Yesterday Apple released Siri, a voice-activated personal assistant for the iPhone. It seems very impressive. But here’s something also impressive — in 1987, Apple predicted Siri with Knowledge Navigator:
It’s eerily like Siri, though Siri isn’t that advanced. But it doesn’t seem like it will take too much longer to get there.
The most terrifying fact of the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death — however mutable man may be able to make them — our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment.
However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.
Finally, [Sergey Brin] leaned forward and fired his best shot, what he came to call “the hard question.”
“I’m going to give you five minutes,” he told me. “When I come back, I want you to explain to me something complicated that I don’t already know.” He then rolled out of the room toward the snack area. I looked at Cindy. “He’s very curious about everything,” she told me. “You can talk about a hobby, something technical, whatever you want. Just make sure it’s something you really understand well.”
In its 400+ year history, the corporation has achieved extraordinary things, cutting around-the-world travel time from years to less than a day, putting a computer on every desk, a toilet in every home (nearly) and a cellphone within reach of every human.
A white-haired friend of mine went into the hospital for cancer surgery that was going to end forever his capacity for sexual intercourse, and joking with the buxom nurse who was preparing him (and knew him from previous visits), he suddenly realized and wistfully told her that in all his half-century of activity, he’d never slept with a blond. Middle-aged, touched, she motioned for him to get up on the gurney. “We still have a couple of minutes. Just so you can say you have, let’s get it done.”