“There will be micro-intelligences all around us – systems that are very good and adaptive at particular tasks, and we will be immersed in environments stuffed full of helpful devices.”
He takes his theory further, all the way in to the tubes of the internet. In collaboration with Professor Tim Berners-Lee – the co-inventor of the World Wide Web – the pair have been investigating the next generation Web. “What is emerging now is a digital ecosystem,’ says Professor Shadbolt, ‘involving lots of simple systems which connect millions of complex ones – humans!”
And there begins to be a certain amount of logic and a lessening of the fear I feel for the day when I am some robots whipping boy. We see such developments already in websites such as Facebook and Flickr, and programs such as Google Earth and World of Warcraft. We are being linked together, ever so slowly by a collective conscience.