Re: A Future Timeline from Interactive Week

Sasha Chislenko (
Tue, 20 Apr 1999 19:07:22 -0500

At 04:50 PM 4/20/99 , Dana Hedberg wrote:

>For the interested I refer you to this little tidbit:
>Realistic? Woefully pathetic? Comments?

A mix of things that are unimportant, untrue, easily predictable or already done, with a few exceptions that are mixed up to the extent they are of no use.

2000One megabyte of storage costs one cent.
- not hard to predict, is it? What about storage and it's costs in 2010? 2030?
2001 Real-time "smart" videocassette recorders
- what is it? They guess what's worth recording?
2002True desktop computer, where 3-inch-by-3-inch desktop is screen
- Is it 3 by 3 feet? I can just turn my monitor 90degrees now, but it's
not comfortable to work at. Not a big deal, anyway. Just as other items above. Or below...
2002 Intelligent global positioning systems
- What is it?

2003Chameleon devices
- Change color to match the environment?
Cool trick. Good for the military and spying on girls, maybe. 2004 Handheld or smaller computers as ubiquitous as personal computers

- That one is good. Maybe already true if you count calculators.
2005Software that learns by doing
- It's been doing it for a long time.

2006 E-mail without digital signatures is automatically trashed.
- you can program your mail reader to do it now.
Will all mail without digital signatures be automatically trashed in 2006? I am wiling to bet _anything_ against it. 2006Medical kiosks in shopping malls
- What will they do? Take tests? That could be useful. I'd use it.
2007 Computing wallpaper; voice-controlled, keyboardless computers
- First is interesting. Second already there.
2008Computers that take notes
- From voice? Or keeping data from observations? Both already done.
2009 Built-in speech interfaces; majority of U.S. households have high-speed 24x7 Net access.

-Names already partly used - Real Names in Altavista.
Many names can't be resolved easily. That won't be the only scheme (bets?) 2012Individualized knowledge access
2013 Three-dimensional, life-size scenes on digital screens 2014Artificial "genetic" programming
- here already

2015 Computers that comprehend what they read
- to a greater extent than today?

Computers usually understand their input, to a degree. Poetry, they won't get by 2015.
If they understand what they read now, what will happen in the next 50 years? 201610 percent of households worldwide connected to the Net
- maybe. So?

Most of these people will not understand the most important things from the Net. Maybe from this data, computers should be counted as intelligent entities. 2018 End of coin slots in Coca-Cola machines smart cards? In Africa too?
2019Net economy reaches $4 trillion.
So now we have "telephone/fax economy" (where deals are made). What will be the structural changes in this economic process? How about intelligent software agents, super-liquid markets, knowledge derivatives, self-enforceable contracts, AI throwing humans out of trading floors?
2020 Programmable pharmaceuticals
release based on internal chemical balance? 2021You're always on camera.
Me? I doubt. The Amish? No. The Net Jenny? Already there. 2025 First ground war fought over access to information B.S. Entities owning information are non-territorial and can't lead ground wars. The communication channels, unlike oil pipe lines don't have to go through any territory. Who will fight for what? I may fight my kid over access to a PC :-) 2030All objects become artifacts tracked on Net.
- Yeah, right. Some already are, some will never be.
More will be, in any year.
2035 Unstructured conversations with computers
- All conversations are structured. Grammar. Replies.
Will structures be more complex. Sure - any year, before and after 2035 as well.
2065 DNA-based computing

Now what about nanocomputers, quantum computations, enhanced reality, strong AI, intelligent prosthetic devices, mobile robots delivering physical anarchy, phase transitions in the economic structures, unaugmented humans becoming less cost-effective than machines, intelligent personalized synthesis of texts, movies and ads, AI helping in conflicts with friends, scientific breakthroughs, deterritorialization of planetary power structures, dissolution of state governments, alternative private currencies, entirely artificial life forms that are also connected to the Net, and all other really interesting and important things that are going to come out of the progress in computing technology?

Is this the best the human race can do to chart its future?

How come no serious organization on this planet works on reasonable long-term scenarios of development?

But then, it may be better that they don't. If bureaucrats don't even see where the things are going, they can't hinder the development.
We should just hope that things while being totally out of control in the long run, don't get out of control. (Hmm...)

Sasha Chislenko <>
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