Drones seem to be a spy's best friend. They are portable, stealthy and getting more powerful every day. They are already in use in many fields including agriculture, real estate, military and law enforcement applications, and delivery. (I do look forward to my first drone delivery) Drones don't have to be small either. The US Air Force is working on Skyborg. (yes, really) Skyborg is an ambitious autonomous program for UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles). So, you can only imagine the scenarios that come to the mind of a spy novelist when you think of fleets of autonomous UAV's traveling on autonomous "ghost ships." One of the interesting things about The Quantum Contingent is that it's not set that far in the future. The technological leap to accomplish what is discussed in The Quantum Contingent is closer than you might think. That's why there is a technology tab at the top of this website. I plan to continue to update that tab with additional links that address some of the technologies in the novel.
If you think about where we were 15 years ago, with no real smartphones, no ubiquitous GPS, no Netflix, no Facial recognition tech... you can see that we've come a long way. In some cases there were negative consequences of the technology advancement. I did a TedX talk on AI and the importance of having "seatbelts" on new technology. We need to think ahead to the possible negative outcomes and prepare for them BEFORE the first big accident. Sometimes humanity isn't that good at planning ahead. Ironically, novelists are quite good at spelling out dystopian technological futures. (as my daughter has often reminded me) Perhaps we need to get the technologists and the novelists together when we talk about how to manage the advancement of technology! I'm very pro-technology, but I'm also very pro-humanity, so let's make sure we advance our civilization in a good way.
On a more light hearted note, I've included a shot from my personal drone for your enjoyment! Talk to you soon. Next time we'll talk all about Elon Musk technologies! There are quite a few, and most find their way into the novel.
Greg's blog will cover some of the things he learned as well as some of the tech and locations he used in his new novel, The Quantum Contingent.