When I use to watch Star Trek Voyager I was always fascinated with the holodecks. For those who may not know what a holodeck is, let me briefly explain…A holodeck is a virtual reality environment, in which the participant can partake in a variety of activities; such as playing a game, playing sport or simply hanging out in a 1930’s jazz bar listening to Frank Sinatra over a martini.
The other day I watched the pilot episode of an upcoming series called Caprica, which I think is going to be pretty good. Anyway in the show they have these virtual environments, which I guess are very similar to the Star Trek holodecks but take it further by resurrecting loved ones within these virtual worlds.
Although these fantastical technologies may seem like fictional portrayals of futuristic worlds, it may be less fictional than we think. The technology that some brainiacs are tinkering with in labs all across the earth, are already coming up with inventions that we once thought only existed in novels and movies. A virtual reality headset that can simulate all five senses, and robots that help autistic children develop their social skills are just some of the fascinating projects that will soon become not so virtual and part of reality.
Whist all of this sounds pretty cool, there is a little concerned thought inside of me, that wonders if the technology will be taken too far, perhaps even beyond our human control. Just how human will the machine that is predicted to achieve human-level artificial intelligence by the year 2029 be?
Perhaps I’ve been watching way too many sci-fi dramas like Sarah Connor Chronicles, but it does make me imagine a post apocalyptic world that involves way too much technology on legs, and not the nuclear bomb that leaves us in hiding underground for years waiting for the air to clear.