Thursday, January 03, 2008

predictions for 2008

It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future
- Yogi Berra
Once again, it is time for me to put a stake in the ground, to fearlessly predict what is going to happen over the course of 2008. As the great philosopher-poet Yogi points out, this ain't easy.
The best way to predict the future is to invent it
- Alan Kay
What makes this harder is that for the first time in this millennium, I'm not actively building the future. I expect that I will again soon, but for now I have many pieces of technology and knowledge to catch up on. So, I'm shooting in the dark more than normal. No more stalling, on to the predictions.

  1. The teams I built at Linden Lab will do amazing things this year (duh!)
  2. Social search engines -- such as Foxmarks, Wikia Search, and others -- will generate initial results that are strong enough for Google to release a Google Social Search Beta to great fanfare and limited use
  3. The breakthrough feature on the '08 iPhone will be video capture, editing, and video blogging more than 3G
  4. In Europe, virtual world content will increasingly fall under country of origin rules, greatly simplifying the European Union regulatory requirements
  5. Games and virtual worlds will once again be vilified in the name of "family values" during the 2008 Presidential election
  6. Despite number 5, games and virtual worlds will be the cornerstone of at least one nation's effort to reform their education system
  7. Despite additional packet tampering and shaping by broadband providers, no effective network neutrality legislation will be passed
  8. Between AIR, Gears, GWT, Silverlight, and Weave, some technology will nail a user experience that smoothly supports both Web and offline usage via a browser
  9. As the actors join the writers, more AAA content will be developed for machinima, virtual worlds, and the web as a way to give audiences fresh material without crossing picket lines
  10. By the end of 2008 I will be building or working on something as challenging and interesting as Second Life
Obviously, that last one is the one that matters the most to me.

So, what do you think will happen in 2008?


kullervo said...

Striking writer and SL resident here. There is certainly a move among the writers to create new original material. StrikeTV is expected to launch on the Internet soon. I've only just gotten interested in the possibilities of machinima. My goals in the coming weeks/months on the sidewalk outside of Fox are:

1. Come up with machinima project ideas.
2. Teach myself to play the bagpipes.

Frustrated creativity will find unusual outlets. You have a winning prediction here. Happy new year!

Rusalka Writer, SL dob 6/11/07

Chuck Smith said...

Dear Cory,

I have been waiting for the Croquet organization to get up and out of the box. However, something a few days ago drew my attention back to SL. I had looked at SL a couple of years ago and did not think it would fill the need I see. But now I think it may be just the connection the world needs.

In 2000 I was given a small grant from the University of Utah ( a state in the US of A) to find ways to motivate the states elementary through high school students to want to learn more. The state has 500,000 students and the feeling was that many were not motivated to seek out new knowledge and make use of new technology. Students all go for consumer electronics but were not applying themselves to learn the math, engineering and science necessary to turn technology into wealth for themselves and society as a whole. Soon after that a friend took me to the Navajo Indian Nation in Northern Arizona where they have 400,000 student in elementary through high school that are struggling also.

I have now come up with a solution that will bring on the motivation. It is to allow people to create wealth on a daily bases. Wealth production means to use todays powerful tools and technology to make things of value. However, when this is done by people that have no skill they make mistakes. This can be very costly and will end the process before it even starts unless they first create in a simulated world.

But how can simulation create money in the real world? This is simple and very powerful. It is done by taking the simulated work and feeding it to robots in the real world that then create real goods and services from the simulation data. The simulation data is not sent to the robots until it has been tested for mistakes and proven to be reliable and ready for the robots to use with out error.

To get this process up and running we need a way to connect many people together so they can each do a little work that when combined will generate tremendous wealth. For example cars or planes etc have thousands of parts, way to many for just a few people to create. But in SL we can have thousands working each on a specific part and in a few days have complete new cars, planes,etc. designed and ready to be sent to the robots to build. The robots then can work 24/7 creating all the materials, parts, sub assemblies and the finished product. Because robots can build other robots the cost of our production systems become almost nothing in a very short time. So we have cost of products going down and speed of production going up which leads to world wide prosperity as never seen before.

