Memorandum by Mr Stuart Hill, Director
of the BT Stepchange Programme
THE FUTURE?A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN MP IN
The following outlines a day in the life of an
MP in 10 years time.
As you leave your house in the morning you put on
your ACTIVE LENS (like a contact lens) and then using VOICE ACTIVATION
you can view your diary for the day, your personalised newspaper
and even read your briefing papers.
The technology that allows this to happen is in the
fabric of your clothes (WEARABLE COMPUTING) and the power is drawn
from a combination of new, more powerful types of batteries (ENERGY
CELLS) and PARASITIC POWER HARVESTING.
On the way to the House you complete the mundane
tasks of the day such as agreeing the flight and hotel details
that your PERSONAL INTELLIGENT AGENT has suggested, before it
goes and completes the arrangements. (The development of SELF
SERVE technologies with a NETCENTRIC focus has made life so much
easier). The consequent changes to your diary and the need to
reschedule some of your meetings are automatically dealt with
by your PERSONAL INTELLIGENT AGENT.
Once you arrive at the House of Commons and had a
quick chat with a couple of colleagues you've bumped into, you
select the first free desk in the COMMUNAL OFFICE AREA. The desk
automatically recognises you through your handprint (BIOMETRIC
IDENTIFICATION AND AUTHENTICATION) and customises the desktop
to your preferences (PERSONALISATION). From this desk you carry
out a constituency surgery and through the use of AVATAR technology
and HOLOGRAPHIC projections both you and your constituent appear
and can interact as if you are in the same room even though you
are hundreds of miles apart.
In the afternoon you attend a session in the Chamber.
Your opposite number is speaking and quoting some figuresyour
support team are also watching the debate and are therefore able
to send you a message onto your screen highlighting that the figures
are grossly inaccurate so that when you respond you can inform
the Chamber what the real figures are. (This was first used over
10 years ago by the National Assembly for Wales).
As it is a Thursday afternoon it is time to complete
your weekly WEBCAST to update your constituency of the weeks activities.
This is completed at any of the desks in the COMMUNAL OFFICE AREAonce
the desk has identified and authenticated you it is able to automatically
generate your preferred backdrop and eliminate all the background
noise. Fortunately the WEBCAST is not a time consuming activity
as your PERSONAL INTELLIGENT AGENT has already automatically compiled
the majority of the input. Your constituents can receive the WEBCAST
in real time via their DIGITAL TVs or they can view it at a later
time. Through the use of technology you are able to receive feedback
on how the WEBCAST was received and what areas people were interested
One of your pet topics over the last 10 years has
been COLLABORATIVE DEMOCRACY and you are still surprised that
it has not been fully adopted, which you believe is due, in part,
to the slow process of Parliament and a surprisingly slow uptake
by citizens, although participation in democracy has steadily
improved. The monthly meeting takes place in the House and due
to the continuing space restrictions the same type of technology
as used in the COMMUNAL OFFICE AREA is employed, which caters
for both physical and virtual attendees. As the Chairman you initially
found it daunting; however the benefits become clear when one
of the key speakers at a previous meeting couldn't attend physically,
but the fact that he appeared virtually meant the important meeting
was still a resounding success.
On the way home you complete the outstanding mundane
jobs for which your PERSONAL INTELLIGENT AGENT needs your confirmation,
and through your ACTIVE LENS you receive a quick update on constituency
matters and a very quick read of your up to-the-minute personalised
newspaper, before you settle back to read a few chapters of your
At home you remove your ACTIVE LENS and then retire
to bed knowing that as you will be working from home tomorrow
you know that you will be able to find the time for a quick swim
before you start work.
As you lie in your bed you try to recall how you
managed 10 years agothe long hours travelling, the inefficient
ways of communicating with your office, colleagues and constituents,
and the difficulties in trawling for information. Although you
initially found it difficult to adopt the new ways of working
that the technology allowed, the reasons moved from being convincing
then compelling before it was almost compulsory in order to stay
on top of things and complete your job. And now, you couldn't
do without ithow things have changed!!
10 June 2002