Most people have no clue or qualification to talk about what the future will be like. Predictions of the world in 20 or 30 years’ time are essentially just guesses built on more guesses, some more educated than others. If you really want to peer into the crystal ball to see how the world will change, though, you could do worse than ask someone who has already changed it.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has developed a curious habit of allowing users to ask him questions in town-hall style Q&A sessions. Last time, he defended Facebook’s effects on face-to-face conversation and told Shakira how excited he was about personal education. In another session yesterday evening, he entered the realms of divination when asked about Facebook’s own future.
‘One day, I believe we'll be able to send full rich thoughts to each other directly using technology. You'll be able to think of something and your friends will immediately be able to experience it too if you like," Zuckerberg said.
‘In the future video will be even more important than photos. After that, immersive experiences like VR will become the norm. And after that, we'll have the power to share our full sensory and emotional experience with people whenever we'd like.’
That might seem pretty far out, but as Steve Hilton told us recently, such things can become normal very quickly.
One has to wonder what the implications of telepathic technology will be for customer service. The prospect of irate internet users hurtling their frustrations directly into the brains of executives will send shivers down many a spine, though apparently not Zuckerberg's, as he seems to think it’s a great idea.
The implications also for privacy and data protection might be a little more serious, but presumably that's a detail for the lawyers. Answering other questions, the Facebook founder told Arnold Schwarzenegger that he exercises three times a week and refused to answer whether he can jump over a chair like Bill Gates. Oh, to get inside the mind of a genius…