50 years ago, Telstar!
By Wendy Zajack – follow her @wendyzajack
Let’s face it asking someone to predict the future – especially those who think about it daily — is tough. We are all very caught up with our day to day lives, the immediate problems of the moment both at work and home to think much about what the future will bring.
There is also something about scientists, engineers and technologists who are in the midst of making the future happen — they hate to guess. I know in the past when I have asked the question what will happen in the next 5, 10, 20 years? There are groans, breath exhaled and eyes rolled. The next words are not pearly gems of wisdom but something closer to “really Wendy – not that one again?”
So it must be dumb luck – or something that celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Telstar launch that I was able to pin someone down, Marcus Weldon, Chief Technology Officer of Alcatel-Lucent. Maybe it was a weak moment for him – but it turns into a lucky moment for us! My favorite is #5 – we would love to hear your opinions as well. You can muse more on these or add your own thoughts or ideas. You can comment here on this blog or on Twitter using the hashtag #Telstar50. Hopefully the ones from Marcus below will get your predictive juices flowing. I look at it this way – in 50 years if I am lucky enough to still be alive – I don’t think I will worry about having been wrong : )
1. We will all have digital personal assistants who automate our digital lives in every way, from predicting from what we want and need, to delivering it, scheduling it and giving advice and recommendations.
2. Our digital personal assistants will be a new form of companion that will replace some human companions!
3. Our digital assets and information needs will be delivered to us (by our digital companions) on any surface, medium or device – the Minority Report vision will be a reality
4. Our digital companions will define and manage our knowledge – intelligent use and presentation of that knowledge will therefore become more important than the knowledge itself.
5. The accidental location of your birth will not define your success, as all information and education is available to all: a true global meritocracy will exist.
6. We will have avatar companions who can emulate the physical presence of any digital friend to satisfy the need for human contact
7. We will have settled Mars, with a population of human avatars
8. The performance and capacity of the (wireless) telecom network will be the primary criterion for a nation’s economic success and desirability
9. 100Mbps wireless bandwidth will be provided to every user *simultaneously*
10. England will win the World Cup