God bless my delightfully nerdy boyfriend. With his help, I’ve been researching Robotics, 3D animation, and the projected future relationships between humans and technology, trying to form an actual good idea for a Sloan proposal. Last night, we watched Blade Runner, in which I decided to be her next Halloween:
It’s crazy to see what they though the future would be like some twenty years ago – the things they got right, the things they didn’t, ie, where’s my flying car?! Then we’ve got author and inventor Ray Kurzweil and his predictions about the future, many of which have already come true. I will now share some of my favorite things that might be happening in 2019, according to my buddy Ray. Be maybe in a bathroom or near an easy to clean surface while reading this, you know, for when your mind is blown.
This guy’s an optimist at least, which I appreciate.
- The summed computational powers of all computers is comparable to the total brainpower of the human race.
- Computers are embedded everywhere in the environment (inside of furniture, jewelry, walls, clothing, etc.).
- People experience 3-D virtual reality through glasses and contact lenses that beam images directly to their retinas (retinal display). Coupled with an auditory source (headphones), users can remotely communicate with other people and access the Internet.
- People communicate with their computers via two-way speech and gestures instead of with keyboards. Furthermore, most of this interaction occurs through computerized assistants with different personalities that the user can select or customize. Dealing with computers thus becomes more and more like dealing with a human being.
- Most business transactions or information inquiries involve dealing with a simulated person.
- Pinhead-sized cameras are everywhere.
- Nanotechnology is more capable and is in use for specialized applications, yet it has not yet made it into the mainstream. “Nanoengineered machines” begin to be used in manufacturing.
- Computers have made paper books and documents almost completely obsolete.
- Most learning is accomplished through intelligent, adaptive courseware presented by computer-simulated teachers. In the learning process, human adults fill the counselor and mentor roles instead of being academic instructors. These assistants are often not physically present, and help students remotely.
- Students still learn together and socialize, though this is often done remotely via computers.
- Most human workers spend the majority of their time acquiring new skills and knowledge.
- Blind people wear special glasses that interpret the real world for them through speech. Sighted people also use these glasses to amplify their own abilities.
- Retinal and neural implants also exist, but are in limited use because they are less useful.
- Deaf people use special glasses that convert speech into text or signs, and music into images or tactile sensations. Cochlear and other implants are also widely used.
- People with spinal cord injuries can walk and climb steps using computer-controlled nerve stimulation and exoskeletal robotic walkers.
- People are able to wirelessly access the Internet at all times from almost anywhere
- Devices that deliver sensations to the skin surface of their users (i.e.–tight body suits and gloves) are also sometimes used in virtual reality to complete the experience. “Virtual sex”–in which two people are able to have sex with each other through virtual reality, or in which a human can have sex with a “simulated” partner that only exists on a computer—becomes a reality.
- Just as visual- and auditory virtual reality have come of age, haptic technology has fully matured and is completely convincing, yet requires the user to enter a V.R. booth. It is commonly used for computer sex and remote medical examinations. It is the preferred sexual medium since it is safe and enhances the experience.
- Worldwide economic growth has continued. There has not been a global economic collapse.
- The vast majority of business interactions occur between humans and simulated retailers, or between a human’s virtual personal assistant and a simulated retailer.
- Household robots are ubiquitous and reliable.
- Computers do most of the vehicle driving—-humans are in fact prohibited from driving on highways unassisted. Furthermore, when humans do take over the wheel, the onboard computer system constantly monitors their actions and takes control whenever the human drives recklessly. As a result, there are very few transportation accidents.
- Most roads now have automated driving systems—networks of monitoring and communication devices that allow computer-controlled automobiles to safely navigate.
- Humans are beginning to have deep relationships with automated personalities, which hold some advantages over human partners. The depth of some computer personalities convinces some people that they should be accorded more rights.
- Public places and workplaces are ubiquitously monitored to prevent violence and all actions are recorded permanently. Personal privacy is a major political issue, and some people protect themselves with unbreakable computer codes.
- The basic needs of the underclass are met. (Not specified if this pertains only to the developed world or to all countries)
- Virtual artists—creative computers capable of making their own art and music—emerge in all fields of the arts.