Predicting the Future: Experts Rate Sci-Fi's Film Predictions

Due to its capacity to inflame and engage the human mind’s curiosity for the future, sci-fi is the most intriguing of movie genres. Binging on a series of Sci-Fi hits can give you a glimpse into what’s to come for the human race, but how accurate are the weird and wacky imaginations of Kubrick, Scott, Zemeckis and more?

Plusnet recently set out to find out. Selecting the technological predictions made in 10 of Sci-Fi’s biggest titles, they asked an expert in a relevant field to rate how close that prediction was based on the year the film was set – giving each prediction a school-like A-F grade for accuracy.

The results were…mixed, with Ridley Scott’s visionary expertise ranking as both the best and worst in Sci-Fi movie predictions. A space industry analyst described the mission science, engineering, and survival technology in The Martian (set in 2035) as “The most realistic of all popular sci-fi.” The film was given an A for its depiction of a human-lead mission to Mars.

One hit and one miss for Scott. Coming in last was the original Blade Runner, set in 2019. An A.I. author and ex-computer engineer at NASA rated the Androids Harrison Ford is tasked with taking down with an F, saying they were “So convincingly human that I can’t even tell that it isn’t human itself. This requires a level of biophysical engineering that is far beyond anything currently predicted.” Their prediction of flying cars in 2019 was also well wide of the mark.

2001: A Space Odyssey, Back the to Future, and Ex Machina are among the other titles put to experts in their field. Here’s how close your Sci-Fi predictions are to reality.

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