How well did the 1982 film ‘Blade Runner’ predict 2019’s tech?

Szu Ping Chan for BBC News:

It’s November 2019 and Los Angeles is in a state of urban decay. The population has dwindled, and humans face a new threat from manufactured biological robots gone rogue…

Back in 1982, this is how Blade Runner director Ridley Scott imagined the world would be.

Thirty-seven years after the film was released, how accurate were its predictions about how technology would play a bigger role in our lives?

Here are some of the things the film got right, and others where it was way off the mark.

1. Robots are much smarter
2. Video calling is mainstream
3. Homes are also getting smarter
4. Lie detectors are still used
5. The planet is changing
6. Blade Runner ignores the Instagram generation
7. Flying cars aren’t mainstream… yet
8. Most hairdryers still look like hairdryers

MacDailyNews Take: No iPhones!


        1. No, actually not. I am a scientist. I have been alarmed by the threat of climate change for at least fifteen years. Climate change is not a political issue, it is a scientific fact. My growing political alarm is more similar to a frog in a slowly warming pot. The pot started boiling three years ago, but the political warming started long before that.

  1. One measurement of advancement is AI. However AI is really the wrong term to use. Devices are not intelligent. I think a better term to use is Contextual Awareness, which does not denote any kind of intelligence as much as it denotes responses to input.

    While the predicted future of Blade Runner is nothing like reality – we live more like 1982 than Blade Runner or 2001. The measure of progress really misses the mark. I this this is a fundamental miss understanding of the human condition and how society evolves.

    A separate train of thought is that as long as authors show us a world we find abhorrent, we will make choices that tend to alter our course to a different future.

    While we enjoy thinking about a future likening to Star Trek, people with the means to steer society are taking us down that path. Both Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos are both optimistic about a future like Star Trek, and used their influences to create that reality.

    Spend some time thinking about that.

    Replicants, are lies. They are human based engineered slaves. They represent what’s wrong with greed. I suspect they will never see the light of day. Data on the other hand reaches a similar goal, by more difficult means and is more likely to become reality, being morally sound.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.