How do stories create our future?

When we talk about technology, we’re really talking about ourselves. Emerging tech has become a container for our anxieties about future ways of living.

What stories do we tell ourselves about tech, and how do these narratives shape our futures?

11th November, 6.30pm Online.

Stories we tell about tech

Emerging tech has been shaped by hundreds of years of stories; technology is deeply enmeshed in the culture that surrounds it.

From Hephaestus, the first roboticist in Greek mythology to invent autonomous ‘servants’, through to Karel Čapek’s Roboti, HAL 9000, Knight Rider’s KITT, and Dick Tracy’s video wristwatch, distinguishing between technologies and our fantasies about them has never been easy.

How narratives are told

Storytelling shapes tech narratives; most films depict AI as having bodies because it’s a visual medium. 

Storytelling conventions are often created through the fears and desires of the cultures that produce them. How can new forms of storytelling impact how we understand our future?

Invented futures

While a small number of people are creating the tech that becomes the blueprint for what our future might look like, it’s necessary to keep in mind the limitless number of possible futures that can be created.

But which voices get to create these new narratives?

Get involved

By stories, we mean popular culture, Sci-Fi, film, media narratives, policy discourse, depictions of AI, robot myths, the role of memory mechanism in anticipating future events, and – finally! – the ways in which we tell stories themselves: from AR to VR, theatre and poetry, the infinite showreel of Netflix, to speculative design in innovation.

Engineers, artists, writers, emerging storytellers, Science and Speculative Fiction fans, filmmakers, designers, and all folks with an interest in invented futures – get in touch!

Invented Futures kicks off during the very first Bristol Technology Festival.

Join us from 6.30pm on 7th November 2019 at Framework, Bristol. Along with wrangling all possible futures into one evening, there will be drinks. 

35 King Street, BS1 4DZ

Interested in joining in the conversation? Take a look at our Invented Futures reading and watching list:

What AI Researchers Read: The Role of Literature in Artificial Intelligence Research

The Robots of Brixton (2011)

Medieval Robots: Mechanism, Magic, Nature, and Art

Women Invent the Future Anthology, doteveryone, edited by Rachel Coldicutt

Robot Visions, Isaac Asimov