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10 predictions about the future of technology and society from Detroit: Become Human


Not only self-managed machines and androids, but also the continuation of the confrontation between the US and Russia.

On May 25, the game Detroit: Become Human from the studio Quantic Dream was released on PlayStation. This is an action adventure, where the player constantly makes decisions that affect the life of the characters and the surrounding society. The game takes place in 2038: a fictitious company “Cyberlife” massively produces humanoid robots that become so human and functional that it causes anxiety in society.

Authors Detroit: Become Human and themselves draw attention to the fact that the world of the game – the visionary projection of the future of mankind. The game specifically contains a lot of information about how humanity has changed over the years: there is something to learn.

without story spoilers tells how exactly Quantic Dream portrays the 20-year future of Detroit and the rest of the world.

1. Androids are built into society, but do not have rights and are a commodity

Robots specially made very similar to people, as the research of “Cyberlife” showed that they are more trusted: for this purpose they were even added blinking and hair on the face, although they are useless from a functional point of view. Androids can often be found in public places, but they are very similar to living people and to distinguish them, they were added with identification marks: stripes on clothes and, most importantly, a light indicator on the right temple. The color of the indicator reflects the current status of the android: blue – quiet, yellow – information processing, red – alarm.

Humanoid robots are mainly used as servants: they can sweep the streets, carry loads, work as a salesman, do housework or watch children. Such robots can be purchased by anyone, just by going to the Cyberlife store and examining them on a demonstration stand, like a smartphone. There are also more specialized models: for example, androids, created specifically for the provision of sex services, for conducting combat operations or flights to distant and dangerous to humans the planet – for example, the satellite of Jupiter Io.

If the robot for one reason or another has failed, it can be replaced by the same and even erase the memory – its opinions no one asks. If the robot needs to ride a bus, he will have to travel in a separate compartment with robots, and not with people – in other public places there are also separate entrances. This is very similar to the American racism of the late 19th – early 20th century, when bars and other institutions hung the inscriptions “The color entrance is forbidden.”

If a person temporarily needs to get rid of a robot (for example, he goes to a cafe to meet friends), he can leave it in a special parking on the street. It resembles a bus stop, but it is more like a parking lot for electric bicycles.

Although in many cases androids behave as part of society, they have no civil rights. They are always subordinate to their master and programmed to obey his commands, and in a broader sense they belong to “Cyberlife”: the company determines what features and functions robots will have, who will sell them, how to use and how to dispose of them. There are 120 million androids in the world.

2. There is a radical movement of people against androids

The massive distribution of androids and the outweighed part of the routine work, like cleaning the city, sharply increased unemployment. On city streets here and there you can meet homeless people complaining that their androids robbed their bread, and at the office of “Cyberlife” and not only – rallies and pickets of protesting radicals.

Members of the movement believe that androids should be completely banned and abandoned the benefits that they bring. Among other things, they fear that the androids are constantly monitoring them – as it is 20 years ago did all other devices like computers and smartphones. There are also those who support the benefits of androids, and such a dualism of opinions is often found in sports: on the one hand, skillful athletes-machines make people strive to achieve more, on the other – with them it is incredibly difficult to compete. Many openly hate androids, and since they are in fact part of society, tension can develop into an open confrontation and even a civil war.

There are countries where androids are not regulated by any laws and where there is no such tension – for example, in Canada. Officially, there are no androids in general, but in fact the country becomes a “quiet haven” for robots fleeing from justice.

3. The entertainment industry has changed – it is dominated by androids

Most people are used to watching concerts not live, but through VR: it can be done right from home, it’s cheaper, you can see everything is much better. The culture of live concerts with the roaring hall was so forgotten that the first entrepreneurs appeared who wanted to restore it – and their dreams sound naive and silly, as the initiatives to support libraries with paper books in the early 21st century.

People-musicians have only 5% of the market – the music industry is filled with groups that completely consist of androids: they can perform at once in several places, they can have any appearance, they do not know fatigue. On the other hand, zoos want to add robot animals – from extinct species, that is, those that can not be seen live.

Even the amusement park evokes nostalgia for times when it was necessary to visit something offline to get pleasure, but robots also settled there for so long that the place had already managed to stop being in demand and being abandoned.

4. Countries are again struggling for resources, but not for oil

Tyrium 310 is a “chemical compound” that “circulates energy and electrical information through the” body “of the machine,” that is, in fact, is the blood of robots. “Cyberlife” calls this connection its main invention, because it underlies all androids and makes them very similar to humans, which positively affects the perception of machines by living people.

