What is the future of the Internet?

The internet is a global network of computers. Let’s look at the trends and see if we can predict which way it’s going to go:

  1. Bandwidth availability is increasing rapidly, and an increasing number of people will have gigabit internet direct to their home in the next few years. Mobile bandwidth over cellular networks is also increasing.
  2. Computing power in datacenters is increasing, so increasingly complicated processing can be done and delivered to the user over the web in real time.

Some of the potential applications in the next 5 years :

  • Console games played in real time over the internet with minimal latency, without the need for a powerful console box at home.
  • Multiple streams of 4K rez video delivered to screens in a single house.
  • Streaming hi-rez 6 DoF VR experiences.
  • Telecommuting - join meetings from anywhere as a 3D hologram.
  • Every appliance and electronic device in the house will be online, synced and controlled through a single hub like Google Home or Alexa.

Projecting outward, in the next 20–30 years :

  • Brain computer interfaces that let our brains go online, share thoughts and memories in vivo, not as photos or videos like we do today.
  • Virtual worlds overlaid over base reality, either as AR or as complete VR. You can choose to live your life in a virtual world, earning a living, forming and experiencing relationships with other real people and virtual AI characters, while your physical body is fed intravenously and nanobots keep your muscles from atrophy.
    • Experiences like this would also eliminate physical disability as a disadvantage.
  • AI and nanobots would enhance your brain and preserve mental health with the right chemical composition your brain needs for optimal function. No more mental health issues!

Further outward, in around 50–70 years (or maybe a few more) :

  • Humans would have outgrown the Earth and colonized at least Mars, the Moon and maybe a couple asteroids in the belt.
  • The internet would be interplanetary, though with the appropriate light delay.
  • The first artificial superintelligence would have emerged and would use the internet to manage and run our interplanetary civilization (I am going with the beneficial AI option here. No predictions if the AI is adversarial or agnostic to humanity).
  • CRISPR based Genetic edits and a merge with nanotechnology would see a new generation of humans born with their brains already online from birth. These humans would experience the internet as a part of their body, as inseparable from themselves as our eyes are from us today. Part of their life experience would be extensions of and extensions to the governing superintelligence.

 

By Swapneel Kshetramade