I just got back from ICHRIE in St. Louis, MO and technology was a big part of the conference. I found one video that encapsulates what I have been telling my lodging students for the past 7 years here at Eastern. As well as the students I had in Glasgow. Technology will enable us to greater proficiency, effectiveness and efficiency. Traditional values will return, evolved into a higher art form. Personalized service will take on greater depth with the application and integration of technology applications, both platforms and software. We will not be tied to a machine, to one place. Marshall McLuhan’s postulate that ‘technology will be an extension of ourselves’ will be realized.
In one of the novels I have just finished, technology is one of the support characters and plays an important role in catching the bad guy. One line I wrote:
The movement of his eyes had the document scroll upward so he had uninterrupted viewing.
The hero has set his SMART phone down on a sink and has projected his emails up onto the mirror above the vanity. He uses his eyes to scroll through his messages as he hastily scans the information. His cousin has developed this app that highlights key words so the hero’s brain can process the information faster, filling in the blanks and leaving him with no question about what is said. It is taking the acronyms used in texting to a new level, utilizing the power of the brain to formulate patterns of decisive thought using the visual dexterity that it is capable of. These thoughts of mine are based on Human-Computer Interaction theory.
I really feel that the next few years will see an exponential growth of interfacing our day-to-day activities, physical and psychological, with that of machines. Design and use will be more transparent given cultural specifics. We will truly extend our abilities, capabilities by extending ourselves into our environments. We will be linked physically into our environments, physical, natural, economic and social even more so.
Do I see a future as portrayed in movies such as iRobot? Will the machine become more? Yes, I do see it becoming more and I do see a time when the machine will have a brain. Independent thought, yes. Will they become a new species? A new culture? Sure. When, I can’t pinpoint an exact moment. But we are all evolving, immersing ourselves within this new cultural environment.