December 29, 2012

IBM Getting Ahead Of Itself?

Every year the computer tech giant releases its own list of the predicted features of future technology. The goal here isn’t exactly to lay down a plan, but to set a flag for the power of computers today.

Every month, graphics cards are being outdated by newer and stronger versions of their product line, and the prices for this outdated hardware continue to drop. The XFX DD Radeon 6950 I bought six months ago isn’t even manufactured anymore, so you can imagine how I feel when worrying about being up-to-date with today’s top games.

IBM is one of the computer tech giants that came to prominence long before Microsoft and Apple, and they’ve been one of the leading opinionated giants that you actually want to hear from. At the end of every year, they release a list of predictions for computers in to be made in the next 5 years.

I don’t understand how realistic you’re trying to be if you’re setting a five-year plan EVERY year, but I can respect the enthusiasm. In the past they’ve foreseen tech blowouts such as touch screen smart phones and even the tablet market craze.

But this year’s prediction has me wondering if they haven’t gone completely over their heads with arrogance. In this year’s list, which they’ve dubbed the 5 in 5, IBM has a new prediction that might make you second guess just how close we are to a synthetic replica of a human.

It’s worth noting that IBM has usually been right about their predictions, with the arrival of social media and such. Although I don’t see how difficult it could be to come up with the craziest innovation ideas.

However, IBM shocked us in our tracks with their prediction of computers having all 5 senses integrated in the next 5 years. This goal is far off from my rocket launcher idea, but do you honestly think it’s any less crazy?

We’re transitioning into a world where computers are becoming more cognitive and at the same time more susceptible to blending in with our every day environments. It’s not the same as the streetlights or digital counters on gas pumps when we do our weekly fill-up. What we’re talking about here is the innovation of computers that utilize our very own senses of tasting and touching to assist us.

Consider the fact that computers possess far superior observational skills when observing things like visual photos or paintings.

They have hard drives and memory cores that aren’t relative, and depending on how well they’re treated, can run much more efficiently than the human mind. If I asked you to paint an exact replica of the Mona Lisa, you wouldn’t be able to. Not because of a lack of skill, but because your brain doesn’t have the capacity to contain that amount of detail and attention right down to the pixel.

Computers can also detect the behaviors and physical actions of people and objects right down to the very smallest square centimeter, and can do so in less than three seconds.

They can record sound and vocal information in ways so specific in detail, that they could determine when you lie or if you ate applesauce or macaroni and cheese this morning.

They also possess motion sensory technology that allows them to feel out earthquakes and seismic activity from the other side of the planet.

Can you do that?

The point to this is that given the right programming and connection between software and hardware, alongside things like sympathy and love, we could have better humans. This is both scary and remarkable, depending on who you are, but is it foreseeable in 5 years?

I doubt it.

The factor of time is too dramatic to set such a window so closely from now, but I could be wrong. What do you all think?

Let me know in the comments!!!

Image Credit: Photos.com

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