Predicting The Future - What 1981 Got Wrong

by @edent | , , , , | 1 comment | Read ~220 times.

A microchip with a British flag on it. Technology and the office of the future There is considerable scope for improving the productivity in offices. The major technological advances which will have an impact on this sector are the low-cost VDU, mass data storage, the digital network and voice command by B.W.Manley

As part of my MSc, I fell down a research rabbit-hole of 1980s "Office Of THE FUTURE!!" articles. Ultimately, I couldn't find a way to include it in my research - so you're getting my cast offs. So, I present to you some choice predictions from "Technology and the office of the future" by B.…

You have no idea of the changes which are coming

by @edent | , , , | 11 comments | Read ~696 times.

The New National Health Service.

I wrote this before the pandemic. I chickened out of publishing it because I was working for NHSX at the time. Some of these things have come to pass. Some are yet to come. I'll never forget the look of horror on my professor's face when I told him I didn't think his university course…

WTF - Welcoming The Future!

by @edent | , , | 3 comments

App screenshot saying it is now updating the firmware of Liz's bed.

My wife wasn't allowed to go for a post-lunch nap yesterday. Our smarthome wouldn't let her... OK! OK! It wasn't as bad as all that. I built an Internet-connected electric blanket so I can yell at the Alexa to pre-warm the bed. One of the IoT switches needed a firmware update. All over and done…

In the future, will computers be faster or slower?

by @edent | | Read ~229 times.

A tiny pixelated person runs away from a crude model of a car.

Here's a great set of questions to ask at your next corporate strategy away day. I know you know the answers to these questions - but I promise that the people in charge of your organisation will have some illuminating answers. Thinking about the next five years... will computers be faster or slower? will the…

Electrical Neutrality

by @edent | | 2 comments | Read ~188 times.

There's a new energy provider launching in the UK soon, Elektrique Power. They've got an innovative pricing structure that I'd like to discuss. As a base rate, they charge 12p/kWh - that's one of the cheapest on the market. But that's where the good deals end. That 12p is only for domestic 13amp sockets. For…

What does a robot look like?

by @edent | , | Read ~669 times.

The Terminator is a terrifying metal skeleton with glowing red eyes.

This is a question I often ask my students. Typically they say a robot looks like this: Or this: Broadly human, but mostly metal. Occasionally, I get non anthropocentric answers like this mule: Or even something stark and industrial like this: One is experimental, the other is rarely seen in day-to-day life. The truth is,…

Synthetarianism

by @edent | , | 1 comment

Synthetic meat is coming soon! Actually, it has been coming soon for a long long long long long time. There are many interesting social aspects to this future. Is lab-grown meat kosher or halal? Would eating human-meat be cannibalism? Is it vegetarian? But, most importantly, what do we call people with a dietary preference for…

What if your Internet Connected Fridge came with free electricity?

by @edent | , , , , , | 1 comment | Read ~196 times.

A bit of future-gazing which I can't be bothered spinning into a 15,000 word Gartner report. In the UK we have a competitive electricity market. Only one set of wires comes to your house, but you can buy your electricity from a number of providers. Some only offer organic, corn-fed, Wind Farm power - others…

The Robot Had A Nose

by @edent | , , | Read ~1,038 times.

C-3P0 doesn't have a schnoz. The degloved terminator has a bleak hole where his snout should be. Both the Jetson's Rosie and Futurama's Bender are arhinotic. The robot sat in front of me was different. The RoboThespian is an imposing chunk of metal. LEDs blink as servomotors whine. The exposed wiring twists as the arms…

Asymmetric Latency

by @edent | , , | 1 comment | Read ~196 times.

I've just finished reading the most wonderful short story - Tower of Babylon by Ted Chiang. In it, he speculates on what would happen if The Tower of Babel were completed. For those unfamiliar with the legend, it tells of a people who tried to build a tower tall enough to reach the heavens. The…