Tech Talk: Sandra Bullock Movies Look Like A Tech Time Capsule

Lucy Broadbent
on 29 September 2023

Charting the rise of tech according to movie stars is a whole lot of fun.  This week The New York Times lays out how tech has developed through the movies of Sandra Bullock.

“Her movies are time capsules that preserve the look and feel of discreet moments in tech”, writes Jim Windolf.  It begins with Speed which hit the box office in 1994 and launched Sandra Bullock as an A list actress.  At the time the film came out, only 31 percent of households in the US had a computer, but we see the villain of the film, played by Dennis Hopper, use a cellphone and an internet enabled computer to track the bomb laden bus.

The Net, Bullock’s next action adventure, released in 1995, had a prescient focus on identity theft and the overreach of Silicon Valley.  By the time that Miss Congeniality came out in 2000, only 50 percent of American adults used the internet, but it plays a major part of the plot, as it does again five years later when Miss Congeniality 2 comes out.

“Half of North America just lost their Facebook,” George Clooney tells her in 2013’s Gravity, and in 2022, she must learn how to navigate social media in The Lost City. 

Her next movie is sure to include AI, right?

Andrew Neel at Pexels

Speaking of AI, politicians and tech bosses around the world are racing to wrap it up in red tape. The laissez faire approach adopted with the World Wide Web in the 90s, and the rise of social media in 00s, has long gone.  US Senators Amy Klobuchar and John Thune are set to introduce a ‘comprehensive’ bill to categorise AI products based on risk and force developers to disclose content made by AI.

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Amazon revealed new capabilities coming to Alexa this week, showing off a more conversational version of the voice assistant in a demo that included as a mostly fluid chat about sports games, ideas for barbeque sides and help composing a text message.


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