Computers are all around us. Wherever we go we are faced with computers. In fact, most of us are carrying a computer in our pockets! Computers aren’t just limited to the laptops and towers which we use at home and at work every day.
We all understand that Hollywood is not always an accurate reflection of real life. Often the objective is to be entertaining, or to simplify a complex concept. When it comes to computers, Hollywood has adopted a number of tropes around computers that confuse and amuse in equal measure.
Here are 3 of the most common things that movies get wrong about computers. These are the mistakes that we see time and time again and which never fail to infuriate.
Blade Runner was a groundbreaking film. A box office flop and a critical muddling, Blade Runner persevered as a cult classic and has become one of the most influential science fiction films of all time. In one scene, protagonist Deckard is reviewing a photograph, searching it for clues. After feeding the photograph into his computer, Deckard zooms in and is faced with the usual problem, the photo distorts as you zoom in closer.
Fortunately, by “enhancing”, our hero is able to view the image in arbitrary detail. This is a trope that we see time and time again and which anyone who has ever worked with a digital image will know is not possible.
We’ve Been Hacked!
The film Hackers, one of Angeline Jolie’s earlier and more obscure works, is memorable for a number of reasons. Despite its title and premise, both of which involve, well, hackers, the film is made with a lack of awareness that borders on parody. However, it is far from the only case. Films like to portray hacking as involving, above all else, very fast typing.
In reality, hacking is not exciting to watch, so it’s understandable that movies want to make it interesting. When businesses are hacked today, it is usually so data can be held to ransom. Once data has been deleted it can sometimes be recovered by specialist data recovery services such as Secure Data Recovery. However, the goal for these hackers is usually to ransom files by encrypting them rather than deleting them.
AI assistants have started to become commonplace. Most of our smartphones now have a voice assistant built-in. An ever-increasing number of people have also opted to set up a smart home and have purchased an Amazon Echo or a Google Home.
The problem is not that Hollywood shows us these devices, it is that they grossly misrepresent their sophistication and usage. As impressive as voice assistants are, we are a long way from them being conscious in any meaningful sense, and yet Hollywood is determined to portray them as being capable of advanced linguistic interpretation.
Hollywood is known for often bending the truth. When it comes to computers there have been some truly horrendously unrealistic scenes. It can sometimes be painful watching these scenes, knowing just how inaccurate they really are.