Seeing the Future

Discussion, Reading Comprehension and Video Activity

Future Life

  • How do you see the future? Is it an optimistic or pessimistic view? Why?
  • How will your life be in 10 years? How about in 20 or 30 years? What everyday activities or practices do you think will change?
  • Do you agree that most technology nowadays makes our lives better? How? Why (not)? 
  • What novelties, gadgets or apps will you enjoy to have?  Which ones will or won't be possible for at least 50 years?

Through the Eyes of Science Fiction...

Science fiction is a genre with imaginative content and topics such as futuristic science and technology and space travel. One of its purposes is exploring the consequences of these scientific innovations to discuss philosophical ideas morality, and social structure.

Read the following fragment and answer the questions that follow.

The first coherent vision of a world transformed into a future run entirely by computers may have been E.M.Forster’s “The Machine Stops,” published in 1909, in which people basically become hive creatures in a worldwide city run by a massive machine:

“No one confessed the Machine was out of hand. Year by year it was served with increased efficiency and decreased intelligence. The better a man knew his own duties upon it, the less he understood the duties of his neighbor, and in all the world there was not one who understood the monster as a whole. Those master brains had perished. They had left full directions, it is true, and their successors had each of them mastered a portion of those directions. But humanity, in its desire for comfort, had over-reached itself. It had explored the riches of nature too far. Quietly and complacently, it was sinking into decadence, and progress had come to mean the progress of the Machine.”

Eventually , goes Forster’s story, in this world where people are fed, clothed, and housed by the Machine, and never see each other face to face (but only through two-way video), the system collapses.

Fragment from "Writing the Future:Computers in Science Fiction"
by Jonathan Vos Pos and Kirk L. Kroeker  IEEE Computer, vol. 33, no. 1

True or False?

1)E.M.Forster describes a future dominated by computers.
2)As time passed men lost their intelligence.
3)Forster compares the machine to a monster.
4)Men still fully controlled the machine.
5)The machine had created itself.
6)Forster  describes the world as full of comfort and riches.
7)People do not interact in person anymore.
8)This world does not have a happy ending.


Have you heard the buzz about Google Glasses?  They are an augmented reality product that displays information in front of your eyes, with applications activated by voice.

Your Task:

You are  going to watch a short video which shows what Project Glass is.

After watching, compare the ideas shared in the first discussion to what you have read and seen in the clip.
Are the views in the article and the video similar or different?
Which Google Glasses features are the best in your opinion?
What aspects will be negative about wearing these glasses?
What will be the advantages and disadvantages of an augmented reality gadget?
Will there be other implications, social or moral?
Will a new reality dominate humanity?

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