When the original Blade Runner movie was screened in 1982, it went almost unnoticed. But the Ridley Scott adaptation of a Philip K Dick novel quickly became a cult favourite, and then acknowledged as a seminal vision of our future urban landscape. That being the case, why are we not yet living in that future? This was the standard question asked at the Cisco Live conference in Barcelona this week, but the answer was somewhat surprising. "We should have humanoid, lifelike robots among us. Instead, we have Sophia the robot, who is not exactly lifelike and quite creepy," said Jeremy Bevan, Cisco vice-president of marketing for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia, during the opening keynote address. "We should be seduced by digital billboards everywhere. Maybe we do have that in Times Square and some shopping malls. Maybe soon, as in Blade Runner, we'll have giant ads that say you can start a new life on a different planet." Yet, said Bevan, in some ways we have gone far beyond the B...

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