Reflections On The Fourth Industrial Revolution

by Freya Scammells

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February '22 Edition

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is clearly upon us - a new era of innovation in technology - and we are excited to keep you updated with what's new! In this monthly feature we bring you up to date on the latest resources, news and insights in the AI community. Happy Reading!

This month, with AI-optimised streaming services everywhere, we take a deep dive into the world of science fiction in film, and ask if it still has the power to positively influence tech moving forward through 2022. Why is it important for streaming services to keep inspiring our current and upcoming tech talent through sci-fi content?

Keep reading to find out why!

Plus..we include 5 Top sci-fi examples from film and tv that are very likely to be thought provoking for the world of technology, for your enjoyment and tech inspiration!

Further, we include our Top 5 tech innovations for this month, still ascending, to keep you right up to date!

And as always…

we include our 4 Top tech news stories to keep you informed…

Let's press play for February in the world of tech!

Sci-fi Inspiration for Tech Innovation,

this month and moving forward

We are now living in a truly amazing age!

This month and year especially, sci-fi ideas will probably be around us more than ever on all of the major streaming platforms.

But how much of it will actually inspire tech innovation? For what reason, beyond amusement, would there be to watch sci-fi that may have a poor grasp of science and technology?

Plus, dystopian themes in this genre, aside from metaphorical uses, were most likely only employed to generate interest at the box offices and probably weren’t ever genuine, reasonable predictors of the world we are now living in.

So let's put those themes aside and take a look at...

Tech Design in Sci-fi

If we were to suggest in 2005 that by 2022 a Fourth Industrial Revolution would be in full swing, would that seem impossible and did high quality sci-fi tech design from the past make the world we are now in more likely?

Every science fiction film and tv production, of actual note, did take it that little bit further, stylistically and technologically.

For the film makers, it's the definition of cutting edge; that tightrope walk between complete failure and ‘just barely possible’ to really capture an audience’s imagination.

In many respects, progressively-advanced technology behind the camera had to be developed to put more compelling but plausible tech realisations on the screen.

Problem Solving

New ideas presented in ways we have never seen before combined with a grounding in the believable as a tool for the viewer to really imagine themselves in the world proposed, have always been essential in really exciting and thought provoking sci-fi. We are sure you will agree!

The concept of ‘just barely possible’ has driven some of the greatest and best science fiction over the last 50-60 years. Like Sir Roger Bannister completing the 4 minute mile, there is now no longer much ‘doubt’ that highly realised tech can be made to manifest significantly, in sci-fi, especially given the advancements, for example, in 3d animation rendering or AI-optimised video editing on the production side.

But are film makers in general delivering these inspiring ideas overall or are they falling back on what is ‘a safe bet’ for ratings in the main?

An Appreciation of Innovation

The minds of sci-fi legends such as James Cameron (in his sixties) and Sir Ridley Scott (now in his eighties) are still, in 2022, particularly focused on problem solving as a truly valuable part of the process.

Every new sci-fi film of theirs and from other sci-fi filmmakers like them, will most likely always have something new to add regarding inspirational tech behind the camera, in-front of it, or both.

Many would also argue there is still a very big difference between the technological value of Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi output and certain superhero franchises’… mentioning no names!

Our Tech Audience

The sci-fi movie and tv world of the eighties and nineties was probably heavily absorbed by the major tech innovators of the last 15 to 20 years and the streaming services of today may, probably, provide a good chunk of inspiration for innovators over the next 25.

So, let us recommend our...

Top 5 Popular Tech In Sci-fi | Films and TV!

1. Solaris’ (Steven Soderbergh, 2002)

This Steven Soderbergh (directed and James Cameron produced) sci-fi remake of Stanislav Lem’s 1972 film is amazing!

Sci-fi tech featured: A liquid nitrogen-cooled mainframe.

2. 'Minority Report' (Steven Spielberg, 2002)

Steven Spielberg, according to Wired magazine, consulted futurists for this adaptation of the Philip K. Dick novel, of the same name, to impressive effect.

