While the father of Google's Android OS may not be the first person that many people think of when they think, 'ideas for the far-flung future', but if his speech at the 2016 Bloomberg Tech Conference is any indication, that may change for many people. While some see artificial intelligence and quantum computing, the use of atomic movements rather than electricity for data flow, as having their own place in the future, Andy Rubin thinks that the two technologies will be combined into a wildly powerful central A.I. that will power just about everything. This A.I. would, of course, likely be subject to some sort of kill switch just in case. While some had pegged augmented reality and virtual reality as the biggest contenders to replace the smartphone in its current form, Rubin's vision may not be too far-fetched, given recent progress in neural networking and machine learning.
While the concept of a massively powerful artificial intelligence replacing current smartphones sounds either scary or pretty nice depending on who you ask, the fact remains that not everybody will be able to lug around a quantum supercomputer to tap into the massive A.I., having to depend instead on lesser devices that can read from it and write to it at high speeds. Rubin hints at this, saying that this new concept wouldn't have to be something that somebody could carry around in a pocket, it "just has to be conscious." Rubin sees artificial intelligence and quantum computing as complimentary, and even sees a place for robots somewhere in the mix, calling them "walking sensors", though he does not specify how they may play into this sci-fi-esque future.
Going a step beyond merely talking about such developments, Rubin is actively trying to make them happen. For the time being, he's mostly accomplishing this through his own investment and venture capital firm, Playground Global. Through Playground Global, Rubin is shooting cash to quantum computing companies and the like to bring about faster and more accessible computing for all, and perhaps eventually a future like he's describing. He even went as far as to say one firm in particular, though he would not give a name, is working on a quantum computing solution that could bring quantum computing to the mainstream and set the stage for just this sort of thing.