“Black Mirror” is a television series that seems like a far fetched, and yet chilling, attempt at portraying the future. However, technology from the show already exists in certain forms in our everyday lives. While it can be frightening to think about, the following are some examples of how “Black Mirror” can mirror our modern world:
1. Driver-free Pizza Vans
In season four, the episode entitled “Crocodile” featured a man who was hit by a pizza van that did not have a driver. It might have been difficult for viewers to catch this since the episode was so complex. But Toyota is actually developing a Pizza Hut delivery vehicle that appears to have the same modeling. It is called the e-Palate. Before anyone gets too alarmed though, the models will not actually hit the market until after 2020.
2. Technology to Document Memories
Who can forget “The Entire History of You” where a murder was caught because she was interrogated via a memory access bank. Samsung is now coming out with contact lens that actually take a photo every time the wearer blinks. Let’s hope that this does not become a mandatory requirement for global citizens.
3. Robots that Mimic Dead Loved Ones
In “Be Right Back” the protagonist thinks she has it made in the shade when she gets a substitute of her late boyfriend made. Robots are now being made, such as BINA48 in 2010 that are modeled after real people. It might be alarming though when people realize that a replica is never a replacement for the real thing.
Who can forget when Waldo ran for Prime Minister in “The Waldo Moment” in season two. The protagonist might have been the voice behind the character, but he still had to perform like a puppet with a script. People are now developing avatars that are just like them. Look at the popularity of YouTube’s “Second Life”. People spend a lot of money developing their appearance, housing, and even selling merchandise to other Second Lifers online. Some people report that it is more real or appealing to them than their actual lives. One woman in Australia remarked, “why get more education when I am a surgeon online?”.
5. Systems to Class People
We might all do this subconsciously in our heads. But technology now a days has made it easier than ever to ascribe a number to the person. In season three’s episode entitled “Nosedive” we might have been enamored with the way people tried to improve their number through social activities. It was truly intriguing to watch people with a society that was purely numbers based.
People might be glad that their everyday actions do not go into a compositor that spits out a rating. However, we still suffer from a malady of a society that is very much modeled on hierarchy. Think, for example, how you go onto Tinder and swipe right or left based on one picture and someone’s job. That’s a very computerized method of rating people to date. It is much like sizing them up on a one to ten scale and then determining whether they are worth a first date. Also, numbers like credit scores affect a person’s ability to get a loan based on whether they have borrowed in the past and what kind of job they have.
6. Killer Bee Drones
Remember those electronic bees from “Hated in the Nation” that went around killing everyone? Well, we don’t have homicidal bees yet, but Harvard does actually have robotic bees. They developed them in 2013. Unfortunately, they do not work to pollinate flowers yet (or fortunately, ever since watching the ways that these bees can be used for evil).
7. Contract Killing Dogs
The dog from “Metal Head” was not very cute. It didn’t even seem like a real puppy considering all it did was track and kill people. Sony’s AIBO series of electronic pets are available now for home usage. We might detect a decline in sales though after people make the connection with the metal head menaces from season four.
8. Houses that Spy on You
Who would want to be interrogated by a home? Certainly not the man with secrets from “White Christmas” whose candid conversations were used to nail him for crime. But now, there are homes with robotic technology like Alexa. There are also smart houses that can be controlled through remotes. Hopefully they won’t be used for nefarious purposes in the future.