If I were to make a speculative prediction, it would be that we are heading towards an all-seeing future. Every event of our lives will be recorded and available to us (and possibly others) for instantaneous playback. The Cloud will become the repository of all information, recorded in high-definition video, possibly from multiple angles, for us all to dip into as we see fit. Maps, street views and the insides of many buildings will be available to us in real time. An army of cameras, satellites and other sensors will provide continuous streaming information to those that can afford it.
Allied to data, there will be a whole chain of semantic processes working in the background, making sense of this data: a bit like the way tags work on YouTube videos or blogs. Through this approach, recall can work correctly.
We won’t need to type in information. We can talk to the Cloud whenever we want. Perhaps it will even be able to anticipate our needs, as it takes control over areas of our lives, such as driving to work.
There would be no need for eyewitness testimony. We’ll see things as they happened. There would be no need for memory: you just set the pointer at a particular date and time, and press play. Perhaps contracts, even money, will be obsolete: since we can play back agreements as they happen.
Such change will not come overnight. Privacy, security, copyright, evidence, equality, democracy: all will need massive in the face of ever improving technology and visibility into our daily lives. Heated arguments about the State’s rights to our information will continue to rage.
It might sound crazy, if we were not three-quarters of the way there already.