My latest column for the Fast Company magazine, Man & his Machines:
As intriguing as an app like Jetpac is, the future beyond it looks something like Google’s self-driving car. Although it’s still many years from commercial production, Google’s car is a good showcase for machines taking real-time data from our physical surroundings and mapping it to what’s already stored in the machine. Instead of waiting for us to make sense of it, it makes intelligent decisions. Eventually Google will take what it has learned from its car project and apply it to other information it knows about us–data streams from our Android phones, Nest devices, and Google Glass–creating a hybrid man-machine experience.
This brings up many moral and sociological questions: What will happen to serendipity and the joy of discovery? If we as humans struggle with Google Glass, how will we fit into this society? As Transcendence asks, Is it all really worth it? That’s one question that people, rather than a machine, will need to tackle.