10 IT achievements predicted by the Strugatsky

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Boris Strugatsky in one of his OFF-LINE interviews with an interview with Boris Strugatsky about the Internet said: “Fantasts are useless diviner-diviners. Yes, this is not required of them. They do not sow, they at best loosen the soil for sowing. " But if we discard the false modesty, still the science fiction brothers in their books listed a lot of things and phenomena that appeared much later.

1. Skype

In 1979, Beetle in the Anthill, a videophone is mentioned. It is used to transmit not only sound but also images. Why not Skype?

In the midst of this discussion, at 19:33, a videophone was purring. Andrei, who was closest to the device, poked a key with his finger. The screen lit up, but there was no image on it. Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, “Beetle in the Anthill”

The device is not described in detail, but it has a screen and keys. It can be put on the table or kept on your lap, but it is massive enough to bump someone on the head - in any case, during an awkward conversation with Maya Glumova, Maxim Kammerer would not be surprised at such a prospect. Apparently, the Strugatsky still represented mobile communication devices rather bulky.

2. Wikipedia

Even the Strugatsky came up with something like the current "Wikipedia" - the Great All-Planet Informatorium. It contains a huge amount of diverse information and serves not only as an encyclopedia, but also as a telephone directory and address book.

I decided to start with Schekn. Shchekn, of course, is not an earthman or even a humanoid, and therefore it took all my experience and all my, I will say without bragging, dexterity in using information channels in order to receive the information that I received. I note in parentheses that the vast majority of my same-planet aliens have no idea about the real possibilities of this eighth (or now already ninth?) Wonder of the world - the Great All-Planet Informatorium. I fully admit, however, that I, with all my experience and all my dexterity, by no means have the right to claim the perfect ability to use his immense memory. Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, “Beetle in the Anthill”

Anyone can use the All-Planet Informatory, but it also has closed sections "only for specialists" with different levels of access. The book “Beetle in the Anthill” mentions that personal data of people are placed in the database only with their consent.

3. Online shopping

"Delivery Line", mentioned in various works of the Strugatsky, is a store of the future, where you can make and receive orders without leaving your home. Very reminiscent of modern online stores. Apparently, they mainly order food on the Delivery Line. Just like we are now buying pizza through mobile applications.

“Everything can be organized,” Sheila said. “But what's the point?” Who eats at home?

- I eat at home.

“Well, Zhenechka,” Sheila said, “well, do you want us to move to the city?” There is a Delivery Line, and you can have dinner at home as much as you like.

“I don’t want to go to the city,” said Zhenya stubbornly. - I want to bosom.
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, “Noon, XXII Century”

4. Neural networks

Self-learning artificial intelligence is already a very real thing. Although modern neural networks do not yet have the self-consciousness that most science fiction writers dreamed of, however, they can learn.

The Strugatsky’s story “Spontaneous Reflex” describes the self-learning robot Urm, which got out of control. He, driven by boredom and curiosity, begins to explore the world around him and simultaneously causes significant material damage to the laboratory in which he was created.

The behavior of Urm is determined by his “brain”, an unusually complex and subtle apparatus of germanium-platinum foam and ferrite. If an ordinary digital machine has tens of thousands of triggers - elementary organs that receive, store and transmit signals, then about eighteen million logical cells are involved in the “brain” of Urm. They are programmed reactions to many provisions, to various options for changing circumstances, provides for the implementation of a huge number of various operations. Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, "Spontaneous Reflex"


5. Cars with autopilot

A car that doesn't need a driver is a pretty popular idea in science fiction. For example, they were present in the works of Ray Bradbury, and before him by David Keller. The Strugatsky unmanned cars mentioned in the "Predatory things of the century."

I watched him walk up to his long car, collapse in the seat, dig deeper into the driver’s console, leaned back, and seemed to doze off now. The car carefully rolled across the square and, gaining speed, disappeared into the shade and greenery of a side street. Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, "Predatory things of the century"

Modern cars have touch screens instead of remotes. But it’s definitely not worth sleeping while driving: drivers are forbidden to remove their hands from the steering wheel.

6. bluetooth headset

The "Predatory Things of the Century" mentions a miniature wireless headset that attaches to the ear and receives radio signals. The Strugatsky called it the earring-receiver.

