PDA

View Full Version : future computing (games/simulators)



hrgiger
12-06-2007, 06:40 PM
So, do you ever think it will be possible to create a complete virtual world (yes, like the Matrix)? I mean, computer games have increased in complexity over the years and are so much better then the pong and pac-man days but they're still pretty pathetic as far as simulating a real virtual world. It's probably why I don't spend a lot of time playing games, I just don't think they're complex enough yet to entertain me for long. I hate when I get to the point of the game where I realize it's painfully obviously running through a series of expected/anticipated behaviours and reactions. Booooring.
Playing a game where you have to go to the evil leaders lair and dispatch him are fine, but on the way I want to stop at a random house, break in and tie up the owners (hell maybe dispatch them too if they're the wrong political affiliation) , root through their junk drawers and garage, take a butcher knife and stab holes in the furniture, and then maybe nail gun the furniture to the ceiling. Granted, you could argue that you could make a game to do just that, but I'm not talking about pre-ordained actions and reactions, I'm talking about programming real world objects that all have specific real world properties that have virtually no restrictions on how they are or can be used. All done at runtime.
Obviously, this kind of virtual reality is not possible with current computer architecture and silicione computing. I just wonder what the future holds in how complex simulation can become.
Also, how will our interface with computers change and how much more immersive will it become?

warrenwc
12-06-2007, 07:08 PM
Funny,
I just read that a computer simulation expert said that the odds were good that we are all just self-aware programs living in a simulation now.:alien: :caffeine:

jin choung
12-06-2007, 10:43 PM
yes. it will be possible.

we have ray tracing that can emulate the properties of light now. we have physics models that can simulate the properties of cloth and fluids and in real time applications, the ability to have "rag dolls" and crates that bounce and drop as you would expect. we'll only get more and more of this in real time as computers get faster... which they inexorably do.

the issue will be HOW MUCH of reality will we want and be able to calculate.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
not even a question of if what you talk about in terms of "macro reality" will be simulated.

from 1900 to 2000, we went from horse drawn cart to stealth planes... from steam power to nuclear... from expensive books to dirt cheap and ubiquitous internet....

that's just 100 years. and going over a pretty big technology "hump".... stuff is accelerating ever faster now.

IMAGINE what it's going to be like if humanity is around in 1000 years?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

but i don't think you can simulate EVERY BIT of reality... that is, down to elemental forces, chemical reactions, biological systems and quantum phenomena.

there's the issue of trying to simulate quantum phenoms with non quantum, classical computing...

but then we may get quantum computers....
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

a really interesting computing idea is whether you can create a computer that is big enough and fast enough to simulate THE UNIVERSE (every force, every particle, every square planck length of space).

i think generally, scientists don't think THAT'S possible....

and then there's the notion that universe itself may BE a gigantic computer.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

another interesting frontier will be broached when computers are large and fast enough to store and simulate a human BRAIN in real time.... gonna happen in our lifetimes.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

interfaces will eventually be neurological.

our natural impulses drive the simulation, the simulation feedback results right back into our senses and route them straight into the brain.

big issue NOW is how do you make a high speed interface that doesn't create an infection problem... even with a matrix like jack in the back, there is going to be a region between skin and metal/plastic that will not heal over... dangerous.

best way i can think is surgically and directly "splice" into nerves INSIDE the body and then leave a wireless antenna in the body. then you sew up and there is no open wound.

but then we'll have to perfect a way of wirelessly providing power or charging a power supply (exists now but not perfect yet).

jin

jin choung
12-06-2007, 10:44 PM
ever read snow crash hr? it'll be right up your alley.

jin

JCG
12-06-2007, 11:09 PM
...That makes me wonder... If the nerological implant controls the actions of our character in the game, we need to switch off the neurological signals going down to our limbs while the game is running. Otherwise, when we run in the game, we'd run in the living room and break something (like ourselves). So, if the computer freezes in the middle of the game, how are we going to switch our limbs back on to reboot the computer?

hrgiger
12-07-2007, 12:29 AM
No, never read snow crash. We'll definately look into it. Author?

Hmm, to simulate the universe, we'd have to first understand it. As it is, trying to recreate it currently would be like trying to punch a mute paralyzed guy in pitch black room full of a billion mannequins within the first three punches you threw. Don't ask me why you would ever want to punch a mute paralyzed guy though.

I think it would be possible to create an earth type environment. But of course you would need computing on several many orders higher then what we can conceive today. But I think the programming would be straightforward, although, incredibly incredibly complex(and yes, I meant two incredibly's, one doesn't cut it). Sort of an extension onto the object oriented approach in that every single object down to bacteria would have code to describe it's appearence, texture, behaviour, and of course, how it would interact with every other single object. Then to take it further, you would have to code how an object might change due to external or internal forces. Like something melting from heat or freezing from cold. I think one of the most complex physical hurdles would be describing true 3D forms. I mentioned above that I might like to stab holes in the furniture for no other reason then just being able to do it. You would have to be able to represent a true 3D object with volume, mass, and weight. Meaning not only solid objects like metal or wood, but also things like a couch which would contain other 3D masses within such as springs, foam, or other stuffings.

