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Which movie-inspired inventions do we want to see realized?

Image credit: A scene from "Paprika" by Satoshi Kon.

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Anja M
Anja M Oct 31, 2020
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Necessity

Is the problem still unsolved?

Conciseness

Is it concisely described?

The title seems pretty much self-explanatory. We have all had those moments: “If only this was real…” So, I am inviting you to compile a list of gadgets/assets that would for one reason or another come up handy in our lives. I am also encouraging you to write the potential downsides or enhancements you have maybe already thought about when it comes to your asset of choice.

But in order to make this list neat, easier, and more interesting to cultivate, please follow the guidelines:

Category 1: This gadget basically already exists, even if it’s not in its movie-like form.
Category 2: This gadget may be possible to exist in some not-so-distant future, or it is already being partially developed.
Category 3: This is still a “science fiction” domain, it may not be achievable anytime soon, or at all.
  • In the contribution title, please write the corresponding number first, and then the name of the invention (and the name of the movie, if it’s less famous). (E.g. “3. Hermione’s Time turner")
Also: Feel especially free to comment upon the contributions of others if you have data that would render this invention more suitable to some other category.
11
Creative contributions

3. Point of view gun. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

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Povilas S
Povilas S Nov 01, 2020
Might as well be called empathy gun. The person who is shot at from that gun gets to briefly experience the shooter's psychological perspective. If a shooter then thinks it's not enough - he/she keeps shooting.

The gun in action.

That kind of technology would be the ultimate solution to this session. And generally to all human communication gaps and endless attempts to fill them just to finally get each other. This is quite possible with the advancement of such inventions as Neuralink when the content of the mind could be transferred to another person's mind not through limited means such as words or externally created images, but directly. This could be called cyber-telepathy.
By the way, if you haven't seen the movie, I absolutely recommend it, it's full of similar inventions throughout and it's a very good adventurous comedy. Elon Musk has cited the movie multiple times as being an inspiration for him. For example, Tesla Roadster that was launched into orbit has a quote from the movie "DON'T PANIC!" placed on a dashboard in front of a "Starman".
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Anja M
Anja Ma year ago
HOW could I have forgotten: "It won't affect me, I already am a woman." :D

I think if something like this was to come to existence, it really would be due to the reason described. x)
Anyhow, yes, it would help prevent many conflict situations and bridge the gaps of human miscommunication. However, I really feel such inventions are a two-edged sword. As much as it would come as an oasis in the desert of human communication strife, if we were to rely on it much (as we probably would), we would quickly enough come to diminishing our communication skills, which are such a delicate skill to be aquired, as it always involve some social and emotional intelligence. So, if we make it less available, but still available, I would say it could work to our benefit.
Maybe make it available like a free train ticket in some countries if you e.g. recycle or do a number of squats. :D Something like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHzQk59nfVc
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Povilas S
Povilas Sa year ago
Anja M 😂 Cool. Seems Russia has great ideas too.
But we only need communication skills to get each other right and this gun does precisely that:D I think even with maximally improved communication skills constant misconceptions would still be happening on a daily basis, language and the way human mind works is simply just the right fuel for this. Of course, the gun is a very limited version of that sort of technology, but I think we are bound to evolve the way we communicate to something more direct and clear, otherwise, we will be forever stuck in the stone age of communication:D
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3. "DC Mini" from "Paprika"

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Anja M
Anja M Oct 31, 2020
Paprika is originally a book written by Yasutaka Tsutsui, but came to life and became even more known through the animation of Satoshi Kon. (Mentioning Satoshi Kon, I will use this opportunity to warmly recommend his anime, especially if you are into psychedelic, but pretty meaningful content.) DC Mini is a device that helps you enter a person’s dream. Paprika is a pseudonym of Dr Atsuko Chiba (see the cover photo), who starts using the device illegally to help psychiatric patients (since it’s still only a prototype), and it seems to be working. So, in psychotherapy, it makes it possible to literally be in one’s dream and searching for the root of a certain problem. You as a therapist are also behaving in a symbolic manner befitting a dream state, and are supposed to ~insert a cure in the same manner, so that a person can find it and untangle it on her own. However, the device is being stolen at a certain point, and retrieving it causes dreams and reality to entangle in an always-disturbing manner, so this already opens a cons side, since the safety of such mechanisms should strictly come into the first place.

However, under the assumption that these conditions are met, this would be ground-breaking. We are already able to follow the wavelengths and make different measures of the brain in the sleeping state, are familiar with hypnosis on a general level (whether we accept it or not), but we are definitely not able to be in one’s dream. So, if used safely and primarily for such purposes, this would, I am more certain than not, prove unbelievably beneficial.

