Is science fiction or fact

Science fiction as inspiration for real research

It is well known that the scientific interest of some researchers was aroused by science fiction content, as is the fact that some concepts from this area were later put into practice. But it is more difficult to quantify exactly how great the influence of fictional films and literature is on real research efforts. Philipp Jordan and colleagues from the University of Hawaii have now attempted to do this, albeit initially only for the area of ​​human-computer interaction. That reports Technology Review online in “When fiction becomes reality”.

According to this, science fiction materials have not only played an important role in research on human-computer interaction for a long time, they have recently become even more important. The researchers came to this conclusion using a relatively simple analysis method: They evaluated the specialist presentations given at one of the world's most important conferences on the topic - the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - and searched those published since 1982 Essays based on expressions related to science fiction.

"Science fiction films, series or stories offer inspiration for the most important upcoming challenges in the field of human-computer interaction of our time, for example in the form of discussions about shape-changing interfaces, implantable technology or ethics for digital survival," write Jordan and colleagues. In addition, the established relationships could only be the tip of an iceberg: "We speculate that the explicit mention of science fiction in research on human-computer interaction only reveals a fraction of the real inspiration and meaning."

More about this at Technology review online:


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