Human knowledge expansion has been quite amazing and is obviously the reason for our success in this world. Long ago knowledge was recorded and passed on only by word of mouth. For a time a small group of one or more people had to remember everything. Their knowledge was limited to that of a single or small set of people. After a time when society grew, more people possessed knowledge of a more specialized nature allowing individuals to keep track of all the knowledge for a particular domain. The information was still passed on by word of mouth, voice, and not recorded anywhere physically.
In time, 5,000? years ago or so, different societies developed recording/writing of some form beyond that of the cave wall and placed knowledge on various types of paper. This was revolutionary in that knowledge could be “stored” and accessed by people other than the original person from whom the knowledge came. The information could exist beyond the life of the originator and be unaltered, thus retaining its accuracy unlike previous retold stories (word of mouth).
The ‘pen’, in whatever form, along with the ‘character set’ became the first "computer/mechanical" overlord interfering with easy knowledge transfer amongst people. This new stored knowledge, via the character set, would not be known by everyone, limiting access to knowledge. Knowing how to create and store information would also be difficult or unknown to many people as access to pen/ink and paper would not be possible. While creating the ability for society to expand and store knowledge, we would require learning to work within this new information world.
For many centuries this system continued with no real change other than the evolution of the character set or physical methods used to create of pen/ink and paper. This severely limited the population of the world from benefiting both consuming and creating the information necessary for the advancement of society. This changed dramatically around the 1400’s with cultural changes and the advancement of the European printing press (Gutenberg). This printing press system, with its phonetic based small set of characters, allowed for the mass production of stored information and consumption by many people. This enabled previously inaccessible information to be disseminated so as to advance society technically/philosophically. The availability and cost to get information were reduced and we moved forward as a whole. Using a printing press for the creation of the information, however, had become more complex. Only few still could create using the printing press method beyond paper/pen. The printing press was thus a computer-overlord. Great in benefits but still a device of challenges for regular humans.
A few centuries past before a new magical device appeared in the mid-1800’s called the typewriter. The typewriter immediately expanded the ability for many people to now create information rapidly. The typewriter did not replace the printing press. It was more of a creation tool of a singular nature vs the mass production printing press. It did allow, however, many more individuals to provide their knowledge at faster rates than the pen. It was a great achievement. The typewriter was also relatively easy for common people to use as compared to the printing press and thus more productive at storing/creating information in society.
Copy machines were the next major step in society's information expansion. They allowed for the replication of existing paper-based information to mass production without the printing press. Depending on the method of copying a great many people could replicate stored information fairly easily using these machines. These machines were usually relatively easy to use.
Next was the computer. This device along with its brethren in the form of networks/printers/devices changed the world in ways impossible to enumerate. Information creation via an electronic typewriter, sharing with other computers electronically without paper became the new way of life. The computer has made the amount of stored knowledge possible to be effectively anything humans can create. However, the computer is not without its issues, the main one being its usability or its mechanical-overlord-ness. For many people recording knowledge is, while infinitely easier than the printing press days, is still difficult or impossible. The computer is not the final solution.
Luckily, the end is near.
Computers in the form of display-less devices ( our product, Amazon Echo, Google Home, … ) now have the ability to take human voice and convert to text on their own. People can now talk and share their knowledge instantly with society with smart assistance in these devices without, like a regular computer, having to understand how to use the device. People can provide any fact, rule, procedure, thought etc… by voice thus adding to the collective of human stored knowledge instantly.
So, we are back where we started 5,000+ years ago. People sharing knowledge by voice. But now shared instantly and to everyone as needed while being stored and recallable forever with no effort.