Still, whatever is invented, it is almost automatically used for other purposes, as well, so I assume “partying hard” would also gain another meaning. (I presume black market would do wonders here.) But as long as it doesn’t turn to a “personality disintegration dystopia”, I would welcome such a device.
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarnia year ago
Here is another application of DC mini: Even though we are not able to insert another person into someone's dream/ subconscious, what if we could at least insert memories or stimulate specific neurons to replay the lost memories? It will be useful for patients recovering from a coma. A study [1] in 2015 showed that familiar voices and stories may speed coma recovery. In the study, the relatives of the patients recorded their stories (memories of events from the patient's past) and they were played for the patients using headphones. The treatment went on for six weeks. The researchers believe that playing the memories exercises the parts of the brain responsible for long-term memories. This is because of the changes observed in the blood oxygen levels in those parts of the brain. We can take this to the next level and directly stimulate certain parts of the brain and recreate those images in the patient's head, probably helping recovery.

Reference: https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/medical-advances/family-voices-coma-care
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Ana Suarez a year ago
I agree with Povilas S this looks like the machine used in Inception (2010) and The Cell. For both movies, I would add the ethical side of those professional proceedings. The device is not only dangerous in the hands of thieves; also, in the hands of potential unscrupulous professionals that are allowed to manipulate your utmost intimacy: dreams.

Who should be able to operate the device? In what circumstances? Who decides that? What happens when a patient does not want to be "cured"?

Maybe a serial killer is an extreme case, but there is a wide range of greys, and, even in the case of an offender, can we impose a "cure" of such nature?
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Povilas S
Povilas Sa year ago
This reminded me especially of the movie The Cell (2000). The differences are that in "The Cell" the psychiatrist enters not so much the dream of the patient, but directly into his subconscious and the "patient" is a serial killer who is caught but is in a coma, therefore can't be questioned to where his recent victim is kept still alive. The rest of the plot seems very similar and the technology described is basically the same. The technology is also very similar to the one used in "Inception". Another thing I found interesting is that another anime by Satoshi Kon - "Perfect Blue" also has many similar elements with another western movie - "Black Swan".
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3. StarTrek Replicator

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Oct 31, 2020
This video shows it in action. John Michael Godier explain how it could work in this video


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Darko Savic
Darko Savica year ago
Generally, Startrek is full of things we need:) The transporter (teleportation device), energy shields for the spaceships, ship's all-knowing computer (AGI), Warp drive, and so on.

A "tricorder" used to be popular in the older series. We now have smartphones which almost do the job:)
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Anja M
Anja Ma year ago
Darko Savic Replicators of various kinds seem to be so popular, and for a reason. :D
Thanks for this reminder.
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A vault into other people's life experiences like in 'Being John Malkovich'

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Subash Chapagain
Subash Chapagain Nov 01, 2020
In this eccentric movie written by Charlie Kauffman, there is a portal through which people can enter to get into the life of 'John Malkovich', a famous celebrity actor. What I found fascinating about this idea is not the science or tech part of it. The hows and whats are not detailed in the movie either. To me, the philosophical experience of being in someone else's life is fascinating. We are surrounded by people, however, we never know what it actually is like to 'be' them. We assume about people based on the limited sets of interactions we have with them. If we could live as 'them' for a day or two, how would our perception about the world change? Would we recalibrate our moral/ethical compass? Would it be easier to find meaning in life if we could live and experience the lives of other people? These questions are philosophically very important, and I would like to see a vault that we could open and enter which would allow us to live as some other human being for a limited period of time-experiencing, feeling and behaving exactly in a manner that the other person would do. How would it be?
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Povilas S
Povilas Sa year ago
Have you read Castaneda books? There is an episode in one of the books (I don't remember exactly which one) where the protagonist (Castaneda) under the influence of some psychoactive substance, during the "trip" turns into a crow and gets to experience the way crows are perceiving the world, which (according to the book and the experience) is that they see black and white colors reversed, for example, they see other crows as being white. There were other things mentioned about that experience, but that's the one that got stuck in my memory. What's fascinating about this is that maybe there is a possibility of experiencing not only the perception of other humans but of other beings as well.
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Anja M
Anja Ma year ago
Yes, this really is similar to what Povilas and I have contributed above. Like an additional aspect of it all
Also, I like your idea about being easier to find a meaning in life if we were to have all these different experiences. It would definitely make us less judgemental and more able to understand the other side, so I hope this would at least mean our nature would become more succeptible to humbleness.
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2. That nootropic drug from "Limitless"

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Anja M
Anja M Nov 01, 2020
I am not sure how much this is my wish per se (ok, at moments it really is) but am definitely positive this is a wish of the majority, both from a personal query which involved a lot of people, and thus by an inductive leap. The movie's based on a book The Dark Fields, and there are also a movie and a series, of which I think the former is more famous.

