The Future foretold in Science Fiction

Technology is like magic.

Let me ask you this question; how does the internet work? How can this Blog show up in Japan in a matter of seconds? If you don’t know, it might as well be magic, but the truth is we have an incredible network of computers and servers that work 24/7 365 days a year.

As it is with magic, it is only an illusion because you have no idea what’s going on. You just see the bunny jump out of the magician’s hat.
So I dare say that technology is magic that we understand, and something we control. So when we predict the future, we are imagining things we don’t yet understand and control.

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The future, as predicted in the early 20th century.

50 years ago people imagined we’d all have flying cars by now, which we don’t have, but back then what else where there to imagine? It’s all in their past; people are acustomed to their past, so what they need or desire is based on that past. That desire or need is always simplified. No innovation or discovery stands alone, so if the people 50 years ago wanted flying cars, people would experiment. In those experiments people would find out an awful lot about stuff surrounding flying cars, from chemicals to engeneering parts, from security to comfort. In the end, we don’t have them, because it isn’t feesable, and I’m pretty sure it’s also because it’s a lot harder to control a flying car.
But along those years, people learned that flying cars just isn’t happening. 50 years later, here we are. What do we need? What do we desire? What is our prediction of the future?

If we look at science fiction movies, like Iron Man and the Marvel universe, a lot of stuff is operable by voice, everything is touchscreen, or holograms that responds to gestures. Next time you see those scenes, notice how the interface knows exactly what to do. Like if they have a small display and want to throw it to the big screen, they just flick it. Flick it.
How do you scroll on a page? You flick it. This is a simple gesture that makes zero sense considering current devices. Unless the computer can read minds. Which, actually, isn’t far off even today. You can check out a TED talk where a guy controls basic movements on a virtual box. The point I’m trying to make is; that today, we have voice input via Google Now, Siri and Cortana (and many more), but they are still pretty limited in functionality, and some work better than others. But it’s beeing achieved because as it is right now, we want to talk to our computers, and we want our computers to understand us. As we go down this path, we also consider alternative inputs. Smartwatches or fitnessbands can give valuable data all the time, feeding a computer with intel about you and what you’re doing. Your keyboard can learn the way you type and what phrases you use.
Ultimately, we don’t want to physically use computers, we just want to command them. The computer should know what I mean. Context of location, tone, situation, social surroundings, everything. Everything it can gather, so that when you flick that screen, it goes on to the big screen, and doesn’t scroll the page.
We are in an age of information, and as it stands, we are trying to gain control of that information. When we do have that information, what then? How will life be like – what will my needs be?

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The Illusive Man, from Mass Effect

It’s hard to tell; on one hand we have a lot of people against all the technology invading our daily life, on another hand we’re getting closer every day, to a world where that is more or less completely digital. Facebook bought Oculus Rift, a company making a Virtual Reality headset. Google is augmenting the world with Google Glass. Are we going to end up in a chair where everything is brought to us? Or will we take advantage of that technology we develop and do things we’ve never done before?

I hope it’s the second option, and to do that, we need to understand that technology is here to accompany us, helping us in our daily lives to achieve more. Not become mindless drones that sits around all day – every day – being lazy. As the people before us, we should imagine a future where technology enables more than it disables.
So science fiction tells us, that with the future technology, the computers will understand us, and what we can use that for, is entirely up to us. Be mindful of the technology in your hand, it can do awesome things already!

Thanks for reading! I’ve made a brand new page on Google+, you can find it here!
https://plus.google.com/b/117799393833331677897/117799393833331677897

Of course, my personal Google+ account is still available, but I’d rather share through a page. Be sure to follow me and throw a message my way, so I can keep track 😉
I’m also making a Twitter account, so hang tight!

As a personal sidenote, I’m begining a scheduled program for the Blog, I will post every (Tutorial) Tuesday, (Future) Friday, and (Select) Sunday. And next week will be a bit special, be sure to hang around for that 🙂

Please feel free to leave a comment below of your predictions, the future is more awesome if we build it together! 😉

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