A look into the web of thoughts dark future…
The Netflix Original series “Black Mirror” created by Charlie Brooker is a “Twilight Zone” like television show that shows glimpses of technology in the future. Throughout episodes, we see people plugged into technology for various purposes. In the episode “The Entire History of You” written by Jesse Armstrong, we see the ability to recall our memories with specific detail. Of course, this leads to a failed marriage. Similarly, in the episode “Arkangel” written by Charlie Brooker, we see how a similar implant technology can help parents track and even see what their child is seeing. Of course, what parent wouldn’t want to know what their child is doing every second of the day, but at what cost. Things take more of a turn towards the dark in “USS Calister” and “Playtest” both written by Charlie Brooker, where implant technology allows us to enter into alternate artificial worlds. Neither episode has a good outcome. Watch at your own risk!
How does this correlate to the expansion of the web? As technology continues to progress, so will the capability of the internet. TrendOne a research company discusses the progression of the internet and its future.
The internet started out as a web of content, basic information that we as the end user could simply retrieve from. In the early 200’s this became a web of communication, the end user could easily interact with content (eBay auctions or social networks) and could contribute to content (blogs such as this one). Between 2008 and 2012, the internet became a web of context, building virtual worlds and smart interfaces like advertising and virtual shopping.
Today, we are in the web of things, connected in many ways. We have augmented reality, gesture technology, wearable technology, language translation at our fingertips, and of course Siri (or Alexa).
But what does TrendOne predict for the future? Like the show, TrendOne predicts an assortment of new technologies in the 2020’s and beyond called the “web of thoughts” from driverless cars to brain implants that can do everything from spying to augmenting our reality. Other popular items are active contact lenses as seen in the episode “Nosedive” written by Rashida Jones and Michael Schur. We can also expect to see other forms of human/technology convergence and 5 sense Immersion.
I am ever optimistic that we as the human species will continue to use these technologies to improve our lives and help those less fortunate. One of the more personal trends will be driverless cars, in which someday a close friend who does not have good eyesight can actually take himself to the store or not having to worry about grandma and grandpa getting the medicine they need. These technologies cannot come soon enough. But there is a dark side, and this show likes to play into our primal fears when it comes to those dark corners of technology. I must say, if the show Black Mirror is any indication of how technology will lead our society, I am deeply troubled for our future.