Founding Editor/Author, Wired Kevin Kelly gave the final key note at IFTF's Tech Horizon conference in San Mateo yesterday and finished the conference perfectly by tying themes like transdisciplinarity, intentional biology, and simulations of health, energy sources and ecological systems together in a long term view of future technology.
To touch on the former theme, the scientific pursuit to understand and unlock such complexities as the math of Mother Nature, you are not only in need of interdisciplinarity but scientists who speaks more than one language of science methodology, understandings and intuition. A new group of people is required, that have the ability to navigate in fields such as math, biology and engineering all at once. New science fields like nanotech, biochemistry and biomimicry are all boundary objects for this need of transdisciplinarity among the research community if millions of years of evolution are to be decoded and reengineered.
Kevin Kelly finished the key note with some thoughts for action about wider distribution of failures, like the Journal of Negative Results in Biomedicine, so you sort of speak can follow the evolutions of successful technologies or just dead end paths.
I think that’s an interesting point-of-view and another area where scientist can learn from artist since a painting is like 20 layers of failures and one layer of success or a mix somewhat in between the last layer of failure and the first layer of success, if paintings like the Mona Lisa and her smile are to be explained for its attraction.
Yesterday marked the beginning of Institute for the Futures annual Tech Horizon conference. I have really been looking forward to this event since I got to meet so many visionary people at the last IFTF event.
Larry Smarr the Director of California Institute for Telecommunications & Information Technology was giving the first keynote tonight about telepresence and its social implications. And by telepresence he is talking about videoconferencing systems where the technology has intuitive interactions and the present difference between interactions face-to-face and a videoconferencing interaction will not be sensed – also called transparent telepresence.
He had some really interesting perspectives on processing power, storage capacity and bandwidth which will surpass human capabilities within the next 10-15 years and enable real time human level telepresence.
To give an example of his views of technology surpassing human capabilities is the eye-to-brain communication which is being done at about 1 gigabit/sec, a bandwidth speed introduced to the mass market some years ago but has yet to reach Internet Service Providers portfolio.
A possible social change with real time human perception level telepresence technology would be that humans have less real contact and would travel less. A scary forecast which I could see happen from a corporate point of view or the gaming room of teenagers chatting with friends, though studies has also concluded that the usage of current telepresence systems of remote interaction only encourages the drive to meet the people at the other end in real life.
If that study will reach the same conclusion when future telepresence systems gets similar abilities of real life human presence will be up for debate.