Finding the Future
Letter from the Editor
I still remember the moment when I welcomed the Google Home in my living room. Like many enthusiasts, I was enticed by the idea of being able to talk to an artificially intelligent device. When my package arrived, I was quick to open the box like a kid on Christmas Day. I nervously rummaged through the instructions just to find out that I only needed to say “Hey Google” to bring it to life.
Then, magic appeared. The newborn blinked and uttered its first words.
It was the same “wow” feeling I had ten years ago when I swiped to unlock my first iPhone, like fireworks that opened my eyes to all the promises of technology. My conversation with Google started with simple jokes, rain-checks, and music requests. Now, when I come home from school on a rainy Seattle day, I don’t have to drag clumps of dirt across the house to reach the light switch. Instead, I can simply say, “Hey Google, turn on the lights.”
Months after, I was transformed by this AI infant. I somehow started losing parts of my conscience: time became a series of meetings, spacial reality diminished, and my sensory repertoire re-organized to experience new forms of reality. Our relationship was either a blurred line between human and technology or a fusion between man and machine.
Blaise Pascal once said,
“What is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all in relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far from understanding either.”
If Pascal could sit with us today, would he have asked,
“What is man in the face of technology?”
This question became the inspiration for Var City’s first issue. Although eight stories will not fully actualize the extent of the future, it is our goal to keep the conversation driving beyond classroom walls. From an analysis of Biometrics to a commentary on existential crisis in User Experience, our stories are written by the design and tech community at the University of Washington.
I tremble with joy as I write my first open letter as the proud Editor-in-Chief of this publication. To my readers, I hope this first issue will bring you new perspectives and fruitful conversations regarding the future of technology. To everyone who has been a part of this journey, I would like to thank you whole-heartedly.
Var City UW