The Internet will vanish, says Google's Eric Schmidt

Technically Incorrect: Speaking at Davos, Google's executive chairman explains that we'll all be experiencing our digital connections as a seamless part of our everyday world.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

The Internet? It's like a horse-drawn carriage. ZeitgeistMinds/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Digitally speaking, we're not even plodding along yet.

Why, AT&T is throttling my data this month and my phone still won't work too well in half of California's Wine Country.

However, Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman, is very well connected to the future. And he'd like you to know that the pesky Internet thing will soon be a digital dodo.

I know this because today he said: "The Internet will disappear." As the Hollywood Reporter offers, Schmidt was schmoozing and strategizing with the hive mind of world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

He made a few more brushstrokes to contribute to his picture of Futureworld: "There will be so many IP addresses (...) so many devices, sensors, things that you are wearing, things that you are interacting with that you won't even sense it."

Surely you will sense it, because you'll find this magical at-oneness with the digital world far more interesting than, say, the humans in a room who are also finding their own magical at-oneness with the digital world.

Schmidt explained: "It will be part of your presence all the time. Imagine you walk into a room, and the room is dynamic. And with your permission and all of that, you are interacting with the things going on in the room."

Permit me a dynamic guffaw at the mention of permission. Humanity has long ago bared its chest and dropped its trousers, merely for the opportunity to post images of its tanned toenails and to buy some strawberry-flavored toothpaste.

Just to underline this, the Davos forum also heard from Harvard professor of computer science, Margo Seltzer. The AFP reported two of her more charming statements.

First: "We live in a surveillance state today." Second: "We are at the dawn of the age of genetic McCarthyism."

This latter thought portends a world, she said, where tiny drones are flying through the air checking you for a pox of one kind or another. On behalf of, say, your health insurance company.

All for the greater good, you understand.

Yesterday, with its HoloLens, Microsoft showed one small step toward walking into its version of a dynamic room. Most who saw it found it exciting.

For Schmidt, the idea of a dynamic world represents "a highly personalized, highly interactive and very, very interesting world."

Of course we'll rush headlong into it because there'll be so much excitement along the way. There'll be fun and marveling to be had.

We should look forward to it. We'll all be robots after all, programmed to marvel at just the right things.

Watch this: What Google knows about you