My post yesterday asked what it might be like if we actually had the instant knowledge upload capability from “The Matrix”, In response, J. Peterson commented:
“Your Google Glass frames could handle this. Start face recognition on the person your talking to. Listen for voice and context cues (”…I write for the New York times”, GPS coordinates in the city). Then it’s just a matter of managing the awkward stare as you try to skim the articles floating just above her head.”
It’s an insightful comment, but one could argue that what Google Glass is, in a sense, the antithesis of Trinity’s skill upload. The former provides a tantalizing glimpse into a world of knowledge, whereas the latter actually delivers that world.
Imagine, for the sake of argument, a future society where everyone is “wearing”. In such a world, my conversant would expect me to know, mere seconds into our conversation, the titles of her articles in the NY Times — they would be showing on my heads-up display. But I would still know none of the substance.
In reality, I spent more time reading those articles after the party than we had spent conversing. Google Glass and similar devices, such as the Vuzix M100, cannot replicate that experience. Whereas an actual brain upload (which is most likely decades away), might indeed provide true in-depth knowledge in real time.
In a way it’s like the difference between a spyglass and a jetpack. The spyglass will let you see the contours of a distant mountain that remains tantalizingly out of reach. The jetpack will take you there.