Google may have played a significant role in establishing the Internet as we know it, but according to its executive chairman Eric Schmidt, the future of the world’s most advanced information network is for it to disappear.
Responding to a question about the future of the web during a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Schmidt said, “I will answer very simply that the Internet will disappear.”
Schmidt wasn’t referring to the actual disappearance of the World Wide Web, but rather our sense of it as its own technology, separate from everything else. “There will be so many IP addresses…so many devices, sensors, things that you are wearing, things that you are interacting with that you won’t even sense it,’ he said, adding that the Internet “will be part of your presence all the time.”
As one example, Schmidt described the sensor-equipped room of the future. “Imagine you walk into a room, and the room is dynamic,” he said. “And with your permission and all of that, you are interacting with the things going on in the room.”
Schmidt concluded by saying that, were such technologies to take hold, “A highly personalized, highly interactive and very, very interesting world emerges.”
He additionally touched on the subject of techno-replacement, and the idea that we may all lose our current jobs to machines as computers continue to improve. Schmidt dismissed the concept, and said that instead technology will create new job categories—with 7 out of every 8 being non-technology roles, which will nonetheless be benefited by technology.
“That somehow no one is going to have a job in the world, and it’s just going to be the Davos elite who is going to have a good time and everyone else is going to be rioting is completely false,” he said.