Teaching these thousands of people is very simple again in simulation and generates money for everyone right from the start through tech support. For example, I have spent many years researching manufacturing, design and robotics. I have created videos and interactive training software programs that teach what I and many other experts know. We can teach this info to a group and they in turn can teach it to others. They can always go back to the the videos and training software to make sure they have it right. So we take ten people and teach them how to use the beginning lessons and then they turn around and each teach ten more themselves. If we charge 36 dollars per month for the teaching program we can them pay each person who is teaching someone else out of the 36 dollars.

So in a very sort time we can be teaching thousand if not millions how to create wealth by building simulations for the robot production systems. What this leads to is every person pays once or twice a 36 dollar monthly training tuition and after that they are earning hundreds and then thousands of dollars teaching and building simulations for robotic production which production is costing less everyday yet producing more.

I know this sound like a fairy tale but it is just pure application of the knowledge we now have. Who would of believed that something such as SL would be available 50 years ago? Not many. Bill Gates himself said in the 80s that no one would ever need more that 640K of computer memory. I have been amazed myself at what SL has and I have only visited it for a day. We have barely scratched the surface of what we can DO with SL.

Does what I have just said make any sense to you and can you help point me in the direction to make it a reality? All people associated with SL should be millionaires in very short order do to its communication facilitating ability.


Chuck Smith

Anonymous said...

As a machinimator - try saying that three times fast while drunk - any writers, actors or even studios (heck, we're not THAT proud) that want to throw fat, industrial-sized wads of cash at us to make some kickass machinima then please, feel free. Just saying =).

lsotillos said...

Dear Cory,

First of all, thanks for sharing your predictions with all of us.

From Europe, I see a year 2008 full of new initiatives regarding the developing of virtual worlds like Second Life, specially in sectors as training, learning and simulation, leading by European universities, private companies and interest groups. A year more mature than 2007.

Best regards,

Luis Sotillos, aka Luis Aldrich, SL dob 10/11/06

Chuck Smith said...

Dear Cory,

I posted earlier before I was fully aware of your most recent separation from SL.

Please forgive me for lauding on SL on your Blog.

The things I want to do can be done on SL or anything we start from scratch. Please let me know what your thoughts are about my comments.

Please forgive.


Chuck Smith

MeandmyWii said...


Long time no talk to.

I'd have to say for predictions I will go with (many of which are only on the fringe of probablity, BTW):

1. The RIAA will sue an artist such as Radiohead on an obscure contractual clause when they allow free downloads of a few songs which didn't make it to the album.

2. Ebay will get purchased in a bidding war between Yahoo and the eventual winner, Google.

3. Google will come out with an SL competitor with embedded YouTube, shops partnered with Google, embedded Ebay acutions and an offline avatar creation tool which can be used to scan in life accurate body scans which will be used with said partnered shops to try on outfits.

4. As a result of the Ebay purchase, Google will sell off Skype to a private equity firm who will turn around and sell it to Yahoo.

5. Facebook and/or Myspace will integrate a 3d avatar IM tool such as IMVU.

6. AMD's Bulldozer CPU will be a complete and utter flop, causing Intel to cancel a next generation 45nm processor series and move forward with their 8/16 core CPU which allows developers to specify what processing each core does (i.e. network, graphics, physics, CPU etc.)

7. AMD will continue on their path to self-destruction by purchasing Ageia.


Patrick said...

There is the ever-present threat of a nuclear bomb going off somewhere in Second Life. I think we should probably pray it doesn't happen this year. My island has an invisible barrier around it which prevents bombs from getting in, but not going *off*. If someone were to smuggle one in...

My island has a rule that no one can teleport in arbitrarily. You must reach it by boat. Before docking, though, you must have Clearance. I'm the only one who can issue Clearance(s) right now.

My prediction this year is for Increasing Paranoia, followed by additional pot smoking. And more food-related avatars being made by ordinary people to demonstrate what they have the munchies for.

GP said...

I wrote some thought and predictions here:

In summary, a race between OpenCroquet and OpenSim (and perhaps other projects) to build the first real open metaverse. Of course it will be interesting to watch what Linden lab will do. There will be frequent anti-SL rants of the press like in the 2nd half of 2007, but more and more companies and institutions will continue quietly understanding how to build an effective presence in the metaverse.

Cory, thanks for building SL for us and I look fwd to your last prediction coming true, sign me up for the alpha!

kullervo said...

How about this prediction: a Second Life for pre-teens.

RIP said...

Think "Opensim Project" Cory :)