Laurent ClauseQ: How do you imagine real-life computers and digital technologies in ten years? A: The two things I notice about my computer compared to ten years ago are that (a) the hardware is faster and better and (b) the software is bossier and less comfortable to use. Itís a shame to see our hardware advances squandered on bloatware. Like the Soviet-style Communism states, Microsoft and Apple will collapse within ten years. One change thatís still happening is the use of cyberspace. Touted as the next big thing in the 1980s, virtual reality has today taken hold in computer games. Graphics cards have reached a mind-boggling level, with more to come. In ten years, weíll have an intelligent, cooperative 3D user interface. Two cute applications I foresee quite soon are stunglasses and lifeboxes. Stunglasses are opaque glasses with small video cameras. The user sees video on the insides of the lenses. The video is realtime filtered and transformed version of the world around. Thus you can turn your world into bright cartoons; itís a way of getting high without drugs. A lifebox is a device that learns your life story and can imitate you in talking to your descendants. When I retire, I can begin programming my lifebox by telling stories to it. The lifebox interrupts and asks details, I fill in more and more. Then the users can do the same, listen to the lifebox and interrupt at any time. Itís a way of storing the fractal that is oneís life story. Q: Describe some digital futures youíve envisioned in your science -fiction tales. A: Self-reproducing robots. Intelligent flying cameras the size and shape of dragonflies. People who only have sex with robots. Robot colonies on the moon. Robots fighting wars with humans over oil, which is used to make the plastics they need. Iím very big on computers that arenít made of silicon and metal. I foresee a time of computers make of what I call piezoplastic, which is like an intelligent plastic mollusk. As does a mollusk, my soft computers will display colors on their skins. I often write about a universal communication device called an uvvy. Itís soft and you wear it on the back of your neck. It has an interface directly to your brain via electromagnetic fields. Itís like a cell phone and a wireless web browser in your head, almost like telepathy. The border between biology and computer science will become ever more permeable. Ultimately we wonít have any machines at all; every appliance or tool will be some kind of tweaked organism. Genomics is the true nanotechnology.
Interview to Rudy Rucker for líOl, a French computer magazine. Paris, 3/6/2003