I decided to have a little fun with this one (after all Adam bolded that part of the sentence didn't he?). When I read the invitation, and Adam mentioned some people might want to go slightly more science fiction than science, my brain exploded with excitement! Then, I re-read it and picked up on that it was supposed to be a post that might be given in 2026 (8 years or so from now) - I kind of popped my own bubble. I couldn't talk about invisible implants created to give us an edge, or everyone having a pocket assistant robot, etc. One idea, though, still seemed possible to me.
Part of our job in IT involves working with other people. Some of us work with other DBAs, others work with infrastructure folks, some end users, management, etc. Some of the people we talk to are technical, and some arent; some know what they are talking about, and yet others just think they do. One of the biggest things I find absolutely wonderful about our sql family is that the intention of most of us is honest and genuine, and that we are interested in helping others and doing our job well.
Many times, I will fall into a trap (that I lay myself I am sure) where my genuine intent and/or sincerity is not taken into account. Due to office politics, I may be viewed in a negative way, such as come across from a defensive posture, intimidating, or as a threat. My intentions in most cases are pure and I just want to be able to help solve the overall problem in the best way I know how. When some meetings are over, emails starting to fly around, I end up in a situation where someone is vying for more power, has a different idea, or doesn't agree, etc., and next thing you know I am seen as ___(fill in the blank)___ (the bad guy/ not a team player/ a bottleneck).
With the improvements of Siri/Galaxy/Alexa, and devices that can do fairly specifc things such as being able to tell why a baby is crying, my thought is, that at some point in time, I would love to see a device invented which can help read the intentions of others. Many people can read human "signs", such as being able to spot a lie. There are even professions which rely heavily on reading people, such as criminal profilers, or those who play poker much better than me. We are definitely putting enough science into the psychology of human behaviour and such to make it possible to understand the motivations behind actions.
The optimist in me sees this as a wonderful tool to help bring people together and solve the world's problems. I can see where people who are shy or who are interested in working with another group but are hesitant, would be able to trust each other more with such a device! Imagine some of the solutions that could be devised when people from different cultures or walks of life, could actually work together instead of constantly distrust each other.
My thoughts drifted back down from cloud 9 to the relevance in my job, and I could see teams of people working together to come up with incredible solutions to business processes. A device such as this, would help cut through office politics (SOME) and help identify people who are sincere in their passion/dedication to solving issues. While there would still be discussions which from the outside look like shouting matches, because multiple passionate people in the same conversation invokes "interesting" debates, the difference would be, when they walk out of the room, they understand that their ideas were being bounced around by others who are just as invested and genuine as they are.
Then, I started thinking about all the data that this device could produce in order to analyze. Imagine the dashboards and reports that could be built to show how someone grows as a person throughout the interactions they have. By interacting with people with more of a positive nature, we gravitate towards more creativity and productivity. Many psychologists "know" these things, but we would have more data to help prove it. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that all of this data could be used to make robotics more human-like as well. By having a deep understanding, and lots of data to back it up, we could end up with robots that are hard to distinguish from humans. Although, to be honest, if you want any sci-fi movies and such, it is already on the table. Therefore, by the time this device rolls out, it is already in place anyway. :)
Yes, the realist in me understands how every device can be learned to be "fooled" or tricked. I realize that a single device isnt going to turn some situations into rainbows and lollipops. I also realize that some people would use this as a way of targeting easier prey and such. In this blog post, though, I am wanting to focus on the positive potential (and forget the bad stuff since I am not in the high-tech engineering field and dont have to worry about creating it myself).
All in all, I know that there are ways of reading people now, and there are skills that I can learn to help out in many situations. I also know how much learning would go into that and want something to help in a much more immediate future. :) I realize I kind of went off the deep end and took the idea to "have a bit more fun" in a way that probably wasnt exactly what Adam intended, but thats the beauty of this - its my blog! lol :)