We're not too surprised to be using touchscreens or making video calls because it's long been predicted by science-fiction. But it wasn't just authors of dystopian novels and pulp films that were making guesses — one CIA analyst's job was to predict the future as well. Analyst Orrin Clotworthy was tasked with forecasting an accurate report of what the future's technology would look like, and how it could be used for wartime. Bloomberg Businessweek highlights some of the predictions from the newly declassified papers.
Among them is one idea of Clotworthy's that reminds us quite a bit of Ray Kurzweil's thoughts on the singularity:
Theoretically if a man’s importance warrants it, they should be able to reduce to mathematical terms and store in an electronic memory most of his salient experience and observed reactions to varying situations. Subjecting this stand-in brain to a hypothetical set of circumstances, they could then read out his probable reaction to the event hypothesized.
Although Clotworthy was off the mark in predicting that his vision of an electronically stored human would come to pass by 2000, many of his other predictions are surprisingly close to what technology is actually like today.
- SourceBloomberg Businessweek