January 31, 2007

Discovery Channels view of 2057

Discovery channel has a series on the future of 2057

They are way to conservative on what they are projecting. The chat transcript with series host futurist Michio Kaku shows that he is not up to date on the latest technologies. He thinks that the most powerful quantum computer calculation is 3*5=15. This was the most powerful but now there is Dwave performing seating plan algorithms.

He thinks the longest carbon nanotubes are 7mm.
Arrays of carbon nanotubes can be grown over 7 mm long

4 cm long carbon nanotubes were made in 2004

Michio also does not believe in the singularity and thinks that Moore's law could end in 2020.

The show has a view of automated robots helping to perform invasive heart replacement surgery. I think regenerative medicine and less invasive techniques will be more dominant.


Michael said...

When I saw the previews for this I got all excited, but then I thought it would be all dumbed-down, distorted, and sensationalistic.

bw said...

I saw the shows. It had dramatized scenarios. It also had some documentaries of existing research.

But each section was a narrow review of one groups research. Like the braingate chip for computer brain interfacing. Something that could have a currently cool demo like a disabled person moving a mouse.

The dramatizations of scenarios were not plausible.
Like having a working space elevator for several years and having solar cell research come in at the last minute to avoid a resource war. The tech needed for a space elevator would have been usable to help provide energy solutions.

Jonathan said...

Yeah, I was pretty disappointed as well. And the idea of network security 50 years from now being broken by today's virus' is laughable. The OS kernel wouldn't even be recognizable.

They didn't give any mention of nanomedicine with nanobots, advanced cybernetics...

I also thought that they didn't give artificial intelligence enough credit.

It became obvious that Dr Kaku doesn't believe in the law of accelerating returns.

btw, brian, why did you redesign your site layout? I liked the old one better!

bw said...

I redesigned the layout to go with something that took advantage of the new features in the latest version of blogger.
In particular I needed a layout that would work with the blogger tags.

I thought the muted color scheme looked more legible.

Were there particular things you liked about the old look ?

I will probably try to fork off some content into joomla, where I would have my own domain. Maybe set up a wiki and portal and create a collaborative future news site. Any comments or input on that kind of effort?

In regards to that computer centric episode. I thought the holographic sharks would be visual pollution. They should have those only visible to the user. Feed the image to the retina or via some non-invasive communication feed to the brain. I also failed to see the economic benefits.
Also, the invisibility using cameras to project backgrounds has a lot of technical problems. How to handle people viewing from different angles and perspectives? This is where you would need holographic materials to present different views from different angles. Of course the better way would be to use metamaterials.

Although if you are fighting anyone with reasonable competitive future tech, the enemy soldiers would have sonar, radiation sensors, motion detectors, infrared, high power microwaves, terahertz radiation detectors/scanners etc...

Camaflage and invisibility would have to compete with far better sensing technology. If you are going against some chump with only his vision then you are shooting sashimi on your plate.

Jonathan said...

With regards to the site look & feel, I think I have something against staring at an almost entirely white background. This comment section is nice, but to much white can get on my nerves. I need more contrast and color. It is just my opinion though.

A wiki site would be pretty cool! If you have the time, you should push that forward. A collaborative news site would be pretty cool too. Not sure what kind of pre-built tools there are off hand for that kind of thing though.

The camera-camouflage seemed pretty amateurish to me as well. It was almost like somebody put some of the buzz topics of today's tech and just made up a story about slightly more advanced versions of it and tried to pass it off as the future.

Just wait, in 10-15 years when they make these kinds of shows, they will have futurists like Kurzweil doing the narrative.