Zombie Technology | Richard Hammond's Tech Head

Uploaded by hammondtechhead on 30.05.2011

'Ello. I was surfing the other day,
and I came across this "sea-squirt" thing on a rock
that eats its own brain.
To be clear - that's 'surfing' as in 'on the internet'
and sea-squirt thing that eats its own brain
as in ...'sea-squirt thing that eats its own brain'.
Apparently, when this thing is born,
it swims around for a bit
until it finds a rock it likes,
then cements itself in place
and digests its own cerebral ganglion.
This may all sound a bit "scientificalistic" for a tech show,
but it did get me thinking a bit
about our dependence on technology.
My first reaction was, obviously –
"that's awesome! I wanna do that!"
Then I started thinking –
maybe we kind of already are...?
I mean, when was the last time you remembered anything?
When did you last bother memorising someone's phone number, for example?
Twenty years ago, if you were chatting someone up in the discothèque,
you had one shot at remembering their name,
contact details and a rough approximation of what they looked like.
Now you just stick their particulars in your android tablet,
take a photo of their face,
record a few audio notes about their drink of choice
etcetera, etcetera, and the job's done.
All you have to do to get hold of them again
is poke your finger at their face on the screen
like a monkey in a zoo
poking at a picture of a banana when they want a banana.
...Except then they have to talk to the banana, and arrange where to meet it.
Then get- ...I'm just going to stop, it's not a great analogy, sorry.
When someone's giving you directions,
are you listening? Or are you thinking
"yeah, yeah, blah-blah-blah.
Just email me your postcode and I'll whack it into my "map-thingy-widget".
If I get seriously lost, I'll just phone you and get you to talk me in."
Admit it: if a friend is describing the details of their recent holiday
- the wonderful sunsets,
this bird that landed on their veranda,
the nudist beach...
all you're thinking is you can just go home
and bog at all the photos they've stuck on the internet
at your own convenience.
Pub quizzes have been pretty much ruined now you can just
nip to the gents and google the answers
on my smart-phone that one time.
Digital cameras now have image stabilisation and face recognition,
so even the most incompetent happy-snappers
can take magnificent shots.
Of birds landing on verandas.
Or nudist beaches.
Even the words I'm speaking now I don't have to remember
– they're written on the autocue there.
Well not these words that I'm actually saying now,
I'm kind of going off-piste,
but the bulk of it is written there for me to see.
But where was I?...yeah!
The words I don't have to remember were spell-checked
and automatically corrected as they were written down.
My computer won't let me spell "AND" wrong.
We don't even need to know how to spell "AND" anymore...
it's A, N, B. ...D.
Sorry to grumble. I do love tech.
I wouldn't be doing this show if I didn't.
Or I would – you just wouldn't be able to see or hear me.
I'm definitely too lazy to write all this down
then bring it round your house.
And if I did, I'd probably use a space pen or something to write it.
I just think that if someone ever invented a gadget
that could put food in our mouths
and wipe our bottoms,
the temptation would be too great for us
- we'd all just plug in and switch off.
Then get it to feed us our own cerebral ganglions.
Aaah-ah. Not yet!
Sorry – still working out a few glitches in the design.
S'good though.
Back off – whoah, no!