Science fiction films have a knack of foretelling what is to come, particularly in technology. From prototypes of mobile phones to Google glass, the futuristic imaginings of authors and scriptwriters materialise in mass popular culture today.

The only limits are the limits of our Imagination

Minority Report is an eerily accurate portrait of the surveillance state to which we have "opted-in". Tom Cruise stars in the "pre-crime division", arresting criminals before they commit unlawful acts. Dubbed the "perfect system", the film explores what happens when the rules of technology come to rule society.

In this seminal article published in The Guardian, Evgeny Morozov warns that "algorithmic regulation, whatever its immediate benefits, will give us a political regime where technology corporations and government bureaucrats call all the shots". Furthermore, he unpicks technologist Tim O'Reilly's recent paper exalting a "utopian world of infinite feedback loops is so efficient that it transcends politics".


A capitalist meritocratic society, an incentive-based market, compels us conform to the monetization framework architected by self-serving shareholders, or pay the premium. The virtues of "ultrastability" has many plaudits and followers. Hyper-intelligent, ever-improving, always-learning. We are hard-wired to strive for better, and technology feeds our hunger for "solutionism". It might pay to pause, to consider the outliers, the put a price on diversity. Darwin's evolution may breed a super-model but many a sub-species is extinguished along the way.

Ultimately, this investigation questions our value system and challenges our welfare state. Finally it arrives at healthcare. The finding is instructive. Much like Jacques Peretti's 3-part BBC documentary "The Men Who Made Us Spend", health insurance is tipped to mushroom, fuelled by fear and compliance. It doesn't paint a bright picture. I'd rather wake up and keep on dreaming...