Tech & future documentaries

When will artificial intelligence rival our own? How will social media and algorithms shape our society? Nobody knows what the future will bring, but you can sign up for BBC Select today in the US and Canada to get a much better-informed opinion on what might happen. BBC Select is home to a range of BBC future and technology documentaries that show us how the world is advancing.

Fighter Pilot: The Real Top Gun

Watch Fighter Pilot: The Real Top Gun on BBC Select

Experience the real-life Top Gun with this action-packed documentary about Air Force Pilots. Hang onto your ejector seats as this nail-biting series follows rookie fighter pilots battling it out to be selected to fly the British Royal Air Force’s brand new F35 Lightning fighter jet.

With exclusive access, this fighter pilot documentary series gives a breathtaking, cockpit-eye view of what it’s like to be test pilots. Follow the young mavericks stepping into the danger zone as they aim to achieve their dreams of becoming top guns.

Calculating Ada: The Countess of Computing

Watch Calculating Ada: The Countess of Computing on BBC Select

Ada Lovelace was a most unlikely computer pioneer.

Born in the early 19th century, this daughter of romantic poet Lord Byron was a scandalous socialite who became known as the ‘enchantress of numbers’.

In this Ada Lovelace documentary Dr Hannah Fry tells the enthralling tale of a life infused with brilliance, but blighted by illness and gambling addiction.

How did this aristocratic countess become a prophet of the digital age?

The Secret Rules of Modern Living: Algorithms

Stream Secrets of Living: Algorithm on BBC Select

I always knew that math was out to get me.

Algorithms now run everything from search engines to satnavs and security data. They help us travel the world, find love and save lives.

In this groundbreaking documentary mathematician, Marcus du Sautoy tries to demystify the world of algorithms, revealing where these 2,000-year-old problem-solvers came from, how they work, and how they are now so advanced they can even program themselves.

Click to Change Your Life: Secrets of a Global Craze

Watch Click to Change your Life on BBC Select

Ever felt like social media is always trying to sell you something? You don’t know the half of it.

In this insightful documentary, British reporter Ellis Flynn goes undercover to investigate ‘multi-level marketing’ – an industry that leaves many young ‘influencers’ in huge debt.

Behind the enticing Instagram posts, Ellis finds a system of illegal pyramid schemes, systematic targeting of vulnerable women – and even brainwashing.

This show is not currently available on BBC Select but see below to browse through more tech and future documentaries available to stream on BBC Select.

The Instagram Effect

Watch the Instagram Effect on BBC Select

This eye-opening BBC documentary about social media, explores the impact of Instagram- a digital phenomenon that has changed the world we live in.

In just ten years, Instagram has gained over a billion users, shaping culture, trends and the way we live our lives. But the human impact of social media is increasingly being questioned and governments are looking to regulate social media networks.

This revealing BBC Instagram documentary follows on from whistleblower Frances Haugen’s disclosure of internal company research. Haugen and other former Facebook and Instagram insiders, many speaking on camera for the first time, discuss life inside the company and pivotal moments such as Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram in 2012.

The social media platform’s influence on body image and self-harm is also explored through powerful contributions from three users who describe how Instagram has impacted their lives. They talk frankly about eating disorders, undertaking dangerous cosmetic surgery and being influenced by anti-recovery communities who promote self-harm.