Some older sci-fi movies are set in an imagined future year that’s long gone now — and got their vision blown. For example, The Running Man, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, hit theaters in the late ’80s and is set in 2017, but people still have tube TVs to watch real-life gladiator fights. While some aspects of “The Running Man” may be considered prophetic, the vision for the future as a whole is not particularly accurate – in contrast to the scenario presented in Steven Spielberg’s masterful “Minority Report” from 2002 for the year 2054 is shown and which has already partially occurred. The brilliant sci-fi thriller has also been available on Netflix since this weekend.
In “Minority Report” detective John Anderton (Tom Cruise) works in the Washington Police Department’s Precrime Division. There hasn’t been a murder in the city for six years as the police are warned by three psychics and prevent future crimes before they happen (this idea dates back to the 1956 short story that was used as a basis for the film served). As far as we know, the police of our time do not use people with clairvoyant abilities, but use a method called predictive policing to proactively send police officers to places where crime is expected.
The first German test operation with a predictive policing system began in Karlsruhe in 2015. Computers analyze past offenses and, based on the data or findings, calculate the probability that crime will again occur in a specific location. The police are warned by algorithms. The police officers can then drive to the appropriate places and e.g. B. prevent a burglary or arrest the perpetrators who otherwise can only be arrested later or not at all.
It’s not about murder, and this predictive police work may not be as spectacular as in “Minority Report,” where Tom Cruise and his team rush into a house at the last second to apprehend a would-be killer. Besides, in our present no one should be convicted of a crime he did not commit…
… but the principle of policing based on predictions is the same as in “Minority Report”. And as in the film, predictive policing is also criticized for the collateral damage that can be caused. In 2016, for example, Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty saw predictive policing as a threat to the presumption of innocence.
In Minority Report, Tom Cruise drives around town in cars that don’t need a driver. You reach your goal yourself. Today’s car industry is working on automated driving, companies like Tesla and Google are already testing self-driving models. In addition, at least automatic parking has long been a reality outside of test tracks. In 2002, on the other hand, when “Minority Report” came to the cinemas, the mere idea that cars could one day park themselves was pure – and perhaps utopian – pie in the sky for many viewers (in the cars at that time, music was still much about cassettes and not via the smartphone connected via Bluetooth).
In preparation for Minority Report, Steven Spielberg hired a group of futurologists to come up with scenarios for the year 2054. That this scientific approach has paid off is also shown in the scene in which Tom Cruise is bombarded with advertising tailored to him personally in a department store. Cameras recognize him by his eyes, and in ads for beer or a credit card he is addressed directly by his name.
Internet and smartphones may not play a major role in “Minority Report”, but again the accuracy of the forecasts is based above all on an underlying principle: Anyone who uses the Internet today and does not use anonymous access will be tracked across several devices and will get the Advertisements are displayed that are of interest based on search queries or chat histories – anyone who googles sports shoes on their laptop will later see shoe advertisements on their smartphones when they read an article about “Minority Report” on DashFUN, for example, or watch the film on Netflix looks at
This is a re-release of an article previously published on DashFUN.