^William Gibson called them "ghosts" (indulging in a little wordplay on 'ghost in the machine') in his book Mona Lisa Overdrive
A ghost was a personal assistant visible only to the person it belonged to. It was the ultimate personal info assistant. It could look things up, find things out, remind you of appointments, make excuses for you...basically the personal secretary every busy person could have ever hoped for.
that by a long shot.
My personal dream is getting something like the Librarian
in Neal Stephenson's sci-fi masterpiece Snow Crash
. If you haven't read this book yet - do so!
Stephenson posited a world where knowledge workers "goggle-in" to a computer generated 3D world called the Metaverse
. (After you read this book you'll swear this was where Second Life
got its inspiration from.) The Metaverse
is a mashup of everything you'd ever do online. It's the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, Steam, online shopping, web-enabled remote access and control, YouTube, NetFlix, Google, and several other things that haven't been engineered yet. And you interact with it by putting on goggles and using a 3D avatar instead of a keyboard and mouse. No brain implants required. This technology uses eye-tracking and other kinesthetic cues picked up by a camera mounted in every laptop which allows you to control your online avatar. After you get used to it, it becomes almost subconscious and automatic. Like walking or swimming or riding a bike.
Very cool. And very doable - even with today's technology.
Note: Google has the whole book up online. To get a sample of what the Librarian is, go here
, navigate back to page 106
and start reading from where it says: He is no longer connected to the network by a fiber optic cable...
and start reading.