‘Star Trek’ served as an inspiration for technological advancements

In Opinion
(Hannah Miller / Daily Titan)

“Star Trek” first aired in 1966 but was incredibly futuristic and influential for its time. The show featured groundbreaking concepts such as the communicator and the touch screen. These fictitious creations seemed unreachable but now sit at human fingertips.

What most don’t realize, is that “Star Trek” may have inspired others with the technological innovations displayed in the series.

For instance, teleportation may be thought of as unattainable with today’s technology, but it may come sooner than “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry predicted.

In July, Chinese scientists proclaimed they were able to teleport a light particle from Earth to space. The teleportation didn’t involve physical movement of a person from one place to another, but it serves as proof of the beginning of a new innovation.

This sort of fiction should be referred to as temporary fiction. The technological ideas exhibited in “Star Trek” have inspired others to convert these ideas into realities.

Hand-held communication devices came from Roddenberry’s imagination. The concept resembles today’s tablets: An idea that was fictitious, but is now real and essential in most people’s daily lives.

“Star Trek: The Next Generation” showcased the touch screen, a piece of technology incorporated into most modern-day cell phones. The show, again, could be attributed with the initial inspiration.

Data, a robot with artificial intelligence, was also initially featured on the show working aboard the Starship Enterprise. Data had a human appearance with incredible strength and intelligence, but lacked human emotions.

Now robots are being used in factories to help humans perform difficult tasks, and can also understand emotions.

Facebook artificial intelligence researchers created a robot that learned to comprehend human emotions after watching Skype for several hours. The advancement drove scientists to create an AI robot that appeared real and emotional.

This is a much less advanced form of Data, but the idea became reality nonetheless.

Another idea from “Star Trek” was the main computer, a software in the ship that could verbally answer anything one might ask.

Today there is Siri, a virtual assistant on the iPhone. VentureBeat said Apple made adjustments to Siri adding the ability to translate sentences in different languages, the ability to act as a personal DJ and a more human-sounding voice for the iPhone 8. Once again, an idea that came from the imagination of “Star Trek” creators.

The surprisingly accurate technological predictions in “Star Trek” displays the power of the imagination.

These ideas are essential to the creation of technology because it acts as a starting point for future advancements. They could even become integrated into everyone’s lives, just like the touch screen and the communicator.

The 21st century is truly an exciting time to be alive. In only a few decades, humans have created the most incredible inventions, most of which have evolved tremendously.

In the years to come, the public is going to witness spectacular new advancements in technology. People should be excited for the coming advancements, since nobody knows the end to the technological growth and the potential impact it may bring.

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