Problems in Google Glass dystopia

player pianoby Edvvc

Google Glass in 10 years: The view from dystopia
[Via PandoDaily]

Recently Google announced it was launching a quantum artificial intelligence lab with a company associated with NASA, while, at its developer conference, it talked up seven new apps for Google Glass, the soon-to-be-available smartphone-on-a-face.

The fact that the announcements came on the same day is, I’m sure, a coincidence, but it got me thinking. Combine quantum computing with hands free-mobile devices and in, say, a decade, the lens through which we view the world could be decidedly different.


The resulting short fiction is entertaining but omits one simple thing – tools like this only become ubiquitous because they help humans connect with each other. Every technology that has rapidly been adopted in the last generation pretty much has social roots. And benefits.

If this really was a dystopia, people would not be using these fancy lens. No one is making them.

This sort of article is not new at all. Read the one John Philip Sousa wrote in 1905  – The Menace of Mechanical Music  – regarding the terrible harm phonographs and player pianos were going to have on the national soul.

From the days when the mathematical and mechanical were paramount in music, the struggle has been bitter and incessant for the sway of the emotional and the soulful. And now, in this the twentieth century, come these talking and playing machines, and offer again to reduce the expression of music to a mathematical system of megaphones, wheels, cogs, disks, cylinders, and all manner of revolving things, which are as like real art as the marble statue of Eve is like her beautiful, living, breathing daughters.

He complained about how dances would lose any enjoyment because the band on the phonograph would not have to stop playing and people would drop exhausted from the effort.

Nope, mechanically reproduced music put the power of music into the hands of millions. It created an whole new way for people to create and exploit social communities. They became popular because of their social effects.

It was not accepted simply because purveyors tricked people into using them. The tools provided real benefits to individuals

Similarly with this. If ubiquitous data through contact lessons actually helps people in their social interactions, especially leveraging abilities in exponential fashion, then it will be adopted.

If people feel there is no benefit or they are being played, then they will not use these. 

Besides, if you want read really great fiction about a IT dystopia, find a copy of the Shockwave Rider