Slowly approached me, wiping his lips with a handkerchief, a swarthy plump man in white, in a round white hat on his side. The cap was with a transparent green visor and with a green ribbon on which was written: "Welcome." The earring on his right earlobe glittered. Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, "Predatory things of the century"

Interestingly, Bradbury described such gizmos - “shell” radio transmitters — even earlier in the 1953 novel “451 degrees Fahrenheit”.

7. Body modification

People who are dissatisfied with their body and want to change it artificially have always existed. With the modern achievements of surgery, truly unlimited possibilities have opened up for them - from simple lip and breast augmentation to the introduction of chips and implants that radically change the appearance.

The Strugatsky foresaw something similar. They modified the body with arthics, people praising the "artificial lifestyle": breathe smoke, eat artificial food and transform themselves so that they are as unlike ordinary mortals.

Something hissed above my ear. I turned my head and involuntarily pulled back. Next to me, staring stupidly at the pedestal, stood a long thin man, from foot to neck, pulled into some kind of gray scale, with a bulky cubic helmet on his head. A man’s face was covered with a glass plate with holes. Streams of smoke burst from the holes to the rhythm of breathing. The emaciated face behind the glass plate was flooded with sweat and often-often sank down her cheeks. At first I mistook him for an Alien, then I thought that this was a spa man who was prescribed special procedures, and only then guessed that it was an artic. Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, "Predatory things of the century"

8. Food cloning

Space travelers in the works of the Strugatsky had to eat not the most delicious synthetic foods. Some fans of the creativity of the brothers see it as a prototype of modern GMOs. This, of course, is not so: GMO products are no different in taste and quality from the rest.

Cultivated meat has much more in common with synthetic food of the Strugatsky. In 2013, Mark Post, a pharmacologist at Maastricht University, demonstrated the first in vitro-made hamburger. Mosa Meat, co-founded by Post, intends to bring cultivated meat to market by 2021.

He tried to think of the gigantic herds of meat cows that are now being driven deep into the continent; how much work will have to be done to restore Greenfield when the Wave dissipates; and how unpleasant it is, after two years of abundance, to return again to synthetics, to artificial beef steaks, to pears with a taste of toothpaste, to chlorella “rural soups”, to quail-mutton mutton cutlets and other miracles of synthesis, be they wrong ... Arkady and Boris Strugatskaya, “Dal "

9.4D movie theaters

Modern 4D is the same three-dimensional movie, but with some additional effects: seat vibration, wind, spray, smoke, smells. All this should contribute to a deeper immersion of the viewer in the atmosphere of the film. Something similar was discussed by the Strugatsky characters in the story “What You Will Be” from the series “The World of Noon”.

“Well, I would,” said Slavin. - Massive spectacles and massacres. And massive smelling.

Gorbovsky giggled softly.

“Exactly,” he said. - Smells. But it will be, Eugene Markovich! Surely someday it will be!
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, “Noon, XXII Century”

Malyshev thoughtfully said:

- It would be great to develop tactile sensation transmission techniques for cinema. Imagine, Borka, on the screen someone is kissing someone, and you are experiencing a blow in the face ...

“Imagine,” Panin said. - I already had it once. Without any movie.
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, “Noon, XXII Century”

10. Virtual worlds

Lightly in the story "Predatory things of the century" is a device that, using electromagnetic radiation, immerses a person in the virtual world of infinite happiness and contentment. It is included in the radio instead of a local oscillator. Before activating the slag, you need to go to the bath and take a pill.

Illusory being ... No, this is not a drug, where are the drugs ... This is exactly what was supposed to be. Here. Now. To each his own time. Poppy seeds and hemp, the realm of sweet vague shadows and peace - for the poor, for the soiled, for the slaughtered ... But here no one needs peace, here they do not oppress and no one dies of hunger, it’s just boring here. Nourishing, warm, drunk and boring. The world is not that bad, the world is boring. [...] Sleg is approaching the world, and this world will not mind submission. Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, "Predatory things of the century"

Modern VR devices are not yet able to create pictures in the brain using radio waves. But you can just visit virtual worlds and experience incredible adventures in them right now.

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