Saturday, October 15, 2011

Smarter Life Future: Complex Everything or One Thing Full of Complex

Does it really make sense to make each and every one of our devices smarter? Will that really work? Or is the real idea to model every possession as it is; lifeless and simple then track, store and analyze everything about it.
I’m imagining a world with plural realities. Not in the typical/cliché dreamers sense of alternative universes, secondary planets with other life, or alternate realities; but a plural reality in digital form: a photocopy of everything that does exist in a modeled reality with the ability to be computed, analyzed, measure, calculated, sampled, and backed up.
We may or may not have the ability to do something like this now; but the options we have going forward are twofold.
In my opinion we will continue as a race and species to want more information about everything in our surroundings at a moment’s notice; not that the information will be shoved in our face, over populated, and in front of us when we don’t want it; but when we do, to be able to recall, find out, or disseminate (with electronics’ assistance of course) any tid-bit of information about something we have come in contact with instantaneously.
While we may or may-not recognize the information we might want available (or individually not actually be curious), it would be useful for a number of reasons to be able to obtain, for instance, what did that note at home on the wall say? How much life do I have left in that light bulb? Did I turn the oven off? Will this box fit in that space way up there? What is the temperature outside? How long has that food been in the fridge/freezer? When was the last time I used that book? Where is that old yearbook? How much water have I been using when I brush my teeth? What do I spend on electricity for my TV?
There are millions upon millions of little bits of information that it could be very useful to know if we needed / wanted / thought about it. In fact there are many life-saving and/or safely features and alarms that we could develop and have in place if all of this information was logged, statistically analyzed, and fed back at a moment’s notice to allow for management decisions (I should throw that old food away, turn off the water while I brush my teeth, and get a replacement light bulb). While down the line it might be a little more automated with a Fridge letting you know, “I went ahead and purged that milk that had gone sour and ordered a new gallon for you, it will be here tomorrow.” Or even the simple, “It’s pretty cold out so I dusted off your old jacket and started your car for you with the heat on this morning.”
We can move toward these ends by either developing smarter furniture, cars, appliances, and every little do-dad around us, or we can find a way to model and analyze all that exists to get the information from objects that will remain simple and dumb.