If you’ve ever watched an episode of Black Mirror you’ll almost certainly have felt quite uncomfortable. Black Mirror is not only great at tuning into the elements of technology that make us feel uneasy but at portraying the future as being right around the corner. In fact, Black Mirror is so good at picking out potentially true and scary innovations that some have already come true. Here are four times Black Mirror actually predicted the future correctly.
Spoilers for all Black Mirror seasons ahead
The British Prime Minister’s Fondness for Pigs
The fact Black Mirror alluded to this scandal is nothing short of stunning. Like, it’s mind-boggling to the point where some of the writers must have known something.
In the first episode, “The National Anthem”, a member of the British royal family is kidnapped. To return the royal to safety, demands are issued to the Prime Minister of Britain to have sex with a pig on TV or else the princess will be killed. Succumbing to public pressure, the Prime Minister gives in is broadcast on TV ‘makin’ bacon’.
A 2015 book on former British Prime Minister, David Cameron, made uncorroborated claims that while Cameron was in college, he placed his genitalia in a dead pig’s mouth. While Cameron claims this story is utter nonsense, the fact it led to a “hameron” hashtag makes this good enough to make the list.
iPhones, Animojis and The Waldo Moment
Apple launched the iPhone X this year and with it came Animojis. You know, once upon a time, Apple was a straight-laced company with very serious design principals and the likes. Now, you can use their phones which cost over a grand to pretend you’re an animated fox. What a time to be alive.
When Apple launched Animojis they were also making another Black Mirror prediction come true. In “The Waldo Moment” a comedian becomes popular in Britain behind the guise of a computer-generated bear called Waldo. The comedian ends up running in an election to promote his new TV show based on the animated avatar. Waldo comes surprisingly close to winning and ultimately leads to the downfall of society.
— Black Mirror (@blackmirror) September 12, 2017
How could that happen? Well, populism is a real problem in the world right now. People are voting for politicians like they vote for reality TV shows. Just like people voted for Waldo, people voted for Donald Trump and led the United Kingdom to a Brexit scenario. Even now, the debate rages about who’d win an election between Trump and Oprah. Will they ever learn?
Let’s All Rate Each Other
For season three, Black Mirror moved to Netflix but the accuracy of their predictions didn’t suffer at all. The first episode from the Netflix era depicts a world where we all review and rate out interactions with each other. All of these reviews add up to give individuals a score, a score which has a huge impact on your lifestyle and opportunity. Are you a two-star person? Well, this four-star housing estate is off limits for you I’m afraid.
Now, you might think this is going the way of Facebook or something, right? Well, no. In China, there’s an actual initiative that is even closer to the world that Nosedive shows us. Scary close. It’s called the Social Credit System and this is a genuine proposed initiative in China which plans to assign a rating to citizens based on government data. Yup, Black Mirror gets it crazy right yet again.
CES 2018: Self Driving Pizza Trucks
This one is hot off the presses at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show. In the latest season of Black Mirror, the episode Crocodile shows a world where we can tap into the memories of people to hunt down criminals. In the episode, a man is struck by a self-driving pizza delivery truck. Self-driving cars are on some roads today, so obviously this idea isn’t too far into the future but for a season which just debuted at the end of December, they walloped the nail on the head with this one.
At CES 2018, Pizza Hut and Toyota unveiled a concept pizza delivery truck and yes, you guessed it. The truck drives itself and delivers pizza all on its own. Now, sure enough, the idea that a giant van can make pizzas on the move and then deliver it when it’s in your neighbourhood is awesome but how the hell does Black Mirror keep doing this?
It’s possible that the writers are being tipped off by companies that are due to make announcements. It’s also possible that we’re simply innovating so fast these days that every idea is on the table. Who knows. Either way, Black Mirror is a fantastically creepy show that hopefully keeps our adoption of tech in healthy check.