Sci-fi tech featured: ‘personalised advertisements’ where the Tom Cruise character is identified by Artificial intelligence and then recommended relevant products.

An additional feature includes, ‘motion tracking interfaces’, in the scene where a gloved Mr Cruise swipes windows across a computer screen.

3. 'Interstellar' (Christopher Nolan, 2014)

According to a comprehensive piece in, ‘Quantum gravity, the reconciliation of relativity and quantum mechanics,’ are themes included in Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed sci-fi film.

Tech featured: This film actually spawned a paper on ‘Gravitational lensing’ regarding its highly advanced depiction of a black hole.

4. 'Iron Man' (Jon Favreau 2008)

From the blockbuster film starring Robert Downey jnr.

Tech featured: Putting aside the super powers, a variation on the Jet-powered pack in the film wouldn't be out of place in 2022 technologically!

5. ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ (1987-1994)

What more is there to say?

Gene Roddenberry’s classic, this time featuring Patrick Stewart and co.

Sci-fi tech featured: the Holodeck (an all encompassing virtual world) and much more!

Top 5 Tech Innovations

1. Medical Monitoring, AI-enabled

What is it?

AI- enabled monitoring of patients means the potential optimisation of healthcare through the collection of personalised data and its subsequent rapid and efficient analysis, provided any associated tech is approved for medical use.

2. QR Codes & their continued importance

What are they?

Invented in 1994 by the automotive company, Denso Wave, ‘QR’ codes are optical/digital labels containing information relating to the items with which they are attached. They can then be machine read.

Today, well-known apps such as Chrome, Snapchat and WhatsApp use them.

3. RFID Technology

What is it?

RFID or ‘Radio-frequency identification’ technology is tech that is currently used in areas such as supply-chain-tracking, management of inventories, controlling access to various buildings and in tourism.

4. Voice Search Tech

What is it?

Voice search is a well known tech that most of us already use on a daily basis. In detail Siri, Google Voice Search, Amazon Echo and Cortana all support this voice-command-based technology.

5. Decision Intelligence

What is it?

Decision intelligence is a technology that endeavours to assist companies and people in improving lives through a unification of managerial science, applied data science and social science.

Aspiring to grow your career in the world of tech?

Reflection X's ML&DS Career Accelerator Programme can help you! Click the link below to find out more and check out the amazing feedback we received from helping people like you in tech!


4 Tech News Stories

1. Cheltenham AI-optimised-level-crossing trial.

According to a piece by Robin Jenkins for, an 'AI-based object detection system' named 'OPTIMUS' is now in place for a trial at the Alstone Lane crossing in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

The device was installed by 'systems engineering specialists' from Synoptix and by 'experts' from the School of Computing, University of Leicester in an 'Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)' to quote the piece.



2.  Biotech & AI

Dan Samorodnitsky, writing for on the 5th of this month ponders how the Biotech industry should regard artificial intelligence moving forward in this fascinating article.

To quote the piece 'Biotech will benefit from AI capabilities that include protein structure prediction, pattern recognition, and support for iterative processes'.



3. Microsoft/FedEx Cross-platform logistics

From on the 24th of this month, Microsoft and FedEx announced a ‘new cross-platform logistics solution for e-commerce’.

The intention, according to the piece, is to increase the competitiveness of merchants in the ‘e-commerce space’ via the provision of enhanced shipping options and improved ‘customer engagement’.



4. Hospital uses AI to treat first cervical cancer patient in the UK

Isobel Frodsham, for, recently writes that Emma McCormick aged 44 was treated, following a diagnosis for cancer, by The Royal Surrey Foundation Trust 'using adaptive radiotherapy' which involves AI tech according to the article.

The treatment Ms McCormick received is named 'Ethios', which involves a machine and was 'created by healthcare company Varian'.



About the Author

Freya supports the tech talent toolbox arm of Reflection X where she is coaching technologists to achieve their full potential. With over 10 years of experience within the Tech and AI recruitment space, she has been from working closely with thousands individuals and leaders during hiring processes while partnering with very early stage start-ups all the way to some of the top AI Labs in the world.

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