I happened to be part of a talk given by Dr. Vint Cerf, in 2005, after he joined Google as Internet Evangelist.
That time, I was working with Oracle – Applications - Healthcare Group, and probably, I was the only one in my team then who used to talk about machine learning etc., having worked on the problem of Audio Clip Classification as part of my MS (by research) at IIT Madras.
So, when I went for this talk by Dr. Vint Cerf, and came back talking about a refrigerator that could talk to the mobile phone, of the person who owns both items, with the understanding of the ingredients inside it, and also the location of the person and so on. It sounded more like a fairy-tale to a few, and a few agreed with the possibility, but again were doubtful on how and when it would take shape.
Today, as we talk about IoT (Internet of Things), I see us working towards the world that I saw Dr. Cerf depicting 10 years ago.
Other thing that I remember him talking in that talk was related to inter-planet communication. That too was a fascinating topic.
And I see it being realized, or needed, as I have met Dr. Radhakrishnan, ISRO director, a few weeks ago at IIM Bangalore. He spoke about the challenges associated with planning of Mangalyan, and how communication was planned, considering the delays resulting out of celestial motions. I remembered Dr. Cerf in that talk by Dr. Radhakrishnan.
And later as I was planning my talk for World Information Architecture Day 2015, I had no better example to talk about the vision for future, than Dr. Cerf. So I began with that, the other mention-able fact is that I noticed doing my talk, and the planning of it, that not many know Dr. Cerf, who has written the very first e-mail system, and the TCP/IP protocol. And I feel proud for having met him and sharing the futuristic world vision with him.
Recently, I also noticed one of article, which mentioned Eric Schmidt from Google (pic taken from internet) stating that soon there would be no internet.
As the headline was catchy, I went reading it in detail, and figured out what it was mentioning was that soon we would have that connected and automated world, that we would not notice us talking about connectivity or internet. In that article, he gave example of a hyper-personalized room, which changes itself for YOU, as it know you, your context, and has the ability to understand and take actions accordingly.
As these big people take about that world to be created in near future, that is often depicted in sci-fi movies etc.
Further, I want to share one of my personal story sharing similar idea.
This valentine’s day as we were going for dinner with our daughter, who would be 5 yrs. this May, and my husband was trying to figure out the best route to drive, she said, “Pappa! When I grow up, I will tell my car to take me for dinner and it will take me.”
May be an extension of ‘Maps’ that she was talking about. Not sure, if she knows about Google car, but this comment was interesting.
My husband further probed her, “So what else would happen when your car takes you?”
She answered, “I’d ask car to put music for me and cartoon for my baby. It’d have TV in the back seat.”
Another wish, that comes out, in the form of TV on back seat for her (through her future world where she would grow up, and have a baby too), but point to be noticed, here, was that this is what she’d ask her car to do so, instead of she, herself, doing that.
“Interesting”, I thought.
And my husband further probed, “If cartoon is loud, you would not be able to listen to the music.”
She immediately replied that she would ask to lower the volume of cartoon.
My husband went ahead further, by saying, “Than the baby would cry.”
And she replied, “I’d ask car to give it milk.”
“If there is no milk in the car”, again probed my husband.
“I’d ask car to stop and buy it”, she replied.
Many-times, I might not like these probing conversation, and focus more on agreement. But this one was interesting for me to listen to, just as an observer.
There were few more questions and answers, and finally when my husband asked, “What would you do then?”
Being a child she understand that baby care is very important. So she replied, that I’d take care of baby, play with her etc., but even then her view was that bringing things or putting them back in place etc., is stuff that someone robot etc., would do.
“She is talking future”, I thought.
In-spite of just being a child, and having no knowledge of technology, IoT, or various reports and articles that people like me and you keep reading etc., with her observations around, she has a vision or visualization of the world of future - which is very similar to what Dr. Cerf, or Eric Schmidt have visualized – and which, I know, is possible to create.
We are still making those component. The need is to put them together, and bring some components of behavior modelling etc., to make it a soothing and smart world for us, as we have been talking about or depicting in sci-fi movies, or mythological stories.