Is our society ready for multiple partner relationships?http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/Vijay_Nagaswami/article2783036.ece

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Predictions on virtual reality  partner made by Ray Kurzweilhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predictions_made_by_Ray_Kurzweil

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2019

  • A $1,000 personal computer has as much raw power as the human brain.
  • The summed computational powers of all computers is comparable to the total brainpower of the human race.
  • Computers are embedded everywhere in the environment (inside of furniture, jewelry, walls, clothing, etc.).
  • People experience 3-D virtual reality through glasses and contact lenses that beam images directly to their retinas (retinal display). Coupled with an auditory source (headphones), users can remotely communicate with other people and access the Internet. The early stages of this Technology are already apparent as of 2011: http://www.popsci.com/gadgets/article/2011-11/terminator-eyes-might-not-be-far
  • These special glasses and contact lenses can deliver "augmented reality" and "virtual reality" in three different ways. First, they can project "heads-up-displays" (HUDs) across the user's field of vision, superimposing images that stay in place in the environment regardless of the user's perspective or orientation. Second, virtual objects or people could be rendered in fixed locations by the glasses, so when the user's eyes look elsewhere, the objects appear to stay in their places. Third, the devices could block out the "real" world entirely and fully immerse the user in a virtual reality environment.
  • People communicate with their computers via two-way speech and gestures instead of with keyboards. Furthermore, most of this interaction occurs through computerized assistants with different personalities that the user can select or customize. Dealing with computers thus becomes more and more like dealing with a human being.
  • Most business transactions or information inquiries involve dealing with a simulated person.
  • Most people own more than one PC, though the concept of what a "computer" is has changed considerably: Computers are no longer limited in design to laptops or CPUs contained in a large box connected to a monitor. Instead, devices with computer capabilities come in all sorts of unexpected shapes and sizes.
  • Cables connecting computers and peripherals have almost completely disappeared.
  • Rotating computer hard drives are no longer used.
  • Three-dimensional nanotube lattices are the dominant computing substrate.
  • Massively parallel neural nets and genetic algorithms are in wide use.
  • Destructive scans of the brain and noninvasive brain scans have allowed scientists to understand the brain much better. The algorithms that allow the relatively small genetic code of the brain to construct a much more complex organ are being transferred into computer neural nets.
  • Pinhead-sized cameras are everywhere.
  • Nanotechnology is more capable and is in use for specialized applications, yet it has not yet made it into the mainstream. "Nanoengineered machines" begin to be used in manufacturing.
  • Thin, lightweight, handheld displays with very high resolutions are the preferred means for viewing documents. The aforementioned computer eyeglasses and contact lenses are also used for this same purpose, and all download the information wirelessly.
  • Computers have made paper books and documents almost completely obsolete.
  • Most learning is accomplished through intelligent, adaptive courseware presented by computer-simulated teachers. In the learning process, human adults fill the counselor and mentor roles instead of being academic instructors. These assistants are often not physically present, and help students remotely.
  • Students still learn together and socialize, though this is often done remotely via computers.
  • All students have access to computers.
  • Most human workers spend the majority of their time acquiring new skills and knowledge.
  • Blind people wear special glasses that interpret the real world for them through speech. Sighted people also use these glasses to amplify their own abilities.
  • Retinal and neural implants also exist, but are in limited use because they are less useful.
  • Deaf people use special glasses that convert speech into text or signs, and music into images or tactile sensations. Cochlear and other implants are also widely used.
  • People with spinal cord injuries can walk and climb steps using computer-controlled nerve stimulation and exoskeletal robotic walkers.
  • Computers are also found inside of some humans in the form of cybernetic implants. These are most commonly used by disabled people to regain normal physical faculties (i.e. - Retinal implants allow the blind to see and spinal implants coupled with mechanical legs allow the paralyzed to walk).
  • Language translating machines are of much higher quality, and are routinely used in conversations.
  • Effective language technologies (natural language processing, speech recognition, speech synthesis) exist
  • Access to the Internet is completely wireless and provided by wearable or implanted computers.
  • People are able to wirelessly access the Internet at all times from almost anywhere
  • Devices that deliver sensations to the skin surface of their users (i.e.--tight body suits and gloves) are also sometimes used in virtual reality to complete the experience. "Virtual sex"--in which two people are able to have sex with each other through virtual reality, or in which a human can have sex with a "simulated" partner that only exists on a computerbecomes a reality.
  • Just as visual- and auditory virtual reality have come of age, haptic technology has fully matured and is completely convincing, yet requires the user to enter a V.R. booth. It is commonly used for computer sex and remote medical examinations. It is the preferred sexual medium since it is safe and enhances the experience.
  • Worldwide economic growth has continued. There has not been a global economic collapse.
  • The vast majority of business interactions occur between humans and simulated retailers, or between a human's virtual personal assistant and a simulated retailer.
  • Household robots are ubiquitous and reliable.
  • Computers do most of the vehicle driving—-humans are in fact prohibited from driving on highways unassisted. Furthermore, when humans do take over the wheel, the onboard computer system constantly monitors their actions and takes control whenever the human drives recklessly. As a result, there are very few transportation accidents.
  • Most roads now have automated driving systems—networks of monitoring and communication devices that allow computer-controlled automobiles to safely navigate.
  • Prototype personal flying vehicles using microflaps exist. They are also primarily computer-controlled.
  • Humans are beginning to have deep relationships with automated personalities, which hold some advantages over human partners. The depth of some computer personalities convinces some people that they should be accorded more rights.
  • While a growing number of humans believe that their computers and the simulated personalities they interact with are intelligent to the point of human-level consciousness, experts dismiss the possibility that any could pass the Turing Test.
  • Human-robot relationships begin as simulated personalities become more convincing.
  • Interaction with virtual personalities becomes a primary interface
  • Public places and workplaces are ubiquitously monitored to prevent violence and all actions are recorded permanently. Personal privacy is a major political issue, and some people protect themselves with unbreakable computer codes.
  • The basic needs of the underclass are met. (Not specified if this pertains only to the developed world or to all countries)
  • Virtual artists—creative computers capable of making their own art and music—emerge in all fields of the arts.

[edit]2029