Nowadays, the use of technology seems a normal part of society’s life that continues to permeate all spheres of life. While several decades ago, it was hard to imagine cars that would use chargers instead of traditional gasoline and vacuum cleaners that would clean the house on their own. Moreover, smartphone applications that allow seeing the person thousands of miles away were considered something unreal. Movies such as Terminator or RoboCop allow the audience to see how the perceptions of technology have shifted with time. In this sense, the themes of replacing human labor and advances in artificial intelligence are still relevant in contemporary days.
One of the central themes of two volumes of Terminator is relevant to modern society. For example, among the themes is the advanced technology capable of changing voices and shape-shifting. In one of the scenes from Terminator 2, the audience can observe the conversation between John Connor and his parents. John Connor, along with the Terminator, calls his mother from a telephone booth. However, while the voice talking to the boy and the woman’s appearance reminded him of John’s mother, it was indeed the robot. Similarly, the Terminator was able to impersonate the voice of John during the conversation, imitating the accent and way of speaking, proceeding with answering the woman with the manners of a child: “Hey, Janelle. What’s wrong with Wolfie? Is he okay?” (Terminator 2, 00:42:53). Moreover, in the first value, the film emphasizes the machine’s lack of empathy and danger stating that “it doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear” (Terminator 00:42:55). In this sense, it is shown how advanced, fearless, and smart the technology is. The relevance of the theme can be seen when compared to contemporary technology, such as the smartphone applications that allow changing the voice when calling someone or how AI technology can imitate people’s emotions.
Another theme that is relevant to today’s setting is the creation of technology that is capable of substituting humans and human labor. In RoboCop, the transformation of a wounded police officer into a fully armored and technologically advanced robot is seen as the breakthrough of 2028 (RoboCop). The megacorporation that has conducted such research and experiment allowed the establishment of additional force to protect Detroit from criminal activity and prevent crimes. Likewise, nowadays, technological breakthroughs already lead to the replacement of human labor with machines. For example, some robots prepare coffee, do nails and eyelashes, and provide other services as well. In this sense, many services might not need humans soon, which can be seen as a prediction from the RoboCop movie.
Hence, movies like RoboCop and Terminator provide the audience with a chance to see how attitudes about technology have changed through time. Therefore, the themes of replacing human labor and the development of artificial intelligence are still pertinent today. The relevance of Terminator to contemporary society is among the main themes of the film’s two volumes. One of the topics, for instance, is the development of technology that can change voices and take on many forms. The development of technology that can replace people and human labor is a further issue that is pertinent to the current environment. The technological progress of 2028 in the movie RoboCop is the transformation of a wounded police officer into a fully armored robot. This might be interpreted as a forecast from the RoboCop movie that many services may cease to require humans shortly.
RoboCop. Directed by Paul Verhoeven, performances by Peter Weller and Leeza Gibbons, Orion Pictures, 1987.
Terminator. Directed by James Cameron, performances by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Edward Furlong, Hemdale, 1984.
Terminator 2. Directed by James Cameron, performances by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Edward Furlong, Carolco Pictures, 1991.