MAGAZINE: Back to the Future Day

When Back to the Future 2 was released in 1989, most of us couldn’t wait to get to the year 2015.

When Marty McFly travels to October the 21st 2015, he’s met with a futuristic world full of hover boards, video phones, flying cars, shoe laces that tie themselves, pizzas that can be cooked in five seconds and life-like holograms.

But what Marty came across in 2015 is very different to our reality. So while things like video calls are common place, hover boards and flying cars still appear to be a long way off. That said, other developments in technology – such as Artificial Intelligence – are definitely here to stay, although many don’t yet know of it.

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New research released this week asked people what futuristic products they will be able to purchase in the next ten years, with only one in 20 hopeful of flying cars, one in six holographic TVs, one in ten self-refilling fridges and one in five cupboards that automatically order shopping when stocks are low.

While many of these things still seem out of reach and with many of Back to the Future’s most exciting inventions still apparently quite a way off, it’s easy to forget how far we have actually come since the movie was released.

Things like smart phones, tablets, 3D TVs and wearable tech would have seemed out of this world in 1989, but thanks to AI or artificial intelligence this type of technology has become common place in our homes. Research by Anki shows that over half (54%) believe that AI is simply robots, 34% believe it is a new wave of technology that will enrich our lives and 24% think it is ultimately a blend of human and machines. Interestingly, 21% do believe that AI is progress for the future – conversely, 13% think it will kill the need for human interaction.

Almost half of Brits are nervous about AI, whilst 29% are excited about the advancements in AI technology. So if, like Marty McFly, we went back to the future…..what could we expect and should we be afraid of the future?

Watch the video with James Bellini to see how much of what was predicted to be common place by 2015 in the classic movie has eventuated.

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