How Will Organic Computing Change Our Gadgets?
Organic computing is the idea of using organic compounds and molecules to construct an optimal computer-based system that will self-organize, self-repair and even at some point self-upgrade, replicate and become sentient. While we are certainly at least a couple of decades away from sentient robots running around doing everyday chores, we are far closer to the reality that will be once organic computing becomes a mainstay in our daily lives. It is already around us and its influence over our gadgets is growing at a rate that will quickly allow it to become the status quo.
One area in which a primitive form of organic computing is already present is our new televisions and signs. Many high-definition screens that use LED technology are now using OLED, which stands for organic light emitting diode. The organic materials respond by glowing when exposed to certain electrical currents, and the result is a brightly-lit display. The development of graphene (single-atom thick sheets of carbon) being able to act both as an insulator and conductor is also paving the way for pure-carbon electronics. An example where we can see old technology communicate with new technology is with the use of an Internet dongle.
In the coming years, fully-organic computational devices will be developed and will rapidly trickle down into the most basic of our electronics. These devices will not only be able to do everything devices of today do but they will also be able to maintain themselves (whether it be a software or hardware upgrade, or a more efficient method of operation), repair any sustained damage and will also have optimal security and awareness protocols. Much how a leaf knows how to grow, these devices will actually know how to operate and what is “correct” and “incorrect”.
As we increase our organic computing potential, it is very likely that this form of computing will be inserted into our own bodies for a variety of purposes and will also allow for the development of sentient beings – which could be anything from a HAL-like device to a walking, talking sentient artificial being. These units will be able to not only communicate and interact with human beings but also with each other, and will be able to cooperate with one another on any activity. This is the part that scares many, but technology has always found a way around the doomsday predictions that precede it. While organic computing is still in its infancy, most of those reading this will still be alive to see all of the aforementioned concepts occur in the future.