There can only be one future, but before it arrives we are not sure what it will look like. We can always imagine different futures and we opt for those that appeal to our taste. Some of us use mathematical techniques to extrapolate from available empirical data, focusing on local commercial or technological trends or using large-scale global models. Other observers invoke this or that imaginative scenario, using acknowledged facts where these can be seen to support their thesis and ignoring inconvenient information. Many technological prophecies are a mix of mathematical prediction and imaginative insight—and they are often shown to be unsound. This chapter sketches a few likely trends, though it is deliberatly vague about the relevant timescales. In one sense the whole of this book has been about the future: computer life-forms are emerging they are not yet abundant on earth.
KeywordsExpert System Gallium Arsenide Fuzzy Subset Computer Vision System Computer Life
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