The day computing changed forever – and we all missed it

Daniel Thomas of Compare the Cloud explains how using DNA for storing data is just the start of the humanification of IT.

On Wednesday, the 23rd January 2013, the world we live in changed as a result of a breakthrough in science where synthetic DNA was used to store all of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets, an audio clip of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream speech”, and the famous “double helix” paper. Think about this just for one minute? Look at the smartphone, laptop, PC or data centre you are currently using or residing in! Yes that’s right – DNA! – something so small that we cannot see it with our naked eye, and something intrinsically linked to what we are as human beings and what creates us. Something so small yet so vital can now be used to store and retrieve data.

DNA packs information into much less space than other media. For example, CERN, the European particle-physics lab near Geneva, currently stores around 90 petabytes of data on some 100 tape drives. (Nick) Goldman’s method could fit all of those data into 41 grams of DNA.

This is the biggest disruption in the history of technology; bigger than the Victorian industrial revolution, bigger than the Renaissance (I wonder what Machiavelli would of said!).

Was this the day that as human beings we finally took the first strides to becoming the “device”? Will we look back on 2013 as the catalyst for what I would define as the “Humanification of IT” where our natural processing power and storage capabilities were harnessed with bio mechanics to create the ultimate IT device?

Was this the day that as human beings we finally took the first strides to becoming the device?

Let’s look 5 years forward into the Humanification chasm!

Today the data centre industry is the engine behind cloud connectivity and IT in general. But what happens when this disruption moves the physical element of storage and processing to the human? Todays data centre is about physical mass of IT kit, what do they do when this kit that drives storage and compute is transferred to something so small we cannot even see it(IT)? The Data Centre of the future will look nothing like what we have today, it will be like a biology facility with storage being in controlled “super test tube repositories”.

Connectivity and bandwidth
Imagine a network comprising billions of human beings connected via 10th generation WIFI devices located within a human on-boarded bio-nano-chip the processing power will propel human advancement further than ever. The power of this “human cluster” to provide science with answers is beyond imagination. Move over professor Stephen Hawkings and Albert Einstein, every human will have on-demand access to a super-computing-grid of immense proportions allowing us to outsmart current thinking by cumulative factors of 10.

Move over professor Stephen Hawkings and Albert Einstein, every human will have on-demand access to a super-computing-grid.

Consumerisation of Humanification
Imagine the scenario: the directors of Netflix – just like Blockbuster in the past – sitting in a boardroom agonising about how to exploit streaming video. What would Netflix do in this scenario? Simple! Tap into the Humanification RFC, (request for comment) standard 83383838339 to patent video on demand via biomechanics, to present video straight to the mind of the consumer. Same for Apple – will they create an ‘itunes’ for music streamed directly to the ear canal?

What will TV manufacturers do? Will Bose develop a humanised sound system? Will Microsoft debut the “XBOX human 1500” for “The Matrix”-style multi-player gaming? Will IBM create “Social Business for Humans” which allows controlled human inter-working from a business perspective?

The Future of Enterprise IT – based on Humanification
Will currency, shares and futures trading systems still be in existence? NO WAY! Tapping into the power of the ‘Human Cloud’ will allow any trader or individual to outsmart any predictive modelling and trade execution system currently in existence both now and in the future.

Communications will be based on bio-mechanical human “tap-ins” where visual images are presented in the brain cortex handled by a human-queue technology that blocks out nuisance or spam interactions.

Why would we need to travel when we can meet up in the virtual world interact and do business?

Will we need to travel?
Who has ever used “second life”? Imagine the ‘Human cloud’ and the creation of a unique ID (UID) for every person on the planet. That UID is then customised to be an avatar of our physical beings, why would we need to travel when we can meet up in the virtual world interact and do business?

The virtual human will be the next battleground for public relations companies across the globe. Imagine attending a virtual West Ham match at the Olympic Stadium, experiencing the atmosphere chanting and smells of the burger stalls awash with a virtual claret and blue scarf (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

Video Conferencing
Such a laggard technology! Seven years from now it will be akin to playing an Atari game next to a Playstation or XBOX. Biotechnology-driven Telekinesis will be the next battleground with ‘Virtual Human’ bridges being used to communicate with trusted social and business contacts.

Office Production Suites
Seriously? Sitting at a keyboard and typing? All we will need to do is dictate in our minds what we want to convey, put it through to the “profanity and grammar” thought process, then to be communicated onwards with productivity tools such as smell, sound and touch applied on subscription – which combined convey our thoughts and feelings to the receiving party. Our UID avatar will be busy I suspect, I can imagine my fellow train passengers being overloaded with thought processes as I type this!

The Human Cloud
The power of Wikipedia – the mind of Stephen Hawking – the design genius of Steve Jobs – the cunning of Machiavelli – the beauty of Raphael or Michelangelo – the analytics of Alan Turing – the will and determination of Winston Churchill. Science would have evolved to the point where cryogenics intersects with the humanification of technology where the physical form would be transported to the UID avatar based on remaining human matter or brain functions.

Imagine doing an enterprise project where you can call in these great human beings to interact in avatar form and advise your company on how to do a marketing campaign product design – or getting Machiavelli to advise you on politics?

