Yesterday I listened to a great podcast about software development. After an interesting hour of talk radio the host of the podcast Elementarfragen (in German only), asked his two guests about the future of computers and the Internet. This question made me think what I would answer to such a difficult question.
The two guests of the show were wise enough to give a wide answer, focusing on the human to computer interface and the developments we are about to encounter in the field of speech recognition. They also said that many of the most important inventions have already happened and that the next generation of advanced software will not be HAL (from 2001 Space Odysee), but only iOS6.
I immediately remembered how, especially in the late 90s/early 2000s, we were often blown away from growth of processing power, hard disc space, and other technological features like this. A computer lasted two years or three until it was completely out of date. A laptop without a wifi card was useless, by the time wireless routers were sold. In comparison the laptop I write this article on is five years old and it still works perfect for my needs.
Today, I think, it is not so much the technological features that are mind blowingly evolving, but it is something else. Something that is difficult to grasp. It is the merging of the Internet with society. The way the computers and the Internet are changing every aspect of our “real life” is incredible and even way more profound than in the first decade of the new millennium. Paperless desktops, mobile internet, cloud services, internet of things, net politics. These terms exist for a long time already, but it is only recent that these paradigms have become truly implemented in everybody’s daily computer use.
I think these are the next big things to expect: True global, universal, and social implementation of digital technologies in real life and it’s consequences.