Wooden prototype of a Palm Pilot made by inventor Jeff Hawkins

Above, a fake, wooden version of a Palm Pilot, made by inventor Jeff Hawkins to figure out whether he’d want to carry around a personal digital assistant all day long; such fakes are known as “preotypes” — “pretend prototypes.” The perils of self-driving cars were predicted in this witty movie from 1911. A list of Mastodon instances looks oddly like lists of BBSes or USENET groups from the early 90s. This guy makes pretty awesome art using Excel. omg I can’t stop playing Flipping Legend! Instructions on how to build an igloo, by an Inuit man trying to preserve this historic skill. Transcriptions of the chitchat on your first date: Some predictions on how high-quality voice dictation might change everyday life.


2 thoughts on “

  1. Michael B

    Great finds, Clive! Thanks for your recent posts. I particularly enjoyed The Atlantic article about AI transcription. I hadn’t thought about the implications of perfect transcription before this.

    1. Clive Post author

      I hadn’t either, really! I’ve written about automatic transcription, but only in the context of one person talking to the machine and having their voice transcribed (that Wired column is here). I had assumed, probably foolishly, that it would be a looong time before machine translation is capable of transcribing multiple voices talking, doing overtalk, with background noise contagion, etc. I’m sure that will still be hard, but I may happen faster than I previously expected … and when it does happen, the social effects are gonna be pretty wild.


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