Not just movies and series, but Netflix has a collection of amazing documentaries too. Technology documentary is a great genre for people who like to explore the scientific quest to understand the 21st-century world. Here are 13 good tech documentaries you can binge on Netflix.
Technology has taken over most aspects of our lives. Binging on tech documentaries is one way we can keep up to date with the recent developments in Artificial Intelligence, and make the right choices in the future. These documentaries are always good to refresh your mind while being glued to a plethora of movies and series. Here are 13 good tech documentaries on Netflix in no particular order.
1. The Social Dilemma
It is one of the latest additions to the tech docudrama on Netflix. Rated one of the best, The Social Dilemma talks about the damage done by social media through surveillance capitalism and data mining. It is an eye-opener for people who spend hours on social media and allow the technology to intrude on their privacy. The topics covered in the docudrama are already known to many, but the narrative style offers an engaging watch to viewers.
2. Life 2.0
Released in 2010, Life 2.0 gives us a throwback to the frenzy of the virtual game Second Life. It explores the addiction caused by the game and how it dramatically changed the lives of people who took online avatars to compensate for their poor social relationships in the real world.
3. The Great Hack
Another recent technology documentary on Netflix, The Great Hack tells the in-depth story of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal. Several people involved in the case are interviewed in the documentary, giving a birds-eye view of one of the most controversial scandals in the history of technology. Many whistle-blowers appear in the documentary to explain how the dubious partnership has influenced world-changing political decisions like the US Presidential election and Brexit.
4. Terms and Conditions May Apply
N13 has written extensively about the privacy intrusion by mobile applications you install and how your data is sold to third party companies often without your knowledge. However, the companies defend this practice using the terms and conditions you agree to while you install a new app or browse a website. This documentary talks about how corporations trick you into agreeing to their terms and how online service providers collect and use users’ information.
5. Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine
Released in 2015, this feature-length documentary explores the life of Steve Jobs as the co-founder and chief executive of Apple Inc. It has emotional interviews with the entrepreneur who passed away in 2011. The absorbing storytelling offers an enthralling watch for viewers.
6. Silicon Cowboys
While Steve Jobs’ story is about the success of one of the biggest companies in the world, Silicon Cowboys follows the lives of three maverick entrepreneurs who decided to take on big companies like IBM. It is the story of Rod Canion, Jim Harris and Bill Murto, the brains behind Compaq Computer Corporation until the company was merged into Hewlett-Packard in 2007. Cowboys in the name refer to how Compaq rivalled the Californian giants from a headquarters in Texas.
7. The Secret Rules of Modern Living: Algorithms
A history of algorithms, this 2015 documentary explains the problem-solving techniques used by humans over 2,000 years and how modern algorithms are shaping our future. British mathematician Marcus du Sautoy’s narration is an engaging watch as he walks us through this study of how algorithms are used by technology in almost every aspect of life today.
8. Print the Legend
This 2014 documentary explores the revolution of 3D printing. It is a delightful watch for people who are fascinated by startups and their rise as the film narrates the story of companies like MakerBot, Formlabs, Stratasys and 3D Systems that made it big in the 3D printing industry.
9. Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World
Often regarded as one of the best tech documentaries, Lo and Behold tells the story of the Internet from its birth to the network we have today. The documentary takes a deeper narrative style as it explores the relationship between humans and technology. Filmed by German director Werner Herzog, Lo and Behold is also a study on the philosophy of technology.
10. Banking on Bitcoin
Since its invention in 2008, Bitcoin has made waves in the world with its impact on technology, economics and society as a whole. This 2016 documentary explains the concept of digital currency and how technology would shape the world.
11. NOVA: CyberWar Threat
NOVA is a brilliant documentary for viewers who are interested in cyberwar, and how the technology would dictate tomorrow’s political decisions. The 2015 documentary is short but offers an engaging watch as defence experts and investigative journalists narrate the world of strategic hacking.
Released in 2017, AlphaGo tells the story of how technology took over the Chinese board game Go. Although not popular in India, Go had often appeared here in the first generations of Japanese video-games in the 1990s. However, Go players are currently facing an existential crisis with the emergence of Artificial Intelligence. AlphaGo is a battle between the human brain and technology that transcends into an incredible viewing experience.
13. The Mars Generation
Although not exactly under the technology genre, The Mars Generation tells the story of NASA’s Space Camp and our journey to Mars. This is one of the best documentaries for people interested in space. The documentary is narrated from the point of view of teenage and aspiring astronauts.