If you’re someone who spends their down time exploring the vast library of shows and movies on Netflix, then chances are you’ve come across Black Mirror. The show is undoubtedly one of Netflix’s most popular to date. This Netflix anthology series takes a stab at the relationship between technology and humans. It also looks at where it could possibly go. Overall, all of the episodes are filled with creative ideas for the future of technology and ways they can go wrong. The episodes deal with a society obsessed with social media to ones that create a virtual retreat for people who are dying or dead. Visualizing the possibilities of future technology is an aspect of Black Mirror that hooks its viewers, and it is what intrigued us at iperdesign.
"Nosedive" not only looks at how social media affects society, but also imagines how it might be changed in the future. The Atlantic describes this episode as "a version of America where every tiny interaction is ranked by the people involved on an app that [is synced] with augmented-reality contact lenses." The episode focuses on how obsessive society is becoming of social media. The protagonist, Lacie, yearns to be at a 4.5. This would allow her to live in the neighborhood she wants. Although the story is compelling , the idea of linking social media, augmented reality and contact lenses is striking. These three things already exist, so the only thing needed is technology connecting them. The episode is effective in that sense; it shows something that is possible and doable.
Even though this type of society seems possible, we have been able to avoid it. How exactly? Well, recently a similar app, called Peeple, was launched. It is an app where you get to rate other people based on professionalism, relationship, among other things. The app received tons of criticism, one review saying, "Really? An app for judging people? This is such a laughably bad idea, imagine people were stupid and actually used this app like it mattered?" On the Apple App Store, Peeple has an average 1.7 rating. Moreover, our society seems to dislike the idea of judging others on an app. Our ethical principals is what's stopping us from becoming like the society in "Nosedive".
Turning to one of the shows more tragic episodes, "Hated In The Nation" addresses harassment on social media. The episode highlights cyber hacking, too. The topic has become more relevant as technology and hacking are progressing. A hacker takes over a computer system that controls robot bees. He uses this, and a Twitter-like site, to send the robot bees on a killing spree. People post #Deathto with a person's name. The person with the most #Deathto tweets becomes the target of the hacker. The episode looks at how technology can become a weapon in the wrong hands. Due to this, it is important to think about security for future technology. This is what "Hated In The Nation" proved.
How do we combat national hacking? Although the possibilities seem high for a scene like the one in the episode, there are ways to prevent it. Governing gives us 3 ways to do so. As a matter of fact, the most important one is different governments and nations working together. It's hard to tackle this problem alone, so it is better to have teamwork. In addition, the US government has established an online harassment complaint cite called Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). IC3 is a branch from the Federal Bureau of Investigation that handles serious online criminal complaints. These are only a few ways the government prevents hacking and online harassment.
Have you ever wanted to experience what it would be like to be in another body? Or to experience their emotions? What about capturing someone's consciousness? "Black Museum" explores ideas that have to do with these concepts. Vulture describes Rolo as "a sadistic, tech-savvy carny." He runs a museum of technology. The devices found here are horrific. Equally, they are intriguing, too. In this museum, you can find a headset that allows you to feel the pain that others are going through. In addition to this, there is a teddy bear that has the soul of a woman. Although, it is Rolo's main attraction that is the most disturbing. It is the ability to shock the hologram of an innocent man who was sent to death. Similarly to the other episodes, these examples of future technology is what makes this show terrifying yet absorbing.
This episode is one of Black Mirror's more creative. Although it is about the ideas of what future technology can be, that is all this episode is. It's easy to imagine a device that lets you put other people into objects, but is it feasible? Is this a hint at where technology is going? We already have technology that allows us to make people into holograms, but can we capture the consciousness of a person? It's hard to know for sure what the future of technology will be, but our ethical priorities might be a deciding factor. Our ethics might be what keeps us from turning into a Black Mirror episode.
Many of the episodes from the show explore the ideas for future technology in a way. There are many disturbing parts from the show. Although, they do give us good ideas for the future of technology. Some of the other episodes look at using technology to contact the dead. One even explores virtual gaming. Black Mirror is innovative. The show takes ideas we've all thought about and makes them "real". If you want to become inspired, watch Black Mirror. The show will give you a ton of ideas. .
Image sources: Netflix