Could we be voting Winston Churchill as our next virtual prime minister or maybe get John Lennon to write more music?

How will we achieve this?
IBM’s ‘Watson’ is currently on the path to creating genuine human interaction; could this be progressed to feed all available information into a UID avatar? Taking the works of Shakespeare and the private diaries of Winston Churchill to recreate his emotions and personality? Could we be voting Winston Churchill as our next virtual prime minister or maybe get John Lennon to write more music? Or Bobby Moore to grace our virtual football field once again and lift the world cup? Perhaps we could even bring back John F Kennedy or Theodore Roosevelt to settle conflicts?

The Downside of ‘Humanification’
The ability to control the human population via a DNA or a Bio-mechanical virus is unsettling to say the least. Would governments use this technology to do evil? Rather than cure cancer and advance human science and knowledge? Who knows what the future holds – hopefully the transparency and liberating nature of inclusive and swift technological advancement will protect us?

Who knows what the future holds – hopefully the transparency and liberating nature of inclusive and swift technological advancement will protect us?

Advancements in Security and Orchestration
Will the corporate and personal firewall become the “Biowall”? With Juniper and Checkpoint perhaps offering host and grid customisation services stored on a DNA profile with bio-mechanical protection?

Will Flexiant be first to market with the “Humanification Orchestration engine” whereas human resources are dynamically allocated as per DNA and bio-mechanical workload with inbuilt security based on an HPI (human programming interface)?

With the power of this technology, will the law, legislation and regulation need to be drastically altered and improved? Perhaps Frank Jennings could draft a HTSR (human technology social responsibility) contract to keep us all on track?

In Summary

Don’t have nightmares! This is a work of fiction – loosely based on current technology advancements and potential scenarios. Inside all of us is a decent human being, and – as a technology industry – I am certain we will strive to deliver good to humanity. I look forward to meeting you all at the virtual Olympic stadium to watch my beloved West Ham in 2018!


I would like to principally dedicate this blog post to a man whom I respect greatly both as a biological human being and a technology leader, Simon Porter of IBM.

Further dedications and a Merry Christmas to all of you!

Team IBM: Doug Clark, Bill Mew, Chris Wynn, Amanda Markham, Andrew Gill, Richard Potts, David Kay, Victoria Milstead, Stuart Hoskins, Ben Faradoye, Ronald Velten, Martijn Van Veem, John Mason, Brig Sermon, Gregor Sideris, Vicky Gillies, Dierdra Errity, Jerry Crossfield, Steven Dickens, John Smith, Mark Tomlinson, Steve Strutt, James Lowe and any I have missed!

Industry Influencers (I treasure and respect all the advice and guidance thank you!)

Paul “Obi Wan” Bevan, David Terrar, Alan Behrens, Dale Ville, Andrew Buss, Daniel Steeves and Max Buchler, Lindsay Smith, Ian Moyse and finally Gav and the team at the Virtual Machine User Group!

Arrow ECS: Steve Pearce, Stuart Simmons and last but certainly not least Ian Jeffs (thank you for all the support I truly do appreciate it)

Digital Realty: Omer Wilson, Rob Bath

Pulsant: Rob Davies and Matt Lovell

Easynet Global Services: Eoin Jennings

RTW Hosting: Mike Wills

Techgate PLC: Martin and Dawn Wright

Arkivum: Mark Ellis, Cathy Brode and Jim Cook

CloudSigma: Robert Jenkins and Bernino Lind

Intermedia: Ed Macnair (legend)

Imtech ICT: Stephen Maloney, James Morgan, Fiona Squire

Virtual DCS: Richard May

And a thanks to my future virtual UID avatar advisors in 2018:

Steve Jobs, Alan Turing, Winston Churchill, Clement Atlee, John F Kennedy, Niccolo Machiavelli, General Bernard Montgomery, Raphael, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Robert Stephenson, David Lloyd George, Bobby Moore, Kenneth Williams and Richard Burton.

Come and join the fun! tell us your virtual UID avatar board advisors or comment on ‘Humanification’ – either directly on the blog or using twitter hashtag #Humanification let us know your thoughts or technology ideas or just say Happy Christmas!

Daniel Thomas

Founder of Compare the Cloud

Website | + posts

Andrew McLean is the Studio Director at Disruptive Live, a Compare the Cloud brand. He is an experienced leader in the technology industry, with a background in delivering innovative & engaging live events. Andrew has a wealth of experience in producing engaging content, from live shows and webinars to roundtables and panel discussions. He has a passion for helping businesses understand the latest trends and technologies, and how they can be applied to drive growth and innovation.

Cloud Industry Forum presents TWF! Fanny Bouton


Related articles

Start Bridging the Cloud Skill Gap Today

In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, cloud computing has...

How Data Fabric Helps Address Multi-Cloud Sprawl

The abundance of data facilitates good decision-making, but too...

CIF Presents TWF – Dean & Sarah-Jane Gratton

In this episode of the 2024 season of our...

The Quantum Leap in Internet Technology

Envision a world where the internet, as we currently...

Translating ancient code for the generative AI era

Having easy access to data is critically important in...


Comments are closed.

Subscribe to our Newsletter