Films from the Future: What Sci-Fi Movies Can Teach Tech Companies About Socially Responsible Innovation with Dr. Andrew Maynard


Figuring Out the Future Together

“Sci-fi flicks are, of course, notoriously unreliable when it comes to accurately depicting science and technology. But because their plots are often driven by the intertwined relationships between people and technology, they can be remarkably insightful in revealing social factors that affect successful and responsible innovation.” — Dr. Andrew Maynard (author, Films from the Future: The Technology and Morality of Sci-Fi Movies)

Dr. Andrew Maynard

JOIN US December 13 (6pm – 8:30pm), at The Williamsburg Hotel, for a special evening presentation and book-signing featuring Dr. Andrew Maynard (former physicist, professor in the Arizona State University School for the Future of Innovation in Society, leading expert in the responsible development of emerging and converging technologies, and Tech 2025 advisor). Professor Maynard will share compelling ideas and scenes from sci-fi movies to illustrate how sci-fi can be used as a guide for exploring the many challenging problems we face as emerging technologies like AI, machine learning, 3D printing, robots and more, increasingly govern our world.

Highlighting excerpts from his recently published book (#1 Amazon New Release), Films from the Future: The Technology and Morality of Sci-Fi Movies, and recent media coverage of controversies in emerging technologies, Dr. Maynard will share compelling ideas and scenes from sci-fi movies to illustrate why and how sci-fi can be used as a tool for exploring the many challenging social problems big technology companies and corporations face as emerging technologies like AI, machine learning, 3D printing, robots and more, increasingly govern our world.

Topics and films Dr. Maynard will discuss include:

Minority Report: Predicting Criminal Intent
Criminal Intent • The “Science” of Predicting Bad Behavior • Criminal Brain Scans • Machine-Learning Based Precognition • Big Brother, Meet Big Data
(Machine Bias: There’s software used across the country to predict future criminals – ProPublica – article link)

Elysium: Social Inequity in an Age of Technological Extremes
The Poor Shall Inherit the Earth • Bioprinting our Future Bodies • The Disposable Workforce • Living in an Automated Future
(Why the Automation Boom Could Be Followed by a Bust — HBR – article link)

Ghost in the Shell: Being Human in an Augmented Future
Through a Glass Darkly • Body Hacking • More than “Human”? • Plugged In; Hacked Out • Your Corporate Body
(Meet the Minnesota family that turned a soda machine company into a surveillance empire — The Hustle – article link)

Ex Machina: AI and the Art of Manipulation
Plato’s Cave • The Lure of Permissionless Innovation • Technologies of Hubris • Superintelligence • Defining Artificial Intelligence • Artificial Manipulation

Inferno: Immoral Logic in an Age of Genetic Manipulation
Decoding Make Believe • Weaponizing the Genome • Immoral Logic? • The Honest Broker • Dictating the Future
(Chinese Scientist Claims to Use Crispr to Make First Genetically Edited Babies — NY Times – article link)

After the presentation, interactive discussion and Q&A, Andrew will be available to sign copies of his books. Cocktails and lite bites included.

 About Andrew Maynard

Andrew Maynard is a former physicist, a professor in the Arizona State University School for the Future of Innovation in Society, and leading expert in the responsible development of emerging and converging technologies. For over twenty years he has worked closely with experts and thought leaders from around the world on the challenges and opportunities presented by technologies ranging from nanotechnology and synthetic biology to geoengineering and artificial intelligence. Andrew’s a sought-out speaker and commentator on emerging and converging technologies, and writes regularly about science and technology for popular audiences. His work has appeared on platforms ranging from Popular Science and Scientific American, to Slate, Salon, and Huffington Post. He also writes the blog 2020 Science, and produces the YouTube channel Risk Bites. He is @2020science on Twitter.

Wearing his academic hat, Andrew directs of the ASU Risk Innovation Lab, and chairs the ASU Master of Science and Technology Policy program. He is widely published in the academic literature, including in leading journals such as Nature, and is internationally recognized for his work on the risks and benefits of nanotechnology. He has testified before congressional committees on a number of occasions, and served on various National Academy of Sciences committees. Andrew is actively involved with the World Economic Forum, and previously chaired the Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies. He has a PhD in Physics from the University of Cambridge in the UK.

Additional Info

Andrew’s profile page at ASU

Risk Innovation Lab

ORCID (papers)

Google Scholar

Academic Curriculum Vitae

Articles on The Conversaton

YouTube (Risk Bites)

YouTube (Science Showcase)

2020 Science



Twitter (@2020science)

School for the Future of Innovation in Society

Films from the Future: The Technology and Morality of Sci-Fi Movies

Hardcover – Published November 15, 2018, Mango Publishing

Available  at Amazon.comBarnes and NobelIndie Bound, and other outlets!

#1 Amazon New Release ─ Learn how movies reveal the future of technology

Fans of The Science of InterstellarThe Second Machine Age, and Physics of the Future will love the Films from the Future.

Science, technology, and society: In Films from the Future, former physicist Andrew Maynard threads together his love of science fiction movies with his expertise on emerging technologies to engage, entertain and make you think about the relationship between technology, and society as they discover astounding, transformative advances in science. Through the imagination and creativity of science fiction movies, Maynard introduces readers to the profound capabilities presented by new and emerging technologies, and the complex personal and societal challenges they present.

The future of artificial intelligence and other technologies: Each movie in the book provides the starting point for exploring key technologies and trends, from genetic engineering (Jurassic Park) and brain-enhancing drugs (Limitless), to human augmentation (Ghost in the Shell), and artificial intelligence (Ex Machina). These are woven together with emerging ideas on technological convergence and responsible and ethical innovation, to provide a sweeping perspective on where our technologies are taking us, and how we ensure this is where we want to go.

The enlightening science and philosophies of movies: With each examination of twelve movies, you will take a progressive journey through the fascinating worlds of biological and genetic manipulation, human enhancement and cyber technologies, and nanotechnology. Maynard shows that the fantastical worlds of the movies might not be as impossible as we think. With a focus on hard science, economics, the social implications of technological feats, and the movies that could very well become our real-life future, Films from the Future will be sure to educate and entertain! Discover the surprising truth behind science fiction movies.

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Start Time

6:00 pm

December 13, 2018

Finish Time

8:30 pm

December 13, 2018


The Williamsburg Hotel, 96 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249