Its the Cloud, Man

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2008-10-23 Print this article Print

Platform Makeover: Virtualization, with software scaling exponentially on one machine to let operating systems multiply, has been steadily evolving.

Cloud computing, in which users pay for computing infrastructure and applications from vendors hosting customer data on their servers and storage arrays, is also changing computing models.

The cloud is popping now, with Amazon Web Services,, IBM and, of course, Google powering the charge. Don't count out Microsoft's Live Mesh for consumers either.

Further into the future, Fuss and Gustafson see nanotechnology, molecular computing, quantum computing and optical computing vaulting past silicon as Moore's Law is rendered obsolete. Instead of chips, the researchers anticipate there will be far smaller, lighter materials at work: atoms, DNA, electron spins and light.

Smart(er) World: Semantic technologies will enable computing devices to interpret patterns as humans do, via text, speech or situational means.

Computers will learn and make reasoned recommendations and predictions, such as telling the user to wear a raincoat after a forecast of inclement weather.

The researchers noted the existence of semantic Web search from Hakia and Microsoft's Powerset, as well as enterprise applications that identify relationships across data and IT systems. Predictive behavioral software will help boost employee performance.

In Web 3.0, systems will be able to learn at run-time from user input and system-learning about the environment, laying the foundation for Web 4.0, which will connect intelligence in an environment where people and machines reason and communicate together.

"The combination of semantic technology with networked people seems to be where we are going for the next few years. The semantic technology finds the relevant data that I'm interested in and then I connect it to someone who may be specifically working on a project," Fuss told me.

This will ultimately lead to potentially freaky artificial intelligence stuff, such as mind-reading software.


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