Featured in Five is a monthly section where we pose five questions to a Computing Reviews featured reviewer. Here are the responses from our September featured reviewer, Denilson Barbosa (University of Alberta, Canada).
Q: What is the most important thing that's happened in computing in the past 10 years?
A: Mobile computing was truly disruptive.
Q: By the end of your career, where do you think computer science will have taken us? What are you working on that might contribute toward that?
A: I think AI will have greatly improved, and will be capable of assisting us with day-to-day tasks, freeing us for creative work. AI will help us age better, through assisted living tools embedded in our environment. More generally, CS will drastically transform the economy. The norm will be for skilled people to become consultants/contractors instead of having long-term jobs. We will have open and transparent time-based currencies and banks, and alternative economies will emerge, where we will be allowed to perform more fulfilling and rewarding work. Drastically improved search tools will transform journalism and government, to the point that we will no longer delegate our preferences to elected representatives; instead, we will vote on each bill as we please. I hope to contribute to the development of better tools to help us learn more from our historical record, contributing to universal and open access to information for all.
Q: Who is your favorite historical figure? Why?
A: Gerardus Mercator. He spent his long life trying to prove his Utopian beliefs and theories, which drastically contradicted the accepted knowledge at the time. Because he was a genius and his quest was impossible, he ended up inventing a lot of what we use today in geography, especially cartography. His life story is truly fascinating.
Q: If you weren't working in the computer science field, what would you be doing instead?
A: In my dreams, I'd be a soccer coach. In reality, I'd probably be a civil engineer.
Q: What is your favorite type of music?