A Closed Circuit Technological Vision: On Minority Report, event detection, and enabling technologies

Christopher Gad, Lone Koefoed Hansen


In a combined analysis, we investigate how the movie Minority Report can inform and nuance the vision of technological capacities that we identify in event detection literature. The vision in MR of an effective, pre-emptive and preventive techno-politics reflects important areas of event detection research, but it is also a vision for which the movie has become a common cultural reference. While they express similar conceptions of surveillance and technological potentials, MR also becomes a resource for discussing the broader ‘techno’-culture of event detection, showing how surveillance systems are imbued with cultural assumptions and preferences, most notably that technology has strong enabling capacities. By juxtaposing MR and event detection research, we thus demonstrate that it is an important analytical task to understand the assumptions on which such systems are constructed, as well as their social and political implications.

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