Cyberpunk 2077 is a 2020 action role-playing video game developed by CD Projekt RED, set in a dystopian cyberpunk universe—a combination of lowlife and high-tech futuristic technological achievements, such as artificial intelligence (AI), weapons, and cyberware—in the year 2077.

The world challenges traditional views of technology, religion, and governance, and playing through the game, it is impossible not to consider how realistic the world of Cyberpunk 2077 is compared to our modern society.

Although cyberpunkis a science fiction subgenre that brings together advanced, futuristic technology in a dystopian world, the familiarity of its cultural movements—like entertainment, design, gaming, architecture, fashion, and modern technology—suggest that we’re already living in a cyberpunk universe.

Smart clothing

Within the Cyberpunk universe, style is a vital part of identity. In Night City—a fictional city located on the border between North and South California and a modern multicultural metropolis of the 21st century, overrun by corporations, corruption, organized crime, and gang violence—citizens can subscribe to one of the four primary fashion styles. These fashion styles are style-focused Kitsch—the lingua franca of the street, colorful and eye-catching; function-heavy Entropism; slick and classy Neomilitarism; and the heavily fancy Neokitsch.

However, Cyberpunk 2077 players will be pleased to know that this smart fashion already exists, with clothes that integrate with technology. Some fashion brands have already begun developing clothing that connects via phones, exchanges digital contacts, and interacts with other gear.

Levi’s Commuter’s Jacket is a collaboration between Levi’s and Google that allows consumers to connect their smartphone via Bluetooth, screen phone calls, control music volume, and notify you when a rideshare is nearby.

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Artificial intelligence

The world of Cyberpunk 2077 embraces AI, with each designed to do a specific task. These range from Dedicated Heuristic Controllers, the simplest and most mundane type of AI programmed to undertake particular tasks such as driving autonomous vehicles and virtual assistant chatbots, to the more human-like Symbolic Analysis AI, which are designed to emulate the thinking patterns of human beings. These AIs are used as personal secretaries and online assistants, as they can render advice.

Back in our 21st century, AI is driving the next industrial revolution. Recent progress in machine learning on the back of improved algorithms, such as Google’s AlphaGo, OpenAI’s GPT-3 and Tesla’s Autopilot, and increasing computing power has enabled AI to solve real-life problems.

Today, chatbots and voice assistants like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa are examples of AI co-existing with us in the real world. Likewise, the ability of social media and online advertisement to manipulate our emotions, thoughts, and decision-making abilities strongly indicates how deeply technology has entered into our everyday lives. Although AI is far from perfect, it will begin producing content without human supervision in the next decade.

Cyberpunk cyberware

Cyberware encompasses implants that players can install, exchange, and upgrade into their character’s bodies to obtain passive buffs and enhance different combat tactics.

For example, when players install the Militech Paraline, it allows players to perform quickhacks on enemies and devices while scanning, as well as enhancing combat. Moreover, much of the combat in Cyberpunk 2077 comes in the form of traditional—and not-so-traditional—weaponry. For instance, the Mantis Blades—a pair of bladed cyberware melee weapons that emerge from the forearms—enable players to deal more physical damage in melee combat and allow them to leap at enemies to cause extensive damage.

While cyberware does not exist in modern society, there have been huge strides made in modern prostheses. For example, Deka Research & Development Corp, a New Hampshire-based company, developed the LUKE Arm systems for the United States Advanced Research Projects Agency.

This prosthetic offers a new degree of motion, strength, and skills for military personnel. Although it may seem a stretch to suggest that we are already living in a cyberpunk universe, it is not far off. There have already been a number of significant technological achievements, and future advancements will bring us ever closer to true cyberpunk technology.