Science fiction as fact: how desires drive discoveries
Is a new method for designing technology that explores the futures that ordinary people would prefer. Design fictions are provocative and engage people, encouraging them to envision, explain and raise questions about the direction of future technology and society.
Design fictions are now being used in sectors ranging from health to defence tech forecasting, and even policy making. In this way, science fiction can be used as a tool to help design future societies and technologies, giving the public a say on it too.
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Some of the tech appearing in movies wasn’t the fruit of random predictions but of consultations with industrial designers, futurists and advertising specialists.
Liquid-fuelled rocket, 3D gesture-based user interfaces, tablet computer and mobile phones are all examples of technology that first appeared on sci-fi works. However a piece of technology came to be, its undebatable that sci-fi works have accurately predicted and paved the way for many of the pieces of technology we enjoy today.
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Many researchers acknowledge the role that science fiction has played in triggering their interest in science and inspiring breakthroughs. Even technology companies increasingly employ science fiction artists to explore potential new technologies and their social impact – also known as science fiction prototyping.
A research that looked for science-fiction-related terms in academic papers indicates that science fiction plays a significant role in scientific work and its impact is on the increase, especially on areas related to human-computer interactions.