After collecting his likes on food pages, his fridge tweeted the supermarket the shopping list reviewed beforehand by the dietetic algorithm set into the sensor of his watch, as it analyzed in real time the number of consumed calories over the past and next weeks in the light of the synchronization of events and activities added into his Google Calendar. No recent running, none planned over a period of 15 days, this will prompt the landing of a large number of low-calorie foods into his fridge. His Google car (driver-less car), after dropping him off at his meeting, will go shopping by itself, make its way to school to pick up the kids who, on the way back home, will watch through their connected glasses (Google Glasses) a TV program interrupted by a commercial featuring their mum – whose image was captured and inserted – praising an educational website on the Roman period that, it just so happens, will be on their history test in a few days. But that, like everything else, the algorithm is already in the know.
World Wide Wear
Because of their ubiquity, screens will be invisible. They will be integrated into our walls, our windshields, our glasses, our watches, our tables, or better yet, our very skin. Google Glasses, connected watches, smartclothes, etc. Welcome to the World Wide Wear. Just like profits have replaced webpages throughout Internet and how it operates, screens no longer function as interfaces. Our bodies do. They are covered with sensors, surrounded with deformable advertising mirrors, measured (see the quantified self), displayed, scrutinized, optimized. Not to mention Kurtzweil’s transhumanism that makes its way into Google’s secret lab, "Google X". The choice of enhanced intelligence has out-argued the project of collective intelligence.
Make way for ubiquitous, widespread, diffuse algorithms. Algorithms for each and every choice, engine search, friend request on social networks, and decision. All that within a microsecond, based on the model of high-frequency trading. The calculability of the world made possible by the smartly-marketed project that has us believe we are the product, the interface, and the commodity money… leading to the looming probability of a no-longer-financial societal crash.
On this scale of milliseconds, given the Cloud industry’s computing power, the 30-plus billion connected objects by 2020, today’s database of one billion profiles – each of which leaving another billion data in its wake, and the advent of the next big thing that will generate an additional billion of web-users, we are now similar to the primates who are discovering the standing position, who observe that their hands are losing their stabilizing use, but have yet to figure that they will gain prehensility, versatility, and a universal interface.
Outerweb and Infranet
Cyberspace is no longer cyber. The outerweb is the web turned inside out like a glove. It is the other side of the mirror-screen. Its contents are intertwined with the world, worn “on”, “in” our bodies. The infranet is that of connected objects, outside of our bodies, or flaunted like brand-new clothes. Both in the outerweb and the infranet, most of the interactions go on below our level of perception, unbeknownst to us. The algorithms are on autopilot. Hypertext’s Internet was built on writing that reacted to mouse clicks, meaning one text plus its peripheral. The outerweb and infranet’s foundations are laid today on shifting gestures adapted to terminals that can now process them (tablets) and that will soon be owned by another billion of equipped and connected web-users (mobile phones), and on voice-user interfaces that will sound the death knell for keyboards, even writing maybe. These connected devices will be made autonomous because of the amount of data that we will freely input, all that made possible by interfaces embedded in our skin for no cognitive cost. No doubt that, in the eyes of the historian in science of the next century, the whole thing will mark a transition along the lines of that from scroll to codex, or from loud reading to silent reading. As to whether we’ll reap any benefits, it’s anybody’s guess.
Traduction de l'article original "Bienvenue dans le World Wide Wear", réalisée par Sébastien Jacotin, enseignant en Anglais à l'université de Nantes. Merci à lui 🙂