from the mentalnet-is-like-a-series-of-tubes dept.
Esther Schindler writes "'Over the past century a lot of science fiction has been published, showcasing a lot of wild ideas, and if you sit enough authors at enough typewriters or word processors, somebody is bound to get a few things right. Science fiction's greater influence, though, goes beyond whether or not the authors can make a good guess,' writes Kevin J. Anderson in Science Fiction's Take on the Future of Computers: Visionaries and Imaginaries. 'Rather than predicting the future, the SF genre is much better at inspiring the future. Visionaries read or see cool ideas in their favorite SF books or films, then decide how to make it a reality.' So Anderson assembled a set of visionaries, and asked them where they thought computing is headed: Mike Resnick, Robert J. Sawyer, Greg Bear, Michael A. Stackpole, Dr. Gregory Benford, and Christopher Paolini gaze into their crystal balls. 'Forget artificial intelligence. The future of computing is artificial consciousness, and it will be here within 20 years, and maybe much sooner than that,' says Sawyer. 'Our future wired world will have smart, wireless robots — gofers in hospitals, security guards with IR vision at night, lawn mowers, etc. We ourselves will be wired, with devices and embedded sensors taking in data and giving it out — a two way street,' contributes Benford."
Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity?
And where does it go after it leaves the toaster?
-- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"