King of Excellent (according to Scaryduck)

Sunday, January 21

The Matrix or Star Trek?

My father once again sent me an email, which made me think. The email was a picture of a prediction of computers of the future, but made in 1954. So I began to think what computers would be like in another 50 years time.

Starting at grassroots level, let’s look at the brain. The processor will take a few steps sideways to start off with. The speed of the processor will no longer be governed by the clock speed of the crystal. No more 3200 MHz but actually running at 2200 MHz. The internal bus width of the processor will be the first step to making the increase in processor speed. The release of 64 bit processors will in turn lead to more are more room for traffic internally. The reduction of spacing between each silicon transistor will also reduce timing, and before long the transition to almost atomic levels will be made and the speed exponentially increased. Cooling will become implanted within the silicon levels, as opposed to on top of the package, so more efficient cooling will lead to greater reliability within the processor. Dynamic processors will add commands to their own bulging instruction set, almost like a hardwired cache, leading to the processor “learning” as it executes commands. Eventually the processor will be able to develop it’s own simple subroutines, and the development of each processor will become childlike as it learns from everything.

Memory will also be reduced in atomic size, but will take the step towards biological memory. Bacterium will be used in an on and off state, meaning a lot less power will be required and speed of recall will be a lot faster. The cheapness of memory growth farms will mean that memory will become cheaper then it’s magnetic cousins, and so the long used magnetic media will find itself on the scrapheap. Terabytes of data will be stored in one place, and so the transference of data from memory to CPU will be a lot less time restricted and the to-ing and fro-ing of data will become obsolete. As the CPU learns from the commands being passed to it, it will require less from the memory, using it in fact as a working area as opposed to storage.

Input will be replaced initially by more conventional methods. The obvious form of input would be voice, and this would become more reliable as processing speed is used to identify speech patterns. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) would also take a leap, and visual patterns will be identified within the letters on a printed page, meaning handwriting will also be recognised. The advancement into mind control, initially made for the physically disabled, will lead to psycho-control methods. Computers will no longer require direct input from users and programming of processors will become a lot simpler as the CPU interprets methods and develops it’s own algorithms.

Output will stay with screens primarily a lot longer then will be necessary. Audible output will slowly compliment the visual element, but never take over completely. Sensory input will also incorporate touch, allowing you to “feel” outputs. In turn all these senses will be replaced by direct input into the brain, meaning a sensory virtual world. The cpu will feed each sense to the brain directly, tricking it into the feelings to be expected.

Initially software will continue to be dominated and controlled by operating systems. Microsoft will lose out to Public Licence software like Linux, as more and more users give their ha’penny’s worth. In time, software will no longer be based upon an operating system as the CPU develops it’s own base. Each user will be able to simply create his or her own program, and the computer will happily chug out output.

Around the home, the computer will control more and more devices. Already we’re seeing PCs with TV Cards, sound systems comparable to your local cinema, home telephony, and visual entertainment like DVDs. The home’s environment will be controlled and even consumption will intelligently be reduced by constant monitoring of the requirements. The computer will also control everyday tasks like cooking, shopping and washing, selecting the best power sources or ordering produce when an item used. The computer will no longer be just a tool or for leisure, becoming an integral part of the household.

Do you reckon I’m going to be right?