The respected futurologist explains some of his ideas for the future. Some of these ideas merge quite well with my ideas for Mongrels, a webcomic I’m planning.
What’s the future of the computer itself? Once we get past Moore’s Law, we’ll use 3-D molecular computing. [In the late 2040s], one cubic inch of nanotube circuitry will be 100 million times more powerful than the human brain. On the software side, machines [in the 2030s] will be able to access their own source code and improve it via an ever-accelerating, iterative design cycle. So ultimately, these systems will be vastly more intelligent than humans and will combine the advantages of biological and nonbiological intelligence. I don’t see this as an alien invasion of intelligent machines; this is emerging from within our civilization.
Well before that, computation will be a worldwide mesh of computing elements, and anytime you want, you’ll be able to, for example, access 1 million computers for 400 milliseconds.
Early in the next decade, images will be written directly to our retinas. How can you make screens really tiny but big at the same time? Put them in your eyeglasses and beam images directly to the retina.
What do you mean when you say computers will “disappear”? They’ll make their way into our clothing and into the environment, and they’ll be very tiny. We’ll also move away from the idea that the computers we use are spokes into a network but not part of the network, to where every device will be a node on the network, meaning that not only will you be sending and receiving your own messages, you’ll be passing on other people’s messages. It will be continually self-organizing, so that all communication links will be continuously finding the most efficient path.