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Posts Tagged ‘society’
There are actually not too many IT things that changed our life considerably:
- Mobile phones - no doubt. How did we arrange meetings without them? Especially at some unknown place.
- Internet: web, mail, social networks, e-learning etc. (Or should internet be on the first place?)
- CAD/CAM and automated manufacturing. Does somebody still draw blueprints manually?
- Accounting software - the amount of work that they do people probably won’t be able to make manually.
- Computer games. They changed minds of more than one generation, should be counted indeed.
- Pocket navigator. Well it’s more a satellite thing than IT.
- Various databases, storing important as well as junk data and documents? Sometimes I feel that we could live without them.
- Global transactions, exchanges etc. Not sure. OK, it’s faster than a telegraph, but is it that important?
- Automatic translation. It’s basically already here. We can read chineese or french sites and understand most of the content.
- Weaponry. It’s amazing but army didn’t take much from IT. Automatic targeting, cryptography, “echelon”… anything else?
We don’t have an artificial intelligence, even expert systems didn’t meet expectations. My favorite business processes and business applications altogether are minor things from this perspective. Tomography is a big thing in medicine but is there anything comparable?
Now, what can we expect to be done in next 10-20 years? (Not interesting to look closer and doesn’t make sence to guess farther.) Quantum computers? AI? Virtual reality? Micro-robots for medicine and war? Somehow I can’t imagine all that clearly. So here is my forecast:
1. Time machine
OK, one-way only. Look: if storage devices will continue to progress at same pace, we’ll have petabyte hard disks in 15 years. Now, video cameras watch you at every corner: at the streets, offices and homes. It’s a matter of wiring them up into a network and developing a software able to track any object in time and space.
This is already done yet occasionally and mostly manually. If done right, it’ll make a big progress in preventing crimes. Besides, it could be commercialized: one could watch a movie e.g. “me walking Paris last summer”.
I can imagine a volunteer watching say a car thief. Once again, something like that already exist: in US people was suggested to become virtual rangers and watch the mexican border right from home computer. Much better than watching your neighbors through the window anyway.
2. Total identification
RFID is getting into our life and I can imagine every piece of clothes on me and every stuff on my desk being able to answer “it’s me!”. Now imagine it’s connected to global networks, databases and one-way time machine - this is how the matrix will have us!
Silly spy things like marking a car will go away: everybody will carry hundreds of markers. Threads in our clothes will become these markers.
It’s amazing that RFID aren’t built into banknotes yet. I guess it’s close. This is how the last island of freedom - cash money - will fall. Probably certain powerfull men would not like it but anyway it’s a matter of time.
3. Speach recognition
A usefull thing, realy, and seem to be close. It’s easy to record but hearing a record is a pain, not to mention deciphering. Back at the unversity the same man who wrote the textbook on mathemathics gave us the classes - following the book word-to-word. Why going to classes then? I figured out that I’m able to read 5 times faster.
And now I’m pressing the keyboard acquiring arthrosis. I’d better sit at the massage chair speaking and then make a few edits.
Of course a side effect would be a geneneration not only preferring audiobooks but also unable to write. But who cares! In fact, I’m unable to write too, only to type. But people will learn rhetorics again!
4. Death of chess
I’m waiting for a chess program being able to solve this task: 32 pieces are aligned at the initial positions, whites begin and win. Or blacks make even.
It’d be less important than above but another page of manhood culture will be turned over and we’ll know the name of the last chess champion. But stay calm: online multiuser games will be a good replacement, and there are champions too.