I have enough exposure to the real-life commercial tech world to know that, for the most part, new technology sounds much more interesting than it really is. The hype around emerging tech is often thanks in no small part to the names assigned to it by tech journalists (“big data,” “artificial intelligence,” “hyperautomation”) who, being giant nerds, have sometimes lifted terminology straight out of science fiction stories that have been around decades longer than the technology itself.
I love this jargon. I love that it often references science fiction, creating a recursive cycle where new technology is both influenced by, and influences, how and why science fiction stories are written. I even love that it’s a bit hyperbolic, as if it’s aspiring to be as cinematic and exciting as we want our technology to be, even if it’s technically just a program that makes work easier, and which has been assigned a cool name to hype people up.
I especially love that when I read a new jargon-y word, what it actually does is not at all connected to what I initially imagined its application to be (looking at you, “computer vision”). Given that the purposes of new jargon-y programs are often much cooler in my imagination, I find these misdirects to be ripe for brainstorming stories—what if an “Internet of Things” was what I thought it was, when I first heard the term? So, I created an Ominous Sounding Tech Generator to get those creative juices going. I hope you’ll use it too, for brainstorming or for thinking of a name for an absolutely wild technology that exists in the world of your story.
For the record, my favorite output from this program so far has been “Dark Optimization,” which sounds like the name of a Transformer. A few of my other favorites:
“Quantum Multiexperience” (Absolute word salad. Love it.)
“Growth Disruption” (Unfortunately, I think I have actually heard this uttered at a tech event.)
“Crypto-Neutrality” (“Crypto” just makes everything sound cooler.)
“Computer Fix” (They can’t all be good.)
“Growth Things” (Yuck?)
Try the Ominous Sounding Tech Generator for yourself.