Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"I identify with the weak person; this is one reason why my fictional protagonists are essentially antiheroes."
- Philip K. Dick

Personal Interest Profile (PIP)  
  A set of topics about which you would like to hear the latest news; known today as Google News Alerts.  

The principal engineer in charge of the space elevator project liked to keep up on the relevant news on his area of interest; so, he set up his Personal Interest Profile to make sure that his computer searched for what he needed in the flood of global news items.

But the same technology that had eliminated one set of tasks had created even more demanding successors. Of these, perhaps the most important was the design of the Personal Interest Profile.

Most men updated their PIP on New Year's Day, or their birthday. Morgan's list contained fifty items; he had heard of people with hundreds. They must spend all their waking hours battling with the flood of information, unless they were like those notorious pranksters who enjoyed setting up News Alerts on their consoles for such classic improbabilities as: Eggs, Dinosaur, hatching of
Circle, squaring of
Atlantis, re-emergence of
Christ, Second Coming of
Loch Ness Monster, capture of
or finally
World, end of

Usually, of course, egotism and professional requirements ensured that the subscriber's own name was the first item on every list. Morgan was no exception, but the entries that followed were slightly unusual:
Tower, orbital
Tower, space
Tower, (geo) synchronous
Elevator, space
Elevator, orbital
Elevator, (geo) synchronous

These names covered most of the variations used by the media, and ensured that he saw at least ninety percent of the news items concerning the project. The vast majority of these were trivial, and sometimes he wondered if it was worth searching for them - the ones that really mattered would reach him quickly enough.

From The Fountains of Paradise, by Arthur C. Clarke.
Published by Ballantine in 1978
Additional resources -

Today's reader will doubtless recognize the PIP as nothing less than the Google News Alert service. The Google Alerts were first beta'd in August of 2003. Just a quarter of a century after Clarke published the idea.

Compare this idea with the very similar interests profile from Frederik Pohl's 1966 novel The Age of the Pussyfoot.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 2 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Fountains of Paradise
  More Ideas and Technology by Arthur C. Clarke
  Tech news articles related to The Fountains of Paradise
  Tech news articles related to works by Arthur C. Clarke

Personal Interest Profile (PIP)-related news articles:
  - Yotify Scouts Work The Web For You
  - Wavii Follows Your Selected News
  - Should You Put Your Virtual Assistants In Your Will?

Articles related to Media
'Facetime Facelift' Beautifies Video Chats
Meeting Wendy Of Wendy's
Narrative Science And Phil Dick's Homeostatic Newspaper
BookTrack Adds Sound To Books

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Auto-Focus Smart Glasses Have Liquid Lenses
'Hufhuf oil held in static tension by an enclosing force field within a viewing tube...'

Robotic Physician Assistant Has Steady 'Hands'
'You turned the screws below and the prongs moved... with caliper slowness, minuteness and precision.'

Roboy 3DPrinted Humanoid Robot
'A robot child that would be reared within the bosom of a human family...'

Robird Flapping Wing Drones Keep Airports Safe
'Mitch heard a rasping, flacketing buzz, like a big insect...'

3D Printed Fashion - Plastirobes And Transdresses
'... dial a new fashion every day!'

Robotic Lawn Mower Powered By Sun, Arduino
'The mower reached the edge of the lawn, clucked to itself like a contented hen...'

Google Perfects 'Blade Runner-style' Photo Details
'Pull back... stop... enhance 57-19...'

Pokerbot Libratus Learns To Lie (Bluff)
'Lying's a vital part of your psychological defense system - you're naked without it!'

Otto Autonomous Robot Trucks Run Into... Legal Snag
'They were automatic trucks such as are used for making deliveries...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.