There’s No Way I’m Doing THAT!-Part 2
We are falling so far behind!  The future projections from old cartoons that we have seen in syndication had a much more rapidly advancing technology-enhanced future than we have today.  Facial recognition, voice interactive – this is ‘kid’s stuff’ compared to where we should be by now.

What were they thinking?

The Jetsons predicted flat television, video calling, dog treadmills, personal flying vehicles, robot house maids, talking alarm clocks, tanning beds, a watch that entertains you with TV, a tablet that showcases the daily news, robot vacuums and clear elevator shafts in 1962-63.  It was set in 2062.  So, we’re halfway there, already have many of their future innovations and many others that didn’t seem to fit in their ‘live in the sky’ existence.  Where are the trees, ground, oceans in their world?  I think they found it easier to just deal with life on stilts.  Maybe they were secretly referencing a colony on another planet?

Tex Avery’s animation cartoons in the 1950’s predicting the ‘World of Tomorrow’ took a more slapstick approach to representing things like AI by putting people into boxes behind devices so they could interact with you.  But, the sarcastic message was the same.

The Wold of Tomorrow! (According to Tex Avery and MGM in the 1950s) from Kyle McArdle on Vimeo.

Your Safety First – A John Sutherland toon from the 1950’s shows news headlines about space travel and tax cuts while Dad contemplates buying a new car on Oct. 5, 2000. With a computerized home, 3D/holographic projection TV, a 4 hour work day, and cars that drive themselves! A comic history view of the auto industry’s “remarkable inventions” making cars better and safer.  We’re getting there, but we are behind the projections.

1958 Disney’s ‘Magic Highway’ foretold not only driverless cars and trains but solar powered, mag-lev individual cars (like the first mag-lev trains in Japan and the one they want to build that is endlessly tied up in legislative and financial bureaucracy in California.)

1939 World’s Fair.  (The World’s Fair is now called Dubai’s Expo 2020).  ‘Futurama” was the exhibit that captured the attention and imagination of a generation.  The World of Tomorrow.  The world of back then wasn’t ready for the World of Tomorrow’s dream of a global community.  But, people were fascinated. Read More>>

So, what are we seeing now?

How about a new suitcase that follows you around the airport like it’s your pet dog carrying your stuff.  If we add voice interactivity to the suitcase, if there is any issue with passing through immigration, you can continue on your way and leave the suitcase to have a conversation with the customs officer.  The suitcase will catch up with you later.  Don’t worry, it will find you. Read More >>

Air travel – Dubai to London or New York in 29 minutes? Or Sydney in 40 minutes?  It’s all part of Elon Musk’s latest plan to build a new rocket ship – code named “BFR” – capable of traveling anywhere on Earth in under an hour. Flying at a maximum speed of 27,000 km/hr (17,000 mph), a hypersonic trip from New York to Shanghai in Musk’s proposed craft would take 39 minutes, down from the current nonstop time of about 15 hours. Los Angles to Toronto would take just 24 minutes. London to Dubai in a mere 29 minutes.

Cost per seat should be about the same as full fare economy in an aircraft.  Going fast is easy, but going fast with a profitable rocket/airline enterprise is not. Another challenge will be to perfect the kind of “supersonic retropulsion” required for landing the rocket.

Facial recognition

Last month Apple unveiled the iPhone X—the company’s most expensive device to date, which comes with a host of new features, including facial recognition technology. While new to Apple, facial identification technology has been used by other manufacturers, such as Apple rival Samsung, for some time now.

By 2019, all smartphones worldwide will ship with biometric technology embedded in them according to Acuity Market Intelligence. But, many consumers are not sold on facial recognition because the technology creeps them out.  According to a June 2017 survey from RichRelevance, facial recognition was one of the “creepiest” technologies out there. Indeed, over two-thirds of US internet users it polled found it creepy.

However, Dubai Airports showed a facial recognition and iris scan ‘tunnel’ at Gitex 2017.  Using 80 different cameras, it will be in use first for departures then later to replace any need for passports, ecards, etc.  It is expected to reduce passport control procedures to just 15 seconds and will be installed at Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 by the end of next summer.

Passengers will have to first stand in front of the tunnel and before walking through for facial recognition. The white tunnel includes a green-tinged digital floorboard that changes color to red as a passenger walks through to finish the procedure. You can exit the tunnel in a few seconds without the need for passport stamping or any other human intervention.

Can we revive Nicola Tesla’s inventions?

Iceland now has a negative emissions power plant.  ‘Quartz’ reports that a geothermal power plant in Hellisheidi, Iceland, now captures more CO2 than it emits.  Using a system developed by Carbon Engineering, a wall of fans at the plant sucks in air, then injects CO2 into water.  That is then pumped into deep ground where it amazingly turns into rock.  The result is lots of energy and less CO2 than at the start.  Current cost is the temporary barrier to more widespread use.

To help support the rapid adoption of new technology, Google hopes $1 billion will help Americans adapt to the tech-affected future of work.  The tech giant may have a guilty conscience. It says it will pony up $1 billion (and 1 million hours of employee time) to retrain people around America with digital skills that “they need to get a job or grow their business.” Money for training will be handed to non-profits, and a national tour of courses in things like coding and social media will roam the U.S., starting in Pittsburgh. The hope: that the initiative will help save some of the careers that technology (such as Google’s) is already destroying.

Without even realizing it, people have become accustomed to interacting with AI. “When you use Facebook or Google or Apple, you’re using it,” said Karim Sanjabi, executive director of cognitive solutions at independent media agency Crossmedia. “It’s recommending your picture, it’s reading your email and giving you relevant ads back against that in Gmail. You probably interact with AI 30 or 40 times a day and may not know it.”

So, you still have doubts about self-driving vehicles?

As of mid-2017, more than 46 companies are building artificial intelligence (AI)-based software to control an autonomous vehicle and make it operate in the world, not to mention the dozens of companies developing supporting technologies.  Gartner expects to see multiple launches of autonomous vehicles around 2020. However, the full impact of autonomous vehicle technology on society and the economy will not begin to emerge until approximately 2025.

“The automotive industry is investing in new safety and convenience technology at a rate not seen since the dawn of the automobile. The experience of owning and operating a car will be dramatically different in 10 years,” said Mike Ramsey, research director at Gartner.

Some things seem inevitable, others take us by surprise.  But, science fiction seems to be only a temporary state until it becomes ‘science fact’.

These things are all meant to improve our lives, safety, convenience and enjoyment.  So, don’t worry about these things.  You will adopt new technology as it serves your needs.  Meanwhile, take a nice, long drive on a beautiful road and enjoy the scenery and experience.  Just make sure you can get a mobile signal while you’re out there.

Let us know how we can help, call ( 04 363 3301) us at Vector!
Vector Technologies, ‘The way I.T. should be’.

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