As We May Think

as we may think vannevar bush

As We May Think

As We May Think is a 1945 essay by Vannevar Bush, is an almost prophetic vision of modern technology. In his article, Bush discusses many concepts that could be made possible through technological advancements, many of which exist in today’s society.

I will take a look at five of Bush’s theoretical concepts that exist in today’s society.

  1. The GoPro: Bush describes a small camera with a universal focus, mounted on the wearer’s forehead in his article. Built-in mechanisms would adjust focus and exposure, producing results in full colour.
  2. Voice to Text: In his article, Bush combines several machines available at the time (the Voder and Vocoder), hypothesising that when combined, it would result in a device that types when spoken to.
  3. Virtual Assistants: Bush theorised that when searching for information, you could remove the need for a file clerk by utilising a machinated system that recognised speech and made selections based on the spoken word.
  4. Personal Computers: Taking this idea of an automated data system to the next level, Bush discussed a modern desk upon which sat a device controlled by a keyboard and capable of providing a mechanised filing system and library of information.
  5. Digital Footprint: Expanding on the two previous ideas, Bush imagined search terms and results revealing a trail of interest specific to the user.

Bush’s essay As We May Think certainly had a lot of revolutionary ideas that have since been realised.

What do you think of Bush discussing these technologies back in 1945? Leave your thoughts and comments below.

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