Rick Deckard’s job as a “blade runner” in the year 2019 is to track down bioengineered humanoids. We don’t yet live in this dystopian future of synthetic humans and space colonies, but could we? What is artificial intelligence (AI) already capable of? And what might AI look like during our lifetime?

“Artificial Intelligence in Film: Are We Destined for Dystopia?” was the Science on Screen® presentation delivered on January 21, 2022 at the iconic Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA after a screening of Blade Runner: The Final Cut.

Watch the presentation 


Scientist Matthew Malencia is a robotics researcher, an AI educator, and a science policy advocate who works in the GRASP (General Robotics, Automation, Sensing & Perception Lab) at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in Electrical and Systems Engineering at the UPenn with advisors Dr. Vijay Kumar and Dr. George Pappas, and is a visiting researcher at the University of Cambridge with Dr. Amanda Prorok. His research focuses on fairness and diversity on robot teams.


Science on Screen ® is a grant-funded program that pairs film screenings with presentations by notable speakers in STEM fields. The Colonial Theatre has participated in this program for 6 consecutive years.

Science on Screen® is an initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation, with major support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.


Deckard (Harrison Ford) is forced by his boss, Bryant (M. Emmet Walsh) to continue his work as a Replicant Hunter in a degraded, future America. His assignment: eliminate four Replicant escapees who have returned to Earth from the colonies. Deckard’s quest is complicated when he meets and develops an attraction to Rachael (Sean Young), the Replicant assistant of the head of the Tyrell Corporation. Based on Philip K. Dick’s memorable dystopian novella, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968).Watch the trailer.