The past of technology was surely a boon - and guess what, the future is more promising. Let us try and visualize some of the key technologies which promise a magnificent tomorrow.
One such domain is Ubiquitous Computing. If you Google it you will get the followingdefinition, “machines that fit the human environment instead of forcing humans to enter theirs”.Confused, aren’t you? Ok I make your task easier. Let’s opt for a example.
It’s your birthday. You are the king today. It’s just that you have to demand whatever you want. You demand ice cream. Someone brings it for you. You keep it in the refrigerator. But wait..!!!! Yourmom has already made some jelly for you and she wants that jelly to set at particular temperature.At the same time you want the ice cream cold enough for you to enjoy. You need to lower thetemperature. But that will ruin the jelly. So how do you strike a balance?
Here comes our cool, funky Ubiquitous Computing. An intelligent chap he is. He is currently in thetemperature controller of your refrigerator. Like the sun God Helios, he is observing whatever entersand leaves the fridge. He knows everything. Now he has a tough situation in hand. He knows thatthere is the jelly in there and also the ice cream. Now he wants to control the temperature. Like theGod, he has prior knowledge about the best temperature a jelly sets and the best temperature for theice cream. He will take the average of both and set it accordingly. Your mom is happy, and your joyknows no bounds. (Come on, now you have two tasty dishes for your birthday). And all these thingshappen without your intervention. The same thing can be applied when you want to control the room temperature. Ubiquitous Computing will deal with it quite nicely..
Another domain which I want to talk about is, “Artificial Intelligence”. A standard definition given byAlan Turing, a prominent scientist :-
You are in the year 4050. You sit in a taxi. You are astonished. The taxi has no driver. At the sametime, you hear a sweet voice emitted from the speaker. “Good morning Sir. It’s a pleasant weathertoday. Sir, I request you to please tell me where you want me to drop you ? “
You are still stunned. But then you say “Parkinson Street, Detroit”. The sweet voice again comesout. “Ok Sir. Have a wonderful journey”. And vroom…!!!
You reach the place in no time. The car dynamically decided the optimum route to reach yourdestination according to the prevailing weather and traffic conditions.
Have you ever played real time strategic games like Age of Mythology or Age of Empires? In suchgames you need to build a empire of your own and fight against your enemies. Your enemies arethe computer players who have a very high level of AI. In short, they are intelligent programs. They are very sophisticated. If you win a game against them, they will try to learn what went wrong. Whydid they lose the game? After coming to the conclusions, they will optimize themselves and giveyou a really hard play. In fact, the AI implemented in such games have been used as case studies inmany universities. One of the main objectives of AI is to bring a computer closer and closer to theway a human being acts and thinks. Computers are dumb. They only do what they are programmedto do. So by letting them imbibe AI, they take a step forward to achieve the perfection of a humanbrain.
One more interesting domain which is the next step of AI is Artificial Neural Network. For understanding this domain you need to understand what “neurons” are. Neurons are small cells inthe human brain which generate electric signals and transport information. A dense network of suchneurons in the brain makes the brain work. Similarly in Artificial Neural Network the neurons aresmall very less power computers which are interconnected together to perform some useful work.In conventional computers, everything is programmed. You know the input, you know the outputand you even know how to achieve that output. But in ANN, you don’t know how to achieve thedesirable result. In ANN, you just give a initial training set to the network. From this training set, the network will try to devise a way to generate the required output. You need not worry about how it willgenerate the output, you are only concerned about the output. This interconnected neurons or smallprocessing elements are really a boon for you. Its magic..!!! The networks will decide how to producethe output. You need not write an algorithm or program for it. This technique is used in complex taskslike weather forecasting where it becomes difficult for a human being to process such huge weatherinformation.
Cloud computing now forms the crux of the Web services provided by the use of Internet. Have you been to sites like Saavn or In.com? Saavn is a dedicated music service provided to the users for free.Just have a internet connection, and you can listen to your favourite songs anywhere in the world. The site has a full list of albums ranging from the year 1960 to the present year 2012. But have you everimagined , where such huge quantities of information have been stored. They are stored in a networkof servers which are nothing but in Cloud Computing terminology called as a cloud. Cloud providesstorage space. This storage space is accessible from anywhere in the world.