PUBLIC LECTURE: Science Fiction Prototyping & The Technological Singularity

  • Lecturer: Professor Victor Callaghan, Essex University
  • Time: 5th February 2015 (12:00-15:00)
  • Place: Aalto ARTS Room 885 (8th floor), Hämeentie 135 C, Helsinki


**** Click the following to download a PDF copy of Vic Callaghan’s “Science Fiction Prototyping (SFP) and the Technological Singularity” presentation” presentation ****





The breath-taking pace of technological change presents a huge challenge to the social economical and political systems – as well as to the designers of technology. At the same time the increased global competition is making companies struggle for an innovative edge to distinguish their products from others.  Over the years, researchers have explored many methodologies to deal with these issues. In this public lecture professor Callaghan enlightens the background of a relatively new methodology called Science Fiction Prototyping  (Johnson, 2011) and the efforts of the Creative Science Foundation, which both attempts to confront the technological challenges. SFP involves writing imaginative stories to extrapolate current research forward in time so as, for the longer term, to raise the possibility of new design and research challenges and, in the shorter term, to give companies a creative edge over their competitors.


Currently, one of the most disruptive technological events that scientists are forecasting is the Technological Singularity; a moment in time when machine intelligence will exceed human intelligence. Should this event happen, it would have a profound impact on all aspects of our world; a view eloquently put by physicist Steven Hawkins, who has said: “The potential benefits are huge… Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history but it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks”. “Being a topic of such huge importance it inspires much debate and provides a potential creative ground for thinking about the future. The lecture will describe of a near term innovation that has arisen from combining the vision of the Technological Singularity with Science Fiction Prototyping.”


Singularity Film


In support of this talk there will be viewing of a thought-provoking documentary by the American filmmaker Doug Wolens, ‘The Singularity – Will we survive our Technology’ (75 minutes) that presents both sides of the Singularity debate and will contextualize some of the issues raised in the lecture. By way of some background reading, if you are interested in how Science-Fiction Prototyping  can be combined with the Technological Singularity, you might like to look at this paper, Micro-Futures.(or the supporting presentation).