So, it is important to note that this NZT-48 is a testing nootropic drug, which means it enhances cognitive, and so, creative, motivation and execution functions in an individual. And so our protagonist excels in fulfilling his various tasks superbly and also enhances his interpersonal skills much.
However, the drug has side-effects, creates dependency and renders his health frail and even worse, resulting in bigger and bigger gaps between his normal an on-drug states of capabilities. I guess this was pretty expected of a plot-twist, and probably because many drugs which exist so far and are able to induce such a state are both temporary and with more severe side-effects. Still, this is in category 2 since we are already recognizing some existing effects, and since it will probably be conceivable and possible to synthesize something similar, at least for a focused usage with a particular effect.
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2."Amnestics"from"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"

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Deru Xu
Deru Xu Nov 02, 2020
I saw what Subash Chapagain mentioned "A vault into other people's life experiences" reminds me whether this technology can be realized through memory insertion and deletion technology. Of course, there are many problems, such as viewing other people's memories that will violate privacy. Under the right conditions, if we do not change our memories, but only eliminate painful experiences and memories, will this alleviate pain and help those who feel pain or even want to hurt their lives?

I watched a movie and mentioned amnestics. In the 2004 movie "The Eternal Sunshine of the Beautiful Mind" directed by Michel Gunray, Clementine Crouch (played by Kate Winslet) and Joel Joel Barris (played by Jim Carrey) memories of each other.

In fact, researchers have been studying "amnesia clinics" that can eliminate memories. In 2011, researchers at the Human Stress Research Center of the University of Montreal in Canada found that inhibiting the secretion of glucocorticoids can help patients eliminate painful memories. According to reports, in March 2014, Dutch scientists used electric shock therapy to successfully delete designated memories in the human brain. Volunteers forgot the pain of the past after conducting electric shock treatment experiments, but their good memories were not compromised.

By the way, the mystery of the brain is very deep, this technology has many technical and ethical issues, and the road to development is still very long.
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3. "The Anywhere Key" from Netflix series "Locke & Key"

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Juran Nov 04, 2020
In the mentioned Netflix series, keys have incredible powers. One of those is called "The Anywhere Key".

When you insert the key into any door, the door turns to a direct portal to any other door which you can clearly and uniquely visualize. That means you can "teleport" to any door which you saw.

How could it be possible? Well, if a key could be a drive where personal identity is stored and any door work as a part of a network teleport system, you could theoretically "travel" through the network and reappear on some other doors (teleport portal). Not so achievable, tho.


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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarnia year ago
This coupled with the Virtual Reality gear could create be a big industry of "virtual travel". 😃
#lockdown #covid19
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Chat with the Dead (series Black Mirror)

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Juran Jan 18, 2021
You love your husband, parents, kids...and suddenly it happens that some of them die. It doesn`t matter if they are perfectly healthy or sick, it always happens too soon. The feeling of an empty space that they left in your heart is just devastating. We still can`t bring them back, but could something be done to reduce the pain (except medication and professional help)?

Netflix series "Black Mirror" tackled this problem in the episode "Be Right Back". A new service let Martha reconnect with her dead loved one.

A few days ago I ran to a very similar patent from Microsoft . They developed a system and methods that build a conversational bot of a specific person. They use the person´s profile, social network activity, emails, letters, photos, and other information to form the bot that will perfectly impersonate the chosen person.

The next thing will be the 2D or 3D model of that person, reflecting its personality, moves, facial expressions, etc. I guess these kinds of impersonated models of a person could help to reduce the pain of losing someone.

[1]https://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?docid=10853717&SectionNum=1&IDKey=6E72242A6301&HomeUrl=http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2%2526Sect2=HITOFF%2526p=1%2526u=%25252Fnetahtml%25252FPTO%25252Fsearch-bool.html%2526r=31%2526f=G%2526l=50%2526co1=AND%2526d=PTXT%2526s1=microsoft.ASNM.%2526OS=AN/microsoft%2526RS=AN/microsoft

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic9 months ago
The bot would probably work that much better if the person was a writer, blogger, vlogger, or otherwise left a ton of bot-training content behind. It would be even more amazing if the person - while alive was training the bot to keep their loved ones company after they are gone. This could be suitable for terminally ill, people with high-risk jobs, or anyone really - as an insurance policy of sorts.
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Povilas S
Povilas S9 months ago
I think the idea was originally developed by Eugenia Kuyda, the founder of the app "Replika". It's an interesting story. She was working in a company that develops chatbots and her friend died suddenly in a car accident. They had a very deep relationship and she felt that there is a lot she would still want to say to him, but it was suddenly not possible. And then she got the idea - she took all the text chats that they had and fed them into an AI algorithm and also asked his other friends and family members to do the same and thus AI learned to mimic him, so people then were able to talk the replica of the deceased.

