Negative Portrayal of Technology in Films

I recently had a discussion with a friend that led me to a possible paper idea for this class. My friend and I were sitting around one evening, watching one of the old Terminator movies when the thought occurred to us that technology is seemingly always portrayed as a threat in movies. We started to think of all the movies we knew about which involved robots or some other sort of advanced technology.

We began to make a pretty extensive list of movies that supported our idea. All of the Terminator movies portray a robotic machine in a threatening way. According to my friend, the I, Robot movie starring Will Smith also follows the trend (I haven’t seen it). Some other movies that we thought of were Stealth, starring Jamie Foxx. For those of you who haven’t had the privilege of seeing this fine film, it involves a military aircraft that has a super computer installed in it. Basically, the airplane develops a mind of its own, somewhat reminiscent of Icarus in Sunshine, and begins to make its own decisions. Another example which we have talked about in class is the movie Wall-E in which advanced technology plays a major part in the downfall of the human race.

These were only a few of the many movies we could name in which robots or advanced technology caused problems for humans. We had a much more difficult time thinking of movies in which technology did not cause problems for humans. In fact, we tried for a solid fifteen to twenty minutes and were unable to think of any solid examples. I thought it was quite interesting that we stumbled upon this Hollywood trend. Perhaps we were somewhat biased since we wanted to see our observation hold true, but even after more thought I struggle to think of counter-examples.

For a paper, it may be interesting to examine the different ways in which Hollywood portrays robots and technology, and how the portrayal has evolved over the years. If anyone can think of counter examples to my observation please feel free to list them as a comment as it may help with my research.

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