The only hope for humanity is that Google retain its “don’t be evil” unofficial mantra. If they ever slip, manage to appoint a tyrannical CEO or frankly just change their model we are all in for it! Google spends it’s days indexing the world and the web, both for current and future purposes — but it now wants to back up your entire life.
Google have been granted a patent to live record experiences using a wearable computing device for later playback. This might not seem a big step — they already do similar things with static photos backed up into its magical cloud, but if this latest patent is any indication of intention we are all heading for a weird future. Whats more Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror should be held up as some kind of prophecy instead of entertainment.
If you’re not familiar with the UK TV show Black Mirror, it features an examination of modern society and depicts a future ravaged by the effects of technology. Proceed directly to series 1 episode 3 “the entire history of you” and you will see how exactly live recording everything in your life might play out.
“Set in an alternative reality where most people have a ‘grain’ implanted behind their ear that records everything they do, see or hear. This allows memories to be played back either in front of the person’s eyes or on a screen, a process known as a ‘re-do’.” — Wikipedia, The entire history of you
Proof, if it were needed, that Google intends to slowly move more and more of our brain into the cloud. Solving bar arguments, finding a picture you took in 2001 easily and now remembering what your wife’s expression was when asked a question at 11:00am on June 10th 4 years ago. All live ‘experiences’ will be stored and searchable with user questions like “Who were the people at the business lunch this afternoon?”, or “What films did I watch last month?
Although filing for a patent doesn’t show immediate launch or even the ability in producing this technology. It does show at least a small amount of intention, possibly giving another usage to future versions of its Glass platform. This kind of technology could prove invaluable to enterprise or security organisations with the right implementation — however would privacy issues stop any kind of public use?
Humans just are not made to remember everything, we are fragile and complex individuals with different abilities. Black Mirror hits at the dystopian future but each episode is well inside the realms of possibility — our brains are already much shallower than they used to be, could they be pretty useless soon?