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Consciousness in the Cloud

As I fly from Seattle back to Chicago in the clouds, I marvel about what the Cloud has brought to us and how our lives have been transformed in a few short years.

It began with Hotmail and AOL Instant Messenger, and now we practically live in the Cloud. Our communication is through the cloud. Our friendships are in the cloud. Our entertainment comes from the cloud. Our data is in the cloud. And so on.

Eventually, our Identity will be in the cloud. All our preferences and our personal information will be aggregated and stored in the cloud, perhaps managed by Identity Managers. We will delegate to them the responsibility of shopping and negotiating for us. We will allow access to our identity to merchants and service providers, just as we allow access to credit card information to merchants today.

Push this idea further, and we will create, in 10-20 years – our Digital Persona in the cloud. They will act, think and communicate like us. In fact, they WILL be us, or a close approximation. Imagine “downloading yourself” onto the cloud. That will be the day – Consciousness in the Cloud! What a scary thought. Will the Cloud then become sentient? Will it be 1984 all over again?

In case you think this is all science fiction, keep in mind that Facebook is only 8 years old….

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