to catch criminals before they commit crimes – a long-standing goal in real-life AI research.

The past history has shown that many works of fiction from the past are no longer fiction until now. And with the rapid development of today’s society, fiction has a lot of room for creativity and continues to make many predictions for the future world.