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I've always classified Person of Interest as sci-fi, however most sites (such as wikipedia) never mention this and just call it and/or . My opinion is based on the following in-universe facts:

  • There are two AI computer systems which are powerful enough to monitor every camera, microphone, telephone, financial transaction, website and god know what else in the world.
  • They both understand all languages flawlessly and can easily communicate with humans.
  • At least one of them is shown to be more intelligent than its creator as well as the people who believed they "owned it" (it tricked a bunch of humans into moving it).
  • At least one of them has their own agenda which isn't known to anyone.

Now I'm only a programmer, but I don't believe any of this is possible with our current technology, surely this means the show is sci-fi?

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I guess the boundary can be rather soft. If in doubt the deciding question might be if the mild SciFi elements are an integral part of the plot or only "nearly plausible" facilitators of it. For example I wouldn't consider Die Another Day or The Dark Knight SciFi, even if they've completely bombed any kind of present-technological plausibility. That aside, I've admittedly never seen Person of Interest. –  Napoleon Wilson Jun 20 at 14:27
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I definitely agree with @NapoleonWilson on this - the boundary is soft but ScienceFiction is more than just implausible technology. A purist would say the story should be significantly impacted by some aspect of science - future/different technology, aliens etc etc. So I would say an invisible car in a James Bond movie is not SF because its kind of a throwaway gimmick in one scene, but a movie dominated by the concept of shared dreaming, or being able to see into the future to stop crime is. That said, AI is certainly in the right direction if it is significant to the 'theme'. –  iandotkelly Jun 20 at 14:51
    
@iandotkelly Interesting that you bring shared dreaming up, since I'm not sure I would consider Inception to be SciFi so much, even if the premise is. But I guess this shows yet again that genres are far from objectively definable and strictly disjunct sets. –  Napoleon Wilson Jun 20 at 14:54
    
@NapoleonWilson - Absolutely. Inception is definitely science fiction from my perspective. Its a world impacted by a new technology ... stealing secrets has forced business leaders (and probably others like politicians, military etc), to learn new skills such as developing subconscious security. Its not as clear cut as Minority Report where the whole DC area has had its murder rate cut to zero - but for me these movies both focus on the technology - without the technology the movie wouldn't exist, which is one definition of SciFi to me (there are others I'm sure). –  iandotkelly Jun 20 at 15:00
    
@iandotkelly without the technology the movie wouldn't exist: That's also the case in Person of Interest, without the AI they wouldn't be able to intervene and save these people from crime because only the machine is omnipresent enough to spot the people planning it. –  Crow T Robot Jun 20 at 15:09

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

From an interview (July 2013) with creator Jonathan Nolan:

... A lot of people who don't watch the show think of it as a kind of crime procedural, but we really think of it of it as a science fiction show. We think of it as a genre show, there is a lot of comic book mythos woven into it...


From another interview (October 2013, shorty after the start of Season 3):

We know what next season —if we’re lucky enough to get a fourth season— we know what that’s about.

I think viewers who have as much of an affection for science fiction —film, television— as we do, and a really good ear, will already know what next season is going to be, based on the first handful of episodes here.

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