‘Surrogates’ Mini-Documentary Explores How Close The Film’s Tech Is To Real Life By Brian Warmoth

Rob Venditti’s sci-fi graphic novel “Surrogates” makes its transition into theaters as a Jonathan Mostow film starring Bruce Willis on September 25. The technology to make Venditti’s story a reality, however, might already be percolating around the world, according to a new documentary featurette. Posted on Wired.com, “The Science-Fact Behind ‘Surrogates” includes a few new cutscenes from the movie, as well as commentary from the director and robotics experts painting a picture of how close humans are to controlling lifelike versions of themselves from safe, remote locations. “‘Surrogates’ is not that far off the mark of what kind of technologies are emerging today,” said Dr. James Canton, a global futurist. “We’re laying the foundation for this based on current sciences.” With factories already employing robotic substitutes for laborers in certain environments, companies exist now to fill simpler examples of the needs depicted in “Surrogates.” “You can be virtually present through a robot,” explained Trevor Blackwell, CEO of the robotics company Anybots Inc. “We can already do that, and from there it’s just a matter of making those robots more sophisticated and more lifelike.” The countdown to realizing a world populated by lifelike robo-surrogates may be ticking, if the sources in the mini-documentary are accurate. And by the estimations of at least one, that countdown will be short. “In the near future, robots are going to start to look like humans,” Canton predicted. “I think within 10 years we are going to have the world of the Surrogates.”