Saturday, May 19, 2012

We Are Living in the Future


Oh my God this.

At first, it doesn't seem like that big of a deal. You watch it, and it seems entirely normal and natural...and then it hits you that it's not a special effect. It was not digitally inserted in post-production, there is not someone off-screen with a joystick or a mouse faking it, that is absolutely 100% someone controlling a robot arm with their thoughts. Prototype, yes; primitive, yes; but that moment where you realize that somewhere along the line your life has become a science-fiction movie and the things that writers once dreamed up are now being tested in's almost vertiginous. You don't quite know what to think.

And then you see the woman at the end, feeding herself for the first time in fifteen years and smiling as people clap for her, and you do. You think, "This is wonderful."

If this is the future, I can't wait to see more of it.


Unknown said...

I saw this on the Maddow show. It's really something to see, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed. - William Gibson

Brendan said...

The Gibson quote is one I find particularly amusing, since of all the possible futures we've predicted over the centuries, so far the Cyberpunk one seems to be the closest to coming true.

We've got labs like this one experimenting with state-of-the-art cybernetic implants. Prosthetic limbs are more advanced than ever, due in no small part to the great demand for them amongst returning veterans. The internet is now a world-encompassing force that figures prominently in billions of people's everyday lives. Electronic books are becoming more prevalent. In Nevada they're currently preparing to start tests for a fully automated robotic car that is intended for eventual sale to civilians. The US military has hunter-killer robots that can kill you while being remote controlled from the far side of the world. In the US corporations are now legally people, and there have been massive riots against the rich and powerful around the world.The private market is making new headway in spaceflight technology to the point that there are very serious people talking very seriously about asteroid mining.

It's an interesting time to be alive.