In the year 2050, Japan embodies the future of control and efficiency, a subtle and seamless engineering of the lived experiences of both the human and the machine. The future is clean, clear and logical, the system is routed and designed to coordinate order from chaos in order to guarantee efficiency for residents, even if to forgo some agency. Rooted in the concept of a perceived utopia, we intend for these future forecasts, scenarios, and artifacts to assist in imagining a future where a human-machine symbiosis is cultivated by our beliefs, fears, and priorities.
In 2050, the fabric of Japan’s material world has become interwoven with computational technologies.
The system is designed specifically for you. The future generation not only desire but require constant network connection. Yet our physiology has not changed, we still enjoy similar pastimes to the previous generations. But our cognitive effects, such as memory, information processing, and other thinking functions are increasingly in sync with technology.
Whilst technological change has always been associated with a radical improvement in people’s lives, this association has loosened, in favour of a desire for future technologies that maintain certain aspects of our everyday lives. An integrated bio-technical system embedded within the body monitors the constantly changing emotional and physiological states of the individual. Devices and neural interfaces to outsource and manage cognitive functions provide a platform for new forms of communication, allowing for greater sensory experiences and responses.
The city is a fixed blank slate. Gone are the days of the tacky remnants of posters and tape around telegraph poles. The new frontier of design is a system and space that can read the subtle communicative cues of individuals. They will have the ability to infer intentions, such as gaze and posture, mapping the real time biosensory feedback flows which allow designers to create highly responsive and even predictive service ecosystems.
City life is smooth and uninterrupted. The system is almost never felt or observed. Yet the individual is sacred, or at least it is what the mighty corporate gods proclaim. Messages communicating and prompting you of your right to choice are continually created and spanned across both physical and virtual space by the government’s latest narrative algorithm. Even with its constant flow of analysis and brain wave evaluations, the system always protects the individual’s free will.
The quantified self shows the possibilities for radical changes to the way society functions. Becoming more specialised and personalised, data collection is leading to a fairer and more streamlined distribution of wealth.
Regulators and law enforcers develop algorithmic systems, adopting a combination of continuous monitoring, predictive analytics and ubiquitous technologies embedded in people, places and things to prevent dangerous or suspicious activities before they occur. In building a data story, the devices which passively gather information around us dismiss all societal notions of perception and bias.
In 21 years, you have accumulated 853 terabytes of data. Your data sits amongst billions of other profiles – in a seemingly intangible space. Data is constantly stored and retained, examined through intelligence systems that shape and individualise our experience of the world.
Blurring the lines between the human and the machine, natural and artificial, this scenario is a forecasts into the future of humanity’s relationship with technology and their capacity to explore the vast and unobserved territories of the human sensory experience.