I had a conversation with an acquaintance of
mine the other day, he is the European director of a large
It went something like this, he said that once
the computer industry had produced this ultimate computing / A.I.
system, that, as he put it, "I keep going on about", and people had
access to all of the storage and processing power that they could
ever possibly want. Then that market will have become exhausted, it
would become a static market, so investors, would then move on into
new markets?, because this, as he said, "was the way it has always
been". There is always more money to be made and markets ready to
tap, he told me.
He is a bio-chemist and a rather bright chap,
but I couldn't get him to see, just how stupid this type of thinking
was, but I am sure that he is fairly representative, of a lot of
businessmen. The true implications of the issues raised in this
ebook, have not, as far as I can see, materialised at least in his
mind, as rational thought. Maybe it's because he doesn't want to
deal with or believe in, a future scenario that doesn't fit in, with
his own hopes and dreams. But it does seem to me, that most of the
people in business or on higher incomes, just think that this A.I. /
I.T. stuff, won't affect them or their businesses, at least in a
negative way, or maybe they think that money will protect them?
Nanotech as Drexler envisions it, will be the
last market and if we do achieve self aware A.I. and it becomes
smarter than we are, then once again, no market will be safe,
ultimately any business as it exists today, will no longer exist.
which have been major players in the development of hardware for the
telecommunications industry, are now shedding up to halve their
workforce so as to streamline operations, this is no surprise at
least to me. This is part and parcel of the chain reaction scenario,
as we reach a certain level of hardware, then it becomes
increasingly difficult to sell that hardware, because the visible
improvements to both industry and the public are not worth paying
for. In other words, companies can churn out better hardware, but if
it is only marginally more capable than what has gone before, then
it becomes pointless as far as the consumer is concerned. Why shell
out on new hardware, that will not recoup it's initial investment or
could be better spent on more lucrative returns. This can also be
seen in the mobile phone market, with companies trying to sell new
fancy phones, to an already flooded market. As the mobile market,
matures into an always on grid connected PDA phone, with
holographic projection capabilities and its own
machinery, capable of reproducing any of the virtual goods, that
might be displayed from the global net, and with bluetooth type neural
connections to the brain, then the question is, where do
we go from there.
Your online A.I. VR salesmen will of course be
programmed to sell these new devices to you, so you ask what does
this new device do that my old mobile didn't, the sales avatar says,
well it will also make the tea, whilst providing you with
instantaneous teleportation to any place in the universe, oh really,
well the last device you sold me, helped put me out of work? Oh
say's the salesavatar, so what did you used to do then, oh I used to
be a mobile phone salesmen, but now I'm broke, anyway how much did
you say this new model costs?
Once nanotechnology matures into the vision
that Drexler has for it, then you won't be able to sell anything to
anybody, it is a natural progression, but the effect this technology
will have on the workforce and business as it operates today, could
be devastating, a bit like what's happened to Ericsson's workforce?
Or as Mr
William Gibson of Neuromancer
fame puts it:- Nanotechnology just makes my brain stop! If
they can get that one going, all bets are off. Everyone's immortal,
capitol is meaningless - I just can't function, All Tomorrows
Parties - here's your nanotech - I quit?
"Part of an interview
reproduced from PC
licensed by Future Publishing Ltd
a Future Network plc group company, UK 2001.
All rights reserved. PC Format
is the trademark of Future
Publishing Ltd, a Future Network plc group company used under