The Future Will Probably Not Be “Futuristic”
It’s funny – a lot of times when people think about the future – they think about super futuristic cities, super streamlined cars and all sorts of visible technology in the forefront. If I had a penny for all of the videos and images of the future which I think are completely wrong, then I’d definitely be rich.
You see, my vision of the future falls along the same lines of where one of my favorite authors Arthur C. Clarke wrote in his third law:
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Our technology is not going to advance so that it is MORE visible in our lives – its going to do the exact opposite, its going to advance to the point where it will be completely invisible to us.
Today, I went to a nearby coffee place, here is my picture of that walk, in my version of the future:
As I stepped out the door, I noticed the complete lack of signage. There are no signs – anywhere. There are no business signs, there are no stop lights, there are no parking signs, there are no parking meters. None of the cars whizzing by have any lights, or make anything but a light humming sound. I didn’t need to press a button or wait for a light to change when I crossed the street – the cars stopped for me as they saw me coming. I walked across the street and past a few folks. I walked into the Starbucks.
You are probably wondering how I knew that I was walking into a Starbucks when there are no business signs. Everyone (including myself) is wearing fashionable glasses and headphones with a built in microphone. These glasses are projecting images onto my eyeball of the logo of the store I’m walking into. I look around the room, no one was looking at or using a smartphone, computers, laptops, smartphones or tablets. Some people are talking to each other, others are sitting silently. I look towards the counter.
My drink is sitting there. It was being made while I was walking towards the building. I know its my drink as I can see an overlay in my vision pointing to it. I pick it up, take a sip, noting that its the perfect temperature. I walk out – the transaction taking place in the background as I walk out the door. I sit on a bench nearby and put my glasses into “do not disturb” mode.
Peace and quiet. No futuristic sounds, futuristic buildings. If anything. I feel like I’m back in nature. As I look around I see trees, grass, buildings. I see autonomous vehicles whizzing by with a hum. There is very little technology to be seen. After a few minutes, a vehicle stops in front of me and the door opens.
I turn my glasses back on. It seems that I have an appointment across town, so a car showed up to take me there. I feel a bit tired, so the car dimmed its lights and automatically reclined my seat. I take a coffee power nap, as the car takes me across town.
If you ask me – instead of the future being more futuristic, the future will be more like the past. The tech will advance to the point that it will literally disappear – and be fully ingrained into the world. We will finally get our natural world back – and it will take more tech and more advanced tech to do it.
I can’t image why anyone would not want this kind of future to happen. If you ask me – this is our real future – not the cold, unrelenting, passionless, horrific future like you see in typical sci-fi. Of course, this kind of future is not very photogenic, so you might not see it in movies.
No, our Skynet will not create killing machines, but live to improve the world and the human race. Our Skynet will help us to deal with the little things and let us focus on the big thoughts. Our Skynet will keep us fit and healthy, will help us improve the world and the human condition. Our Skynet will connect all humans together so that we can all benefit from each others knowledge.
Ironically, our Skynet will allow us to be more human. Tech will save the world, not kill it. Then disappear.