Not game related
Recently I've been thinking about data infrastructure. Like your house has pipes and wires and vents, individuals are extending themselves using a data infrastructure that allows them to wrangle important data while offloading the boring, fiddly part.
Anyone reading this has a significant data infrastructure. We have vast stockpiles of sessions, cookies, login names, emails, and so forth. While these seem like passive storehouses of data, the truth is that programs are constantly accessing those storehouses and applying that data. While we may not personally use the infrastructure, it's there.
Working with systems that produce vast amounts of data is my day job, and in those situations the data infrastructure is much more significant. 99% of the data that is pumped into the database will never be seen by a human, but it is piped through an infrastructure and transformed into human-useful form through complex transforms.
This sort of data infrastructure is going to get more and more common as individuals start realizing that they want to monitor vast amounts of data without needing to manhandle all of it. For example, how many more years will it be before many people have a health monitor that scans their body's overall health on a day-to-day or even hour-to-hour or minute-to-minute basis? Simply looking down and seeing the present situation is useful, but to really be useful it has to have a history of data on you and the ability to determine what kind of changes mean what kind of things.
Not just health data: I can think of literally dozens of things that could pump data into our "data bloodstream". Power production and use. City contamination or health. Whereabouts of your friends and what instant-community events are around. Data trade on solving evolutionary programming problems. Or maybe that last one's just me.
The point is that we'll be developing more and more autonomous computing systems just to support the kind of monitoring we want to do. Figuratively, we're expanding our senses and memories to new areas.
I think its safe to say that many of the things we do manually today will be done automatically tomorrow. Like choosing backgrounds for your computer screens, or skipping boring tweets, or looking for interesting news.I even think we'll probably see a new kind of programming language which is far smarter about determining what you want to accomplish and the best way to accomplish it.
Not just data will be wrangled, though. I imagine that in a decade or two, when I walk into a coffee shop, my computer will figure out exactly how much caffeine I need and what other additives I'll want in my espresso... and order it for me.
What do you think?