All of us have seen the way that Hollywood portrays the computers of the future. Except in dystopian cases, computers always get better, they become sentient in some cases and that is all very hopeful and very promising but what is the real thing?
What is it that we can actually look forward to? That is something that can only be explained if we take a walk back into time to see how far we have come in time and what time it has taken us to make the strides that we have.
There is so much that is being discovered every day and now, people can talk about computers in a way that suggests, they can become very advanced that we can rely on them to actually form thought in a few decades.
That is a terrifying thought but let us go back to a time when there was a toggle switch.
A Walk in Time
In the year 1982, and that is not far off into the past, there was the Data General Nova’s 1200 front panel. With it, you could enter two characters, 16 bits, at a time. This was like the wow factor that the panel had. This was double what was there before (8 bytes).
And now, not only are computers so advanced they can run a factory all by themselves if we want them to, you can talk to your phone and ask it where you can go eat a certain kind of food and not only can it type back the reply to you but answer in a realistic human-like voice.
And that is just a 64 bit smart-phone. Have you heard what the quantum computers are going to be able to do?
Well, let’s just say that the age of the God-Bots is near.
Will It Always Get Better?
Okay, let us look at what Moore said in what is now known as Moore’s Law. “The Number of transistors on a chip roughly doubles every two years as their cost goes down”. That is what he said and this means that with the increase in chips, you double processing powers that fast too.
Just in case you didn’t know, Gordon E. Moore is a co-founder of Intel.
This is true with computers from three years ago looking and feeling like relics as compared to what is being made right now.
I can tell you this, you will see more and more of what this is. The cameras will get better, the phones will get smatter and the displays more graphically stunning. That is guaranteed. But how far can we really go?
That is something that we will have to take time to find out as projections about the future have been known to be somewhat dubious in some cases like technological leaps.
Someone might figure out how to reconcile the problems of quantum computing and make a machine so powerful it will take over the world a week from now.
What is There Tomorrow?
As much as predicting the future is shaky and not accurate, lets us put our prophetic caps on and extrapolate. Extrapolation is easy, just look at the graphs and how they are moving and then draw that line in pretty much the same fashion as before to see where it goes.
Have you noticed that computers cost pretty much the same every year since the Commodore 64 came out.
That is not a coincidence, it is still exhibiting the shades and truth of what Moore said. What is happening tomorrow is no different. Neuron implants, Artificial Intelligence and such, they will all come in good time.
Today, we use semiconductors, metals and electricity to run the computers that we have. Tomorrow, we might be utilizing DNA, light and atoms to do the job. That opens up a literal universe of infinite possibilities.
What can we do with a computer whose ‘mind’ transcends that of a human?
What We Have Now
At the present, we have some cool things that have been made possible using the power of mobile phones and their capabilities. We have Virtual Reality which is just insane in the face of it. Have you seen any of these?
If not, you need to. That is how you will grasp what I am taking about. At the present, you will find that the companies are trying to find ways that they can reduce the number of wires in the machines, create augmented realities and such.
Everything that we are looking to do in the future is already theoretically possible right now. The only reason we aren’t there already is because of some minor issues that we have not quite figured out yet.
That doesn’t mean that your house won’t be able to run itself in the next ten years. If you want to taste the power of current servers and you are in Australia, you can check out EMPR Australia.