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Are We There Yet?

hal

The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed ― William Gibson

It looks like soon we’ll all have an iPhone with no headphones hole.

Finally. What a relief.

However, are we there yet? Do we currently live in a pre-singularity era? Do we even close to the state, when computers are, indeed, an integral part of society? Moreover, I’m not talking about computers and networks, as transport for all that (sarcasm tag on) vital information (sarcasm tag off) we consume day after day? Sorry, but I don’t think so.

Here is the thing. Now we have Tesla Model X, with the firmware 7.1 and with the Summon thing that allows you to control your car from your phone. Brilliant. Is the best thing ever possible, since.. wait a minute? Tesla Model X? It’s $80K. How many of your friends drive Tesla? How many of your co-workers or family members drive one? See what I mean? Not yet?

Okay, another example. Communication interfaces for the disabled. Another best way how computers can improve one’s quality of life, right? Well, nope. All modern and more or less advanced examples of synthetic vision, as an example, are still available only as prototypes, or available only to a very tiny amount of people.

Computers are still costly, and this way, available only in the luxury segment of the market. Also, this is why all modern technologies are used only as gimmicks in marketing games, by adding wireless this, or 3D that only as a source of extra income and extra dominance. So, no, unfortunately, no Skynet, no HAL and no cyber-cowboys this year. Even not in 10 or 20 years, until we’ll figure out how to make powerful computation devices available for most of the people on Earth.

We are still at our very early and humble steps, trying to connect people, searching for similarities between them, helping to talk, to see and to, literally, breath. Extending technologies above the limits of consumption, toward to… well, call it magic.

Because, as Arthur Clarke said, magic’s just science that we don’t understand.

Yet.