It may sound ridiculous to think that one would have to describe the stuffing of a couch but if you look at it logically, I think it makes sense. This would not be a reality that some "architect" would just sit down and write and then debug several times. I think a true reality matrix would be something that would be programmed over many many revisions and it would have to be something completley modular so that items could be swapped out with a better or more true form as needed. Each revision could be a step closer to truly representing a real world object. I think it would be a collaborative effort as well, something that huge would have to be.

jin choung
12-07-2007, 01:12 AM
...That makes me wonder... If the nerological implant controls the actions of our character in the game, we need to switch off the neurological signals going down to our limbs while the game is running. Otherwise, when we run in the game, we'd run in the living room and break something (like ourselves). So, if the computer freezes in the middle of the game, how are we going to switch our limbs back on to reboot the computer?

oh... that's EASY... : )

we already stop impulses from traveling to muscles when we REM sleep (except for sufferers of certain disorders - sleep walkers, etc.).

we'll just flip that switch lickety split and we're on our way!

jin

jin choung
12-07-2007, 01:19 AM
It may sound ridiculous to think that one would have to describe the stuffing of a couch but if you look at it logically, I think it makes sense.

oh yeah, it totally makes sense.

i mean for cg movies, the mantra is excise EVERYTHING that's not visible to camera. why waste time and resources?

so you never build the back of the house when you just see the front in your shots.

but this no longer holds true in something like a GAME... there, you build the back of the house.

and we may get to a point where we build the stuffing of a couch and give it its appropriate physical properties.

in terms of STATE changes... yah, that's the tough chemical/molecular forces level of simulation you'd need.

already, we have arbitrary cutting and rending technology (the vegetables in ratattouillie) and stuff like this:

http://physbam.stanford.edu/~fedkiw/

and anything that can be done computationally will eventually be done REAL TIME....

i think if we're just shooting for the APPEARANCE of reality... even down to the stuffing of a couch - if we're not simulating chemical/molecular/genetic/quantum (etc.) systems, i think we'll have it in a few decades easy.

then, they'll start working on the hard stuff... : )

jin

*Pete*
12-07-2007, 01:23 AM
One day, for sure...we will get such games, but i doubt it will happen in our lifetime...computer games have became fast food.
They are made for a short burst of enjoyement, not to last weeks, months or even years.
There are/were games that gave me hope that we were heading towards games that you mentioned, for example the living world of Fallout 1 and 2.
But everything has a limitation, AI wont do more than it is programmed to do...multiplayer games can give more life into it, but in a multiplayer game you will not find a city full of players living there lifes as taxidrivers, bankmen, lawyers, construction workers, cleaners or farmers.....no, a multiplayer city is more likely to be packed with soldiers and sorcerers.

id like to see a game you mention, but i think it wont happen in the next 50 years.

jin choung
12-07-2007, 01:28 AM
oh, and on that note:

mark my words - as soon as we attain that level of computing power, the very first thing out to mass market will be VR sex!

you can even take a few pics of someone you fancy from several different angles, scan that into the computer and viola! all the sex, none of the stress!

even before neurological inputs, i can totally imagine a pair of head tracking video projection glasses (wireless and less cyborgy than today) and hooked up to the usb port will be a sex doll with powered articulation and adjustable dimensions that will match the figure and movements of the vr figure you're seeing on screen.

purchaseable content will include downloading new "girls"... your favorite porn stars, perhaps custom made avatars for people into anime or "furry" fetishes (shudder... but hey, to each his own).

i mention it because all great technological progress from the wheel to the nuclear bomb is driven by sex.

alright, just media tech... not the bomb.

but still.

jin

jin choung
12-07-2007, 01:30 AM
One day, for sure...we will get such games, but i doubt it will happen in our lifetime...computer games have became fast food.
They are made for a short burst of enjoyement, not to last weeks, months or even years.
There are/were games that gave me hope that we were heading towards games that you mentioned, for example the living world of Fallout 1 and 2.
But everything has a limitation, AI wont do more than it is programmed to do...multiplayer games can give more life into it, but in a multiplayer game you will not find a city full of players living there lifes as taxidrivers, bankmen, lawyers, construction workers, cleaners or farmers.....no, a multiplayer city is more likely to be packed with soldiers and sorcerers.

id like to see a game you mention, but i think it wont happen in the next 50 years.


OHO!

evidently, someone is not familiar with World of Warcraft!

people already ARE living in such worlds and frequently, spend more time than they do in their real ones.

also, you have virtual communities like second life (which is openly based on the concepts in SNOW CRASH [neal stephenson by the way] ... ).

my bet is definitely within our lifetimes... probably in a few decades.

jin

jin choung
12-07-2007, 01:33 AM
oh, and ABSOLUTELY, no one will spend their time as a taxi driver or mcdonalds employee in such worlds!

why would you want to.

but that's the cool thing. everyone will live as they WANT.

jin

jin choung
12-07-2007, 01:35 AM
Funny,
I just read that a computer simulation expert said that the odds were good that we are all just self-aware programs living in a simulation now.:alien: :caffeine:

right.

actually, there are few really good books on the notion that looks at the entire universe as a computer.

kinda like a MEGA and possibly true version of what earth is in the hitchhiker's guide.

jin

bobakabob
12-07-2007, 06:54 PM
We can do illusion pretty well but we've still got a lot to learn about reality.

The human brain still can't figure itself out even after a million years evolution. And despite advances in quantum mechanics we're no closer to a unifying theory. Bottom line, we know sweet FA about the universe... where it came from, where it's going.

Simulating reality will only ever be as close as the phony diagrams of atoms we were shown in Physics lessons as kids.

jin choung
12-07-2007, 07:50 PM
that's pretty bleak.

everything's accelerating... the rate of tech development and knowledge is getting better faster.

even figuring stuff out about the brain is jumping leaps and bounds almost daily.

not a lot of stuff that the layman can grasp yet but it's all coming together.

i think the brain we'll CERTAINLY figure out.

cosmology and GUT... i'll say probably.

jin