When huge deposits of the tirium were found in the Arctic, Russia decided to unilaterally declare this territory as its property (at the beginning of the century Russia divided the Arctic with Denmark, Norway, Canada and the USA) and even presented some “historical” evidence of its rights. The US and other countries took it as an act of aggression, and especially suspiciously against the backdrop of these circumstances are news about the loss of an American submarine in the Arctic Ocean.

It is a question of the possible beginning of the Third World War – that means that over 20 years the escalation of relations between the US and Russia or between the US and the DPRK has not led to it. And Russia has an advantage, they write in the newspapers: “Her androids can work at temperatures below zero.”

5. Autonomous cars everywhere

On the streets of Detroit in 2038 there are full self-managed cars. They stand out prominently, because they look like carriages, where you can sit face to face with each other, and for some unknown reason are tightly toned or opaque.

You can go and face in the course of the movement, the front seats are spinning, however, in principle there is no rudder in such cars – only the navigation bar, which is displayed on the “torpedo” and windshield, where you can set the end point, see the information on the route, or turn on the music. If the machine breaks, you’ll have to wait for technicians – you can not cope with such a complex system.

Judging by the situation on the streets, self-controlled cars are the majority, they belong to the same company (which does not say), they have a common design and are in common use as a taxi. But there are also personal cars, which are also equipped with an autopilot and where there is no steering wheel, but outwardly they look more familiar. Some special innovations they have not appeared in 20 years – except that now they can “communicate” with each other thanks to the “Internet of things”.

On ordinary cars with a rudder drive only very much retrograde, and still there is public transport: buses, metro, ground trains.

6. People are still bumping into screens

Computers and smartphones are not fundamentally different from the technologies of 2018. Notebooks and desktop computers still have a keyboard, often holographic, which is why people are forced to type text, just knocking on the table – as you know, without giving up the keys it’s not too convenient and pleasant.

Many devices received transparent displays, but their advantages are not explained in any way. In addition, some companies still sell portable fitness trackers, players and other wearable electronics.

Payment in stores is slower than in 2018. Long authorization, the need for the customer to communicate with the seller, even if they are both robots, payment for a fingerprint – or rather, by some wireless system for identifying androids: even with Apple Pay, everything happens faster and more easily.

7. Media also did not change much – they are still oriented towards social networks

The place of work of the leading news looks the same as before – a table, a camera, a hromake behind your back. Perhaps, the only difference is that there are no live viewers in the main TV channel in any studio (from those that could be observed).

Judging by what is happening in the negotiations on the channel, they still monitor the effectiveness of working with social networks – count the distribution of traffic, measure the number of subscribers. And the role of the media is still strong – let’s allow one uncritical plot spoiler: to appeal to the widest possible audience, the heroes have to show their video message through the resources of the TV channel.

8. The ecological disaster

The ecological situation in the world has deteriorated very much over the last 20 years. More and more ice melts in the north, and the level of water in the ocean has risen so much that it has begun to flood Florida – local elite real estate is rapidly becoming cheaper, and well-to-do Americans are moving deeper into the mainland.

According to official data, in comparison with 2000 the total area of ​​tropical forests decreased by 79%, and the volume of coral reefs – by 59%. Nature has passed the “point of no return”: global warming has brought irreversible consequences – the atmosphere can no longer absorb the current amount of carbon emissions.

9. Medicine already allows you to treat cancer, but not live forever

Thanks to one of the products “Cyberlife”, a nanorobot immersed in the human body, the company has learned to completely rid people of a number of diseases. The description of his work sounds like this: it can be “inserted into the patient’s body and programmed to fight cancer cells, strengthen the immune system or reverse the genetic defects.”

Robots are microscopic, and millions of such machines need to be used per patient. After the end of the work, they are excreted through the urine.

Such robots can eradicate cancer, brain diseases and failure of individual organs, which significantly prolongs life expectancy. However, for the time being, apparently, it is not infinite.

10. In Russia, the president is not Putin. And in the US – a video-video player

The Russian president’s name is Ivanov, and in the US – Warren. About Ivanov nothing is known, and the description of Warren reminds Trump: he became famous as a video blogger (Trump became widely known for participation in his own reality show), he has no experience in civil service, she supports business, she has low support (about 30%). The popular opinion is that the android at the post of president would have coped better with the work.

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