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Star Trek Holodeck

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  • Arthur
    What are the chances that a form of virtual reality as good as the Star Trek holodeck will be invented and when? Around 2000 there was an article about
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 7, 2004
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      What are the chances that a form of
      virtual reality as good as the
      Star Trek holodeck will be invented
      and when?
      Around 2000 there was an article
      about possible future inventions in
      the Daily Mail(UK)
      and it said that computer
      technology should be advanced
      enough to create the holodeck
      within the next 50 years,is this
      estimate likely to be correct?
    • Charles Goodwin
      ... From: Arthur ... Yes and no :-) The holodeck relies on some sort of force fields or tractor beams to make the 3D images
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 7, 2004
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Arthur" <northlanderuk@...>
        > What are the chances that a form of
        > virtual reality as good as the
        > Star Trek holodeck will be invented
        > and when?
        > Around 2000 there was an article
        > about possible future inventions in
        > the Daily Mail(UK)
        > and it said that computer
        > technology should be advanced
        > enough to create the holodeck
        > within the next 50 years,is this
        > estimate likely to be correct?

        Yes and no :-)

        The holodeck relies on some sort of force fields or tractor beams to make
        the 3D images appear solid to the touch. According to "The Physics of Star
        Trek" (Lawrence M Krauss 1995) this is achieved by a combination of
        "transporter and replicator technology". Whatever. The point is that this
        side of things isn't anything to do with virtual reality as the term is
        currently understood. VR creates the illusion of reality within the
        perceptions of a person - it's a sort of programmed dream. The proper
        signals are fed into your senses to mimic what you would sense if the things
        you are seeing/touching/hearing/etc were real. Sufficiently advanced VR
        might feed the signals directly into your brain: this sort of thing has been
        seen numerous times in SF (if not in ST) - see for example "The Matrix",
        "Neuromancer", the "Back to reality" episode of Red Dwarf, "Total Recall"
        and numerous books by Philip K Dick, e.g. "A Maze of Death", etc etc.

        The holodeck, OTOH, creates a solid, physical environment with which people
        can interact directly - just as they interact with the real world. So it's
        more along the lines of matter creation and manipulation, as seen for
        example in the SF series "The Dancers at the End of Time". This sort of
        thing is difficult to tell apart from reality at *any* level because it can
        be made arbitrarily close to reality - using real atoms, real light or
        whatever is necessary (while VR is easy to distinguish if you happen to be
        able to "take the red pill").

        So, in summary, computer technology will probably be able to create VR well
        within 50 years - well, it has been able to for a couple of decades if you
        count video games as crude examples - but we will probably need several
        technological breakthroughs (e.g. nanotechnology plus matter transmitters)
        to create a "holoworld" of the sort described in STNG.

        Charles
      • G-H
        ... From: Arthur To: Sent: Wednesday, July 07, 2004 9:18 AM Subject: Star Trek Holodeck ...
        Message 3 of 6 , Jul 7, 2004
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Arthur" <northlanderuk@...>
          To: <Fabric-of-Reality@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Wednesday, July 07, 2004 9:18 AM
          Subject: Star Trek Holodeck


          > What are the chances that a form of
          > virtual reality as good as the
          > Star Trek holodeck will be invented
          > and when?
          > Around 2000 there was an article
          > about possible future inventions in
          > the Daily Mail(UK)
          > and it said that computer
          > technology should be advanced
          > enough to create the holodeck
          > within the next 50 years,is this
          > estimate likely to be correct?
          >

          Technology progresses in a non-linear fashion.

          In about 18 years or so it is predicted that a table top
          computer will do as many computes as the human brain.
          30 years beyond that computers may be as fast or faster
          than the brain power of the human race. We will have
          very fast machines but the software must increase to an
          unknown level of complexity for interesting behavior
          to emerge.

          Predicting the future is going to be more and more difficult
          because of non-linear advances. The exact form, and time
          of emergence, of the holodeck is impossible to predict.
          It seems likely, if we don't destroy ourselves, that holodeck
          concepts in the future may seem child like compared to
          reality at that time. Computer ping-pong seems like a
          silly game now and this analogy will intensify as time
          goes on.

          Gene
        • OllyHardy@aol.com
          In a message dated 7/8/04 8:47:03 AM Eastern Daylight Time, ... From: Arthur ... While 50 years is almost certainly a stretch,
          Message 4 of 6 , Jul 8, 2004
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            In a message dated 7/8/04 8:47:03 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
            charles@... writes:
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Arthur" <northlanderuk@...>
            > What are the chances that a form of
            > virtual reality as good as the
            > Star Trek holodeck will be invented
            > and when?
            > Around 2000 there was an article
            > about possible future inventions in
            > the Daily Mail(UK)
            > and it said that computer
            > technology should be advanced
            > enough to create the holodeck
            > within the next 50 years,is this
            > estimate likely to be correct?
            While 50 years is almost certainly a stretch, predicting the future of
            technology is problematic. Given one or more unforeseen radical advances in areas
            such as nanotechnology or our understanding of the human brain in the next
            decade or two, 50 years might prove a conservative estimate. It's difficult to
            foresee events that may cause the curve to steepen.

            In addition to considerable advances in nanotechnology, creating holodeck
            type emulations would also require major advances in our understandng of how the
            human brain works, as its implementation would likely involve manipulating
            impluses to the brain to create the fully immersive emulations (sort of blurring
            the line between machine and drug) rather than trying to create the world
            externally (in some black room with yellow lines as per Star Trek).

            In any event, in the long term, I suspect that as the lines distinguishing
            humans from their machines and the environment become increasingly blurred,
            holodeck type virtual reality might not seem merely trivial, but perhaps even
            'redundant'.


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Karl Stiefvater
            i m sure you ll get reasonable answers to your question - so allow me to give you the (unreasonable) F.O.R. version: in some universes, holodecks have already
            Message 5 of 6 , Jul 8, 2004
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              i'm sure you'll get reasonable answers to
              your question - so allow me to give you the
              (unreasonable) F.O.R. version:

              in some universes, holodecks have already been
              created. in some of those, a guy (who has had
              his memory surpressed) is inside that holodeck
              living YOUR life. his futures are possible
              futures for YOU (by Bruno's comp-hypothesis.)

              this is my favorite response to the quantum
              immortality question of "so, exactly how will i
              survive a jump off the empire state building?"
              answer: "you'll wake-up from your holodeck."



              K.
            • Frank Cizmich
              Another vote for brain manipulation. By the time technology is ready to provide us with a real holodeck , we ll already be having VR dreams provided by Matrix
              Message 6 of 6 , Jul 9, 2004
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                Another vote for brain manipulation.

                By the time technology is ready to provide us with a real "holodeck", we'll
                already be having VR dreams provided by Matrix style brain-machine
                interface.
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