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A Visual Timeline of AI Predictions in Sci-Fi

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They say you shouldn’t believe everything you see on the big screen.

However, in the case of science fiction, the human imagination has gotten a few things right—especially when it comes to futuristic forecasts. Today, the artificial intelligence (AI) revolution is transforming everything, but it turns out we had a hunch about it all along.

When AI Comes to Life

Today’s infographic from Noodle.ai takes a look at how some movie and television predictions for AI’s capabilities have taken hold in the real world.

AI Predictions in Science Fiction

Many early “predictions” about future technologies certainly missed the mark—but it seems science fiction was able to accurately forecast a thing or two about AI.

AI Basics: Making Life Better

Artificial intelligence is all about equipping machines with the ability to mimic human decision-making processes. It has a wide range of applications, from basic automation to advanced machine learning models.

AI has proliferated into virtually every aspect of life, and in the graphic, it’s clear that several sci-fi-turned-real inventions are aimed at making things more convenient for us humans.

Sci Fi PredictionAI in Reality
1962: The Jetsons cartoon shows video calls on a tv screen, and a robot maid.2002: iRobot Roomba is the first robotic vacuum.
2018: Facebook Portal is a video-calling smart display.
2019: Moley robotic kitchen is able to prep meals from scratch and clean up afterwards.
1966: Star Trek inspired several tech innovations that have become commonplace.Examples include: Bluetooth headsets, voice assistants, cellphones, and automatic sliding doors.
1989: Back to the Future features smart glasses for television and phone calls, and a smart watch which can precisely predict weather.2012: The Dark Sky app provides custom alerts on the weather to the minute.
2013: Google Glass is able to make calls, send texts, display photos, and provide directions.
2015: Apple Watch comes enabled with WiFi, Bluetooth, a GPS, and even a heart sensor.
1999: Smart House showcases a fully automated house that is able to respond to verbal requests, cook and clean, and control thermostat settings.2019: A HGTV contest lets people win a WiFi connected smart house, complete with voice-enabled thermostat and security systems.

Of course, these have had varying degrees of success. While Google Glass didn’t initially resonate with the wider public, the augmented reality smart glasses have now proved useful in businesses such as manufacturing.

Elsewhere, sci-fi-inspired advances in industries like healthtech are providing a new lease of life for many patients—and continuously reinventing the frontier of what we think is possible.

Sci-Fi Helps Us Push Boundaries

One monumental event in AI history occurred in 1997, when IBM’s Deep Blue beat a chess master at his own game. This event shook the world when we realized what AI could truly be capable of—even though sci-fi had in fact anticipated it 20 years prior.

But as the graphic shows, not all is rosy in science fiction’s likeness of AI. It’s often depicted as something to fear, and certain predictions have proved to be eerily accurate.

Sci Fi PredictionAI in Reality
1977: K9, a robotic dog in Doctor Who, beats its master at a chess game.1997: IBM’s Deep Blue computer beats a Russian chess master, Garry Kasparov.
1984: Skynet from Terminator, a self-aware AI program, attempts to extinguish humanity.2019: The U.S. Army creates an autonomous system to “acquire, identify, and target threats” (ATLAS AI).
2011: AI monitors surveillance cameras and predicts future criminals in Person of Interest.2018: The National Data Analytics Solution (NDAS)

While not all of these are causes for alarm, they clearly demonstrate that sci-fi has the capacity to influence the breakthrough technology we could end up seeing a few years down the line. However, turning reel to real can raise some curious dilemmas.

Rights for Robots?

Last year, the European Parliament debated an interesting question: do robots qualify as people?

The resolution considered granting “personhood” to sophisticated, autonomous robots. However, over 150 AI experts strongly warned against this proposal, arguing it would “blur the relation between man and machine” in a way that is too unethical.

Nevertheless, this thought experiment proves that artificial intelligence is matching our wildest imagined predictions for it.

AI is whatever hasn’t been done yet.

—Tesler’s Theorem

As we move ever closer towards a world where AI is inextricably linked with the everyday, how else could science fiction shape our expectations of the future?

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Ranked: The Top Startup Cities Around the World

Here are the global startup ecosystem rankings, highlighting the scale and maturity of major tech hubs worldwide.

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This bar chart shows the top startup ecosystems in the world in 2024.

The Top Startup Cities Around the World

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

A richly connected network of founders, venture capital firms, and tech talent are some of the key ingredients driving a startup ecosystem.

As engines of growth, these tech clusters are evolving on a global scale. While the world’s leading startup cities are concentrated in America, several ecosystems, such as Beijing and Seoul, are growing in prominence as countries focus on technological advancement to spur innovation.

This graphic shows the best startup cities worldwide, based on data from Pitchbook.

The Global Startup Ecosystem Rankings

To determine the rankings, each city was analyzed based on the scale and maturity of their startup ecosystem over a six-year period ending in the second quarter of 2023.

Among the inputs analyzed and used to calculate the overall development score were fundraising activity, venture capital deals, and exit value:

RankCityDevelopment ScoreCapital RaisedDeal CountExit Value
1🇺🇸 San Francisco90$427.6B19,898$766.3B
2🇺🇸 New York76$179.9B13,594$171.7B
3🇨🇳 Beijing76$161.2B8,835$279.2B
4🇨🇳 Shanghai73$130.3B7,422$186.8B
5🇺🇸 Los Angeles71$144.6B9,781$181.4B
6🇺🇸 Boston70$117.0B6,044$172.8B
7🇬🇧 London64$99.0B11,533$71.9B
8🇨🇳 Shenzhen63$46.4B5,020$66.3B
9🇰🇷 Seoul61$31.1B6,196$71.0B
10🇯🇵 Tokyo60$26.2B5,590$28.0B
11🇨🇳 Hangzhou59$50.7B3,361$88.7B
12🇺🇸 Washington D.C.55$43.7B2,706$28.2B
13🇺🇸 Seattle54$31.7B2,693$35.6B
14🇸🇬 Singapore52$45.7B4,507$38.0B
15🇺🇸 San Diego52$33.5B2,023$44.7B
16🇺🇸 Austin52$26.4B2,636$22.9B
17🇨🇳 Guangzhou52$24.7B1,700$24.0B
18🇮🇱 Tel Aviv51$21.0B1,936$32.2B
19🇺🇸 Denver51$26.8B2,489$29.9B
20🇩🇪 Berlin50$31.2B2,469$15.9B

San Francisco dominates the pack, with $427.6 billion in capital raised over the six-year period.

Despite a challenging funding environment, nearly 20,000 deals closed, highlighting its outsized role in launching tech startups. Both OpenAI and rival Anthropic are headquartered in the city, thanks to its broad pool of tech talent and venture capital firms. Overall, 11,812 startups were based in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2023, equal to about 20% of startups in America.

Falling next in line is New York City, which raised $179.9 billion over the same time period. Crypto firm Gemini and machine learning company, Hugging Face, are two examples of startups based in the city.

As the top-ranking hub outside of America, Beijing is home to TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, which is one of the most valuable private companies in the world.

In recent years, much of the startup funding in China is being driven by government-backed funds. In particular, these funds are focusing heavily on “hard tech” such as semiconductor-makers and electric vehicle companies that align with the government’s strategic long-term goals.

Another leading tech hub, Singapore, has the highest venture capital funding per capita worldwide. In 2023, this was equal to an impressive $1,060 in venture funding per person. By comparison, venture funding was $345 per person in the U.S., the second-highest globally.

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