The Connected World: Jason Silva On The Internet Of Things
Insight How this new technological revolution will transform the way we interact with the world around us.
The Internet of Things is basically the holy grail of the connected world. The idea that computation, sensors and feedback will be extended into the world of everyday objects promises to transform the nature of how we interact with the world.
Think of it like this: Moore’s Law has shown us that technology advances exponentially. This means that today, the supercomputer in your pocket (your smartphone) is a million times cheaper, a million times smaller and a thousand times more powerful than what used to be a 60 million dollar super computer that occupied half a building 40 years ago.
This compression and miniaturization of computation is continuing. Sensors are shrinking down to sizes that can be embedded everywhere.
The implications are staggering. Wired co-founder Kevin Kelly has said that we are essentially ”cognitizing” the world, in much the same way that we electrified it with the advent of our domestication of electricity.
"The Internet of Things is really the Internet of Everything."
By extending smart sensors into everyday things, we are endowing these objects with a kind of intelligence – with the ability to give us feedback, process information and become part of our ”cognitive apparatus.”
Imagine your refrigerator informing your car to stop at the supermarket because you need to buy more food. Imagine your home adjusting the lighting, temperature and music to your tastes before you arrive home every day. Or your health wristband reminding you that you haven’t done enough exercise today.
Our tastes and preferences will become embedded dynamically into our surroundings. Our homes and dwellings are already extensions of our personality, but the Internet of Things has the power to amplify this exponentially. Author David Rose calls this revolution the world of ”enchanted objects,” whereby the magical qualities of "aliveness" will impregnate the world. More and more of the functioning of our minds will be offloaded into the world that surrounds us. More and more of the world around us will ”come alive.”
Cognitive philosopher Andy Clark wrote in Natural Born Cyborgs that human beings have always been adept at distributing their cognitive apparatus through the use of tools, and that our very minds are dynamic entities distributed in the feedback loops between brains, tools and environments, always co-opting ”non-biological props and scaffoldings” into our mental architecture. We are in a symbiotic relationship with our technologies and always have been, since the advent of stone tools.
The Internet of Things is really the Internet of Everything. It means we will have turned our minds inside out. Author Erik Davis said: ”The human design process will achieve a kind of infinite velocity, everything becomes linked with everything else and matter becomes mind.”
The line that always gets me is true: ”iPhone therefore I am.”