Interesting documentary on the box last night; came on it by chance as I was checking the recordings. It was ‘Secrets of Silicon Valley’, and I watched it all the way through. (Don’t know if it will play in the States) Forget Google’s self-driving car trials, with a vast expenditure in producing, well, a car without the need for a steering wheel. Move into the slow lane, and fix your 18-wheeler truck with a custom set of automated brake and accelerator pedals set on a standard base, fit your truck with cctv cameras feeding into a computer which also controls the pedals; feed in the custom mapping and control application; then flick the red switch, and you have a driverless truck. True, right now the automated functions work best on the open road, with a lot more work needed in urban environments, and the founders of the system admit that, for city driving, there is no chance that it would be allowed: but just think, suddenly, in America at least, the drivers can relax for all those open miles, with concentration only needed at the start and the end of the trek.
The theme of the show was ‘Disruption’, and those whom the documentary maker was looking at was the NEXT generation of software developers. These are people who will be deciding how our grandkids work, live and go forwards. For a balanced view of the prophetic words spoken in the ‘Silicon Valley’ documentary, and for a look back in time at what the BBC saw as the coming revolution, check out ‘The Chips are Down’, (over an hour long, but well worth the time )made in 1977. My brother watched it, and wrote to me in South Africa. He said, ‘Frightening!’ Most of the predictions have come true, and more so; obviously the Internet wasn’t even on the horizon, I wouldn’t have been able to type ‘bbc microchip documentary’, then tap a trackpad three times, and resurrect the video to review it, but a ‘Gamechanger’ it really was! So: Secrets? Will someone seated at a console in forty years time gaze at the ‘Secrets’ documentary, smile and watch as Jamie Bartlett’s prophetic words unfolded before his eyes? Would he smile as he reviewed the breakneck changes which went so much further that the ‘Silicon Soothsayers’ could even predict? Check back in forty years time!