Elon University

One of 24 Metaverse Summit question-answer sets: Marty Poulin shares his thoughts on the networked future

This page contains one of a set of 24 transcripts including remarks made by interview participants at the Metaverse Roadmap Summit at Stanford Research Institute in May 2006. Each person was asked a series of five questions regarding the future; only the most “telling” responses were transferred from the recordings into these transcripts, thus, some of these interviews will include five question-answer sets, some will have four or fewer.

To jump to another interviewee’s set of answers, click on the person’s name below.

Bridget Agabra Randy Farmer Jerry Paffendorf
Betsy Book Guy Garnett Marty Poulin
Corey Bridges Will Harvey Robert Scoble
Iveta Brigis Daniel James John Smart
Jamais Cascio Raph Koster David Smith
Helen Cheng Mike Liebhold Sibley Verbeck
Esther Dyson Julian Lombardi Malcolm Williamson
Doug Engelbart Bob Moore Ethan Zuckerman

  >> Return to Metaverse interviews lead page for links to recordings of these comments

Poulin HeadshotMarty Poulin is senior programmer for SCE-RT Sony CEA and the former chief of technology development for Playnet. He has worked on vehicle design and manufacturing for the disabled and is co-coordinator for the World Interfacing group of IGDA’s Artificial Intelligence Interface Standards Committee (ASIIC). He is currently working with a team of other programmers to support and extend Sony’s SCE-RT online technology supporting numerous titles on the PS2/PSP/PS3 platforms including direct support of SOCOM2/3 and First Party NextGen titles.

What is your greatest fear for the future of networked technologies? I’m not sure that I’m necessarily fearful for the future of technology. I think that, one way or another we’ll sort of evolve and we’ll tackle these problems one way or the other. What I really fear is that we’ll slow down that progress with either our commercial interests sort of working with the political interests to say “we need these particular laws” and not realizing their impact and how they’re going to slow down the progress. I think the progress is going to be there one way or the other because we as humans are going to evolve into this space.

What is your most fervent hope for the future of networked technologies? What I want to see happen is the ability for us to really expand on some of the social networking we’re seeing right now. Which is we’re going to be able to go and really accelerate the types of social interactions that we have. If I go online I’m going to be able to instantly search out people of similar interests, of similar thought processes and be able to interact with them real-time or whatever, so that social networking becomes easy, fast and second-nature. And we really don’t necessarily have that yet.

What do you think policymakers should do to ensure a positive future for networked technologies? Realistically the biggest issues I keep coming across as far as impediments for expanding the social network is privacy – how we deal with that as far as what we can and cannot put on the web, what laws are actually going to be important to protect our data as we put it on the net. Those types of things are important because if we don’t start protecting those properly, people are going to be afraid to actually extend their thought processes into the web and actually enable better social interactions.

Looking out more than 10 years, what development will have the greatest impact on society? More than 10 years out is going to be more of a vanishing interface that enables us to directly access the web or any information any virtual information directly without necessarily having a separate device that we actually have to access. To get rid of the fumbling that we all do, whether it’s typing, talking or whatever and be able directly access it. So it’s basically just sort of offline storage or interaction space for us. Sort of a blackboard that we all can work with. That would be beyond the 10-year mark – something that I would see really enabling.

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