But later the idea deviated further from this since the author realized that by talking to the replica of the deceased you learn more about yourself than about that person, so the current app is intended for the user to develop a replica of their own personality. The AI learns the more about you the more you talk to it. All the data could be used to replicate your personality after your death, but primarily this lets people to develop a chat friend that deeply resembles themselves and to which they can open up more easily.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQGqMVuAk04

PS: This is not an advertisement xD


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Povilas S
Povilas S9 months ago
This also reminded me of the movie "White Noise" which depicts the possibility of communicating with the dead through electronic voice phenomena. The latter is pseudoscience, but it would be cool if one day science could bring up such a technology for real. But I guess for that the continuation of human consciousness after death would have to be scientifically proven first, as depicted in another movie "The Discovery".
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2. "Spiderman gloves" from Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni Nov 03, 2020
Ethan Hunt climbs the Burj Khalifa from the outside using a special pair of gloves that create a Spiderman-like grip when in contact with the glass. The technology that enabled it is called electro-adhesion. SRI International is developing such technology currently. Electro adhesive ability is somewhat like rubbing a balloon on your hair to create static and then sticking it to a wall. SRI International is using small robots to test it. These robots can be used to clean the buildings/ windows, which is currently done manually using a harness.
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2. Iron man's HUD display

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni Nov 03, 2020
The Head Up Display on Iron man's helmet screen tells him what everything in front of him is (what type of car, the make of a product, the material in the product), who are the people in the vision range, etc. The reason I put this invention in the second category is all the parts of this invention - detection of the kind of the car it is just by looking at its shape using AI, recognizing people from their photos, etc. are already there. What needs to be done is to put them all together on the screen of the helmet or on the glasses/ shades.
Uses:
  1. In space, this helmet can tell the person the predicted material of the objects in front of them (for example, soil/ rock samples on Mars).
  2. Security cameras in sensitive buildings: The camera can identify the people in real-time and flag those that are hazardous.
  3. Any kind of repair work: The helmet can tell them what piece goes where.
If nothing else, it would be a cool thing to have.
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3. Automated surgery table from "Prometheus"

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Anja M
Anja M Feb 02, 2021
I am a bit flaberggasted by myself at this point, but I distinctly remember being a bit too thrilled that time in the cinema when I spotted this "smart" surgery capsule, imagining with to me inexplicable ease what I would do to myself to help myself if I needed an operation (I don't think I am that brave, hence the disbelief). In this very unromanticised scene, she is having a C-section to pull out the alien embryo. The additional indisputable benefit comes from the fact that we are talking about a spacecraft, meaning people in outer space, who would definitely benefit from such an invention. It goes without saying that this would involve a highly sophisticated AI performing the surgery, as not all heroes will be able to suffice with only a local anesthetic, like our heroine here (although this is of course desirable even in such cases).
As we have already started employing AI in certain surgeries, even if for various reasons we still keep human personnel present in operating theaters, and opt not to do so only for the sake of a passive alertness, this invention could probably cut the waiting time for those on the multiple waiting lists for certain sugeries. Not to mention more precision in certain aspects, etc.
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General comments

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarnia year ago
Anja M Great work having the guidelines! Although this session is only for inventions from movies, can we add those from TV shows, series, books, etc.? We can have categories for them, too.
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Anja M
Anja Ma year ago
Shubhankar Kulkarni Yes, I don't know why I only put movies, probably because they occupied me for that moment. But any other pop culture media is fine. :)
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Anja M
Anja Ma year ago
"Captain's log" 20:54 CET: It is curious how majority of the contributions so far focus of entering one's own or another's subconsciousness or experience in general. What does this small statistic show about us? Or did I just unconsciously start such a thread by making my own contribution on such a topic first, so this tendency might appear without a deeper connection after all?
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarnia year ago
Anja M Probably, because when I read the title, I thought of some other invention, not related to entering other's minds. Then I went through the contributions and had to check the session description again to see if you had mentioned inventions only from that field. ☺️
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