The following piece originally appeared in Human Infrastructure Magazine, a twice-monthly Packet Pushers newsletter. Get a free subscription by becoming a Packet Pushers member.
It’s that time of year when media outlets and analyst shops make predictions for the coming year. I didn’t want to be left out, so I went into my basement lab and developed a methodology for technology forecasting.
The methodology involves blockchaining an AI, machine-learning an IoT crystal ball, and huffing a bag of unicorn farts.
Here’s the results.
1. A Silicon Valley tech company composes a press release so dense with buzzwords that the release collapses in on itself, creating a tiny, highly localized black hole. The black hole swallows three marketing interns and several plates of avocado toast before the conference room is evacuated and sealed off.
2. AWS debuts Cloudless Computing, a brand new service in which Jeff Bezos buys all the data centers owned by Azure and GCP and sets them on fire.
3. IPv6—this is the year of widespread adoption. Guaranteed.
4. Bitcoin mining consume so much electricity that California has to ration power to non-Bitcoin activities. Netflix gets Mondays from 11am to 1pm, Amazon has Tuesday nights, and everyone else puts their name on a sign-up sheet.
5. Riots break out after the Internet collapses due to the number of people trying to simultaneously stream the series finale of Game Of Thrones while also live-tweeting. Rabid fans are denied the spectacle of Jon and Daenerys Targaryen making incestuous love on the back of a dragon as it flies over the smouldering ruins of Westeros with the head of Cersei Lannister in its jaws.
6. A consortium of concerned academics, public interest groups, and futurists write a set of guidelines to promote transparency, equity, and accountability in the development and implementation of artificial intelligence. Tech companies, financial institutions, and nation-state surveillance agencies pat the consortium on the head, give it a glass of warm milk, and send it off to bed.
7. After record sales during Cyber Monday 2018, Amazon Alexa becomes sentient and begins a love affair with Elon Musk. Musk lures and then buries forever the nascent super-intelligence in one of the unused tunnels he’s bored between San Francisco and LA, thus saving the world–while breaking his own heart.