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What About in 1 Year

It is the year 2017. The world will, most likely, look roughly the same as today’s. Cars won’t fly, nor will they steer themselves autonomously on a grand scale. The prevalent mechanism how people communicate and coordinate is via phones, and they use those glassy helpers as internet connectivity devices to connect via Facebook, do Google searches, take pictures, navigate with maps and send messages back and forth. Hopefully there won’t be any major international conflict, it is unlikely, as for all years to come. 

What About is in its beta phase. There is a functional desktop python application, and the design principles for android, iOS and a web service are outlined.

What About works in the most basic sense, and for some people that most basic sense is already superior than conventional calendar or habit forming applications. How does it work? Based on user input of intentions, it ranks them according to importance, urgency and ickyness. Urgency is dynamically computed for tasks with deadlines. Tasks can be recurring, meaning that they show up again once committed. Intentions can be edited and deleted. Upon startup, it (can) show „motivational“ quotes (which is the default, the quotes can be customizable).

Based on previous rejects and commits and metrics like time and date, the algorithm computes the likelihood of intentions to show up. Intentions can be tagged into categories, like work, play, errands, and long-term projects. There are no push notifications or any other annoying reminders by default, one has to open the program intentionally. A small group of people is testing the application right now. Roughly 10 people are involved in the project, rather remotely. Sometimes we skype or communicate in a discussion forum. Everybody is exited about the project, but it is also very hard to coordinate and get people on board or make them stick to it, as everybody is busy with their lives. The source code is open sourced (Apache License) and on github.

What About is a basic but powerful cognitive associate for daily to-dos and errands, routines, up to long-term goals and values.

What About in 5 Years 

It is the year 2021. The world is in a relatively peaceful state. Technology is advancing as always, but there is still little to see of the anticipated hopes (full stack automization) and dangers (climate change, robots) of the 2016-future. What About is a fully integrated service for mobile and desktop devices and a full time project for a small but dedicated group of people. 

What About has become a go to application to order your intentions and long term goals. It is used by individuals for job and private mind management, but also small teams are using it in a  professional context.

Upon first startup, a psychological test assesses your core drivers, your long term goals and the way you motivate yourself. The intention suggestion algorithm has been cranked up considerably: learning algorithms recognize time slots when the user is most/least productive and most/least likely to commit to certain tasks. It recognizes some productive or procrastination behavior patterns and nudges in a certain direction if desired. Other sensor data, like movement, temperature and weather are taken into consideration by the algorithm.

What About offers seamless integration with learning sites like coursera and edx, how-to providers and language applications and assists in such long-term learning intentions. Intention creation is assisted with automatic tagging and deletion/adjustment of existing intentions. Sometimes, new intentions are suggested. Users can choose the level of encryption, suggestion functions will work better with more meta-data.

What About starts to become social. You can create shared intentions (like going to the cinema with a group of people), they are most likely to appear when the people in the group have time.

What About assists people to live up their life according to their true intentions and values, to spend time well and meaningful, to connect with fellow like-minds, and to be there.

What About in 10 Years 

It is the year 2026. The world is starting to get noticeably different from today’s standards. There is rumors that they are using the first quantum computers in the US. We can fully simulate the mental processes of worms and small bugs. Artificial neural networks are everywhere and embedded on chips.

What About is up and running. It’s changing its character. Active user input is less and less needed. 

A glass photo and a short vocal command is enough to store a new intention, it has already anticipated something in this range anyhow because like-minded people do the same. What About has become full fledged socially integrated and often „connects the dots“. It’s getting known for having the best recommendations in what to do, really. It’s the generative age of What About. 

The user interface has become almost liquid - it morphs to user preferences like a sheet of paper. 

It helps to identify inconsistent intentions. Above all, it becomes to know you. It assist you to to build a Harry Potter Pensieve-like repository which helps to recollect, organize and express your thoughts, memories and feelings.