10 Random Thoughts of the Future

Everyday I try to think of 10 ideas. Sometimes interesting, sometimes thought provoking, and often enough pretty stupid. The point is to get the brain thinking, to exercise the brain muscle. Usually I come up with business or product ideas, but today I am braking with the format for a change. Today is going to be all about the world of the future, and what I think will someday come to be. None of these are strictly possible at the moment, but none are precluded by the laws of physics. And anything that can be, will be one day.

  1. Dog intellectual augmentation implants that will allow your dog to walk itself. Human intellect augmentation is a done deal, it’s going to be here within 2–3 decades at most. But what about our faithful companions? One day we will have micro chips implanted into dogs’ brains that will allow them to understand basic language, walk themselves, and safely navigate the world of tomorrow on their daily walk. The implant might even project an augmented reality image of the owner into the dog’s eyes and nose to make them feel safer on their walk.
  2. Pteradactil taxi. It’s unclear at the moment where the next great breakthrough in human technology will come from. It could be the realm of robotics and AI, the “metal” revolution. But it’s just as likely to be biology and biotechnology. So one day, if you need a ride to the beach, you might very well just think about it, and a dispatch from your Intelligence Augmentation (IA) implant will summon a flying Pterodactyl that will swoop down, gently pick you up with it’s claws, and take you to your destination in comfort.
  3. Third person perspective life experience. We are used to the first person perspective on our own life, but in videogames it’s not uncommon for people to prefer 3rd person perspectives. One day, with IA some people will be able to live their entire life by experiencing it from the point of view of cameras positioned through their house and the outside. Imagine walking through a busy airport, for instance, but experiencing it through the lens of a camera mounted to the ceiling or flying behind you. This can be done in VR right now, but one day people may choose to live their life in reality this way.
  4. The jobs of actors, voice actors, and all the people involved in the movie industry might be gone soon as well. Movie production is ultimately a cooperative endeavor at the moment, involving hundreds of people even for a relatively small film. However, in the future, movie making might be much like writing, an individual pursuit. With AI generated voice acting and CGI, and IA to computer interface a director could write, direct, refine, render, and publish a movie, simply by thinking about it. If they can imagine it, it can be recorded, rendered, and published. This technology, of course, will be immediately used for porn.
  5. But why stop at making movies with thoughts, when in reality all we are really trying to do is convey thoughts to one another using such obstruction levels as cinema or the written world. In the future movies and books might actually evolve into ideas. An author would carefully think of an idea, transcribe it using their IA into a sort of idea definition protocol, tweek it carefully, and then distribute it. The viewer or reader of the given idea (the consumer) would have their IA translate the idea for them into a feeling and understanding. It would be like having the experience of watching The Big Lebowski without actually having to watch it. This might be the first step towards humans becoming a single organism, but more on that in a later post.
  6. One thing is clear, in the near future, perhaps 100 years, though personally I think far sooner than that, human labor will become utterly worthless. By worthless I mean that the amount of caloric energy extended to perform almost all task humans are capable off will be more than the energy needed to have a robotic AI perform the same exact task with equal quality, creativity, and efficiency. This is inevitable. Now, I am under no delusion that we are within the spitting distance of developing strong AI, we are not. But most tasks we currently do, including creative tasks, can be performed by specialized week AIs. As a result, there simply will not be much work for humans in the future. The myth that people “will find better jobs” is propagated by people who either don’t understand AI, or labor economics, or both, or are simply determined to stick their proverbial head in the sand and stay clueless until it’s too late. In any case, I don’t have much in terms of the ideal economic arrangement in the world of tomorrow, but there is one thing I know: competition is key to happiness. People have the biological need to compete. This is manifested in an ugly way when we compete for survival, or resources, or procreation. But it can also be beautiful when it’s done for the sake of pure competition, such as in the olympic games. Perhaps world wide competition to be the best of the best at everything will be the future of the world economics. Ok, so this is not a well formed idea, because it’s hard. But it’s an idea I like to think about, and would love to here opinions on.
  7. On the lighter side of things, it’s very likely that the Rumba of tomorrow will be an ant colony that lives in the corner of your living room. Again, without picking winners in the battle between biotech and robotics, some sort of tiny cooperative creature that comes out at night to clean your house will be the future. These Ants will be preprogrammed to go all around your house, collecting dust, dirt, and disinfecting surfaces while you are out or a sleep.
  8. But bug level robotics will not be limited to your living room. It’s very likely that robotic bugs will be the gardners and farmers of the future. Why mechanically cut the grass, for instance, if you can design a tiny robotic self replicating bug to come out at night, climb exactly 2 inches above the ground onto a grass stalk, chew across the stalk, and drag the remainder of the blade into a nice pile. This of course assumes that we will still be engaged in the preposterous endeavor of wasting tremendous amounts of water to grow grass. But same technology would be used to collect apples from an apple tree, de-weed fields, and collect crops. Tiny, tiny robots operating in swarms are the future.
  9. Of course, with over population still being a taboo subject considered politically incorrect, we are unlikely to solve this existential problem as well, which may lead to the world where not living in a virtual reality is the privilege of the very rich. Just think about it, one day the thought of living your entire life in the real world, and eventually getting older and dying will be something that only the very privileged will be able to aspire to. Just an interesting thought that sometimes floats in and out of my head.
  10. With augmented reality and strong AI (which might just be a combination of seamlessly integrated weak AIs interacting with your brain for that spark of inspiration), you might be able to keep or resurrect you childhood imaginary friend(s). Just imagine one day arranging a playdate for your imaginary pet dragon. This is possible, and therefore, one day, it will be so.

Happy labor day everyone!