Evolution of Messages & the future it holds!!!
One thing that almost all humans do is “we communicate”. The basic requirement of sane communication is the presence of at least two individuals who share information. In early times, communication was simple. The two individuals would get close to each other and talk. Some basic requirements such as language, expressions were of course required. One cannot comprehend if one is not aware of the language or expressions.
Evolution of communication
“Earlier communication was in form of talking which evolved to writing”
The first evolution came in form of long-range communications when people realised that they can shout and convey the message to a greater distance. But it took a lot of time to invent graphics and then the information was coded into written form. The problem solved by writing was “you could preserve the message for a different time”. The next problem which people faced was “how to share messages across places?” The only available solution was to travel to that place and communicate. Then people invented tools with which they could put down the message on a portable piece and share it with any traveler. This evolution of changing the talking to putting it down on a piece of paper to share it took thousands of years.
“Inventing letters, telegrams & reliable sharing of written information”
Sending written messages had inherent flaws such as privacy, non-availability of the messenger who would take your written letter, and high risk of information compromise/ distortion. It was targeted by setting up mail systems and the governments took charge of it. The state governments elected stations, recruited people who would be responsible for taking the letters from one individual to another. The responsibility of protecting and sharing the information was with these messengers. The information was transferred by various means such as letters, postcards, and telegrams and this evolution happened in just a few hundred years.
“Letters, Postcards & telegrams had flaws in protecting privacy, had a significant delay and were costly without capabilities of real expressions”
Though the elected offices and people were working at their best level, they could not share the messages instantly. For critical messages, it was a big flaw and was open for improvement. At the same time, the process of sharing information was costly. Soon the evolution happened in form of phones. These devices would share messages instantly, were very cost-effective (if one considers sharing instant information across miles) but lacked expressions. What’s surprising is the fact that the evolution took even less time.
“Invention of SMS/ MMS and the starting of modern communication”
Soon, pagers were invented and phones were enhanced with capabilities of sharing short messages. It was the first step toward modern communication and was soon joined by the MMS services to target the issue of expressions. The MMS would be used to record small videos and share them with remote users. This evolution only took a few decades.
“Invention of instant messaging services”
Since SMS, MMS had its own flaws and communication was booming up. There were thousands of possibilities and a lot of hidden potentials. People were eager to pay for services, technology was favouring and thus instant messaging services arrived. The cheap availability of smartphones helped unleash the instant messaging evolution. Now there were many apps that would enable a user to share the message, emojis (emoticons that were supposed to convey expressions), high-quality pictures, and videos. Soon this race was joined by real-time video calls. What is funny is the fact that all this happened in the last two decades.
What’s Now? What to Expect & When to expect?
Well, that’s the question anyone would ask. Looking at the evolution cycle, it is very obvious that the change won’t take another decade and would arrive in just a few years. But the question of what to expect needs some understanding into the problems or flaws that the current system has. Let us look at the most common problems and identify the future of messages.
A more private future
Currently, the majority of apps and service providers are already talking about end-to-end encryption. But there are some services that still do not offer end-to-end encryption. So, the one thing you can expect to see in future communication is “each service would be end to end encrypted”
Better group conversations
There are issues in group conversations, such as thousand of irrelevant messages, tons of irrelevant media, and privacy breach.
- You can expect group conversation to be more private in coming times with more controls to filter out which messages would you want to receive. This filtering means controlling which senders can send you message in a group, which type of files should the phone auto-download.
- The advancement of AI would help identify irrelevant messages and they would be blocked before reaching you. You would be able to stop receiving messages from someone who you don’t wish to (even if you are in the same group). This would mean the AI of a smartphone would scan the message and determine if the content is good for you or not, based on the decision, it will generate or not generate the notification. E.g. If the AI determines that the user does not spend time on pictures of sunrise in the morning wishing messages, it won’t download such images.
- People would not be able to see or contact you without your permission. It is something like you will be part of group but will join via an alternate ID. The phone will secure your virtual ID and thus the other recipients who are not authorised by you for viewing your contact would not be able to see you in the group.
More realistic communication
Currently, the most real communication is a video call. The future would involve wearing a VR headset and entering into a personal engagement with the second user. You would be able to communicate in a metaverse. The choice of skin, background, environment would be given to users. Thus, you would be able to communicate with a 3D experience in a more engaging way. It won’t be dull messages but a live experience where you would feel the presence of the second individual just next to you. It will impact most in the meetings, and group conversations.
- Use of VR for a realistic experience
- Use of avatars in metaverse to escape the current surroundings.
Protecting from online harm
Two major problems are expected in coming times which are:
- a lot of intrusive advertisements
- Fake and harmful profiles
You can expect a lot of traction from companies to target these two problems. The first problem of intrusive advertisements would be dealt with the data that would be collected. User profiling would be done to make a profile of each user and decide their preferences. These preferences would then be used to push advertisements in a targeted manner.
At the same time, the collected information would be used to profile individuals and filter out the ones that are spam/ harmful and abusive. These harmful people and bots which would be present in coming times would be banned and a lot of emphasis would be on the protection of the user.
This is going to stay but would soon be controlled. Thinking that Fake news will not spread would be imaginary. Irrespective of any number of efforts, fake news would spread and thrive but it will be largely dependent on the wish of certain big corporations, governments and would be used to shape user minds toward/ against a certain topic.
Thus, fake news would be adapted to a controlled environment for benefiting certain individuals, entities, and states.
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