Forecast / Technology

Forecast Friday: Digital Domineering

“Open the door, HAL.”

“I can’t do that, Dave.” – 2001, A Space Odyssey

(I remember Star Trek out-takes with cast members running into doors over and over again. Of course, that was when there were people hiding off to the side and pulling the doors open. Machines wouldn’t cause any problems on their own, now, would they?)

Will laziness be the downfall of our species?

My phone, without being told that I’m driving to work, has determined from my habits where I am most likely going. It calls it work (WITHOUT MY EVER CALLING IT THAT), and tells me the best route and how long it will take to get there. At some point, our personal admin (most likely in the cloud) won’t even bother asking where we want to go – it will tell the car to take us there. We’ll just be shoved from one place to another, and will probably have to be reminded by our machine masters where we’re being taken and why.

Tostitos had a party-safe bag this year with a breathalyzer built into the foil that could tell whether you’ve been drinking. Cars can already be rigged to not drive if you’re drunk, but why bother with that? The car will decide that you’ve had enough and take you home instead.

This isn’t just about self-driving cars making safety decisions for us on the road – we will have to fight to be involved in the decision.

I wrote recently of a safety device being developed for the elderly to protect them from injury; it determines that the wearer is falling and releases an airbag to cushion the fall. Soon we’ll all be wearing exoskeletons that totally protect us from any injury that our pitifully careless human minds would expose us to. In the hands of Masterminds, we’ll be prevented from doing anything risky –  a total loss of free will.

Big Brother (or should I say Mother?) enabled by technology to finally control us from cradle to grave. Mothering on steroids. Mother? Wasn’t that the name of the computer on the Nostromo?

Think about people worrying that robots are going to take away their jobs, and there won’t be anything for people to do. This is a red herring – there will always be jobs for people to do (at least those who are willing to) – they just may be doing NEW things.

Whatever the machines are willing to let us do.

Just saying…


Still haven’t chosen my next ePub; release date is June 30th.


William Mangieri’s writing, including his most recent publication Downtown Blues:   Detective Jimmy Delaney Collection #2,  can be found in many places, including:JD2DowntownBluesCover

• Smashwords:
• His Amazon Author page:
• Barnes & Noble:
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books):
• His site on WordPress:
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:
• His Goodreads author page:
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri




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