Despite the persistent dismay from movie-going crowds that are wearing thin of still more remakes and prequels, the first released trailer for the 2014 version of RoboCop features an impressive set of technologies that are strikingly more relevant now than in the 1987 original.
The crowds that flock to large Hollywood blockbuster films expect plugs for upcoming mobile phones, high-tech luxury cars, and other consumer goods, but are crowds ready to face the emerging technology fields of mind-uploading, human augmentation, or sentient artificial intelligence? The new RoboCop installment keeps to the same premise as the original movie in the fact that a nearly-deceased law enforcement officer is transformed into a robotic being to save his life. The difference is that now, over twenty years later, the practice of transferring a human consciousness into a computerized device--or even body--is an actual industrial pursuit called mind-uploading.
Replacing human motor function, or augmenting it within existing people, is also much more of a reality than it was twenty years ago. Robotic beings with advanced AI, such as Boston Dynamic's Petman, are being rapidly advanced as an emerging technology which could become commonplace within a few mere decades.
The question to be asked now is whether or not audiences will be entertained by the science-fiction elements of the new RoboCop movie, or if they'll become increasingly worried about the serious state of research and development around these emerging technologies. The fact that the associated technologies behind a RoboCop are no longer pure fantasy may have a psychological impact on some movie goers. It certainly will be interesting to see the box office response in 2014.