The Future IRL: Our Jetsons future has arrived

Can a machine really be as powerful as a human brain?

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Fictional housekeeping robots and the flying smart cars in The Fifth Element have inspired technologists to keep pushing the bounds of electronics for years, which is how we've gotten video chatting and Bluetooth in our cars. But pop culture has also served up many warnings. Who among you doesn't remember Hal, the calmly murderous computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey, without shuddering in horror?

If you haven't realized it yet, the technology these fictional stories foretold is being constructed in the real world right now. The reality can be awe inspiring or frightening, but should be carefully watched either way.

Engadget's new video series, The Future IRL, will take on the big stories in tech and explore how companies are turning sci-fi concepts into everyday reality.

This first episode focuses on self-driving cars, with engineers from Ford and Delphi explaining what challenges still lie ahead.

We'll bring you a new episode twice a month so please, enjoy the ride.

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