Since last week’s Mind Trip was about predictions made in 1900 about the year 2000, I thought it would be fascinating to take a trip into what some of the thinkers & scientists are predicting about our own future. When John Watkins made his predictions in 1900 he knew he would not live to see if any of them came true. However, the predictions below are 20 years away. I have to admit that some of these predictions seem a little farfetched, but they are fun to read. And most of us will live to see these come true. (especially if #2 is true).
The first batch of predictions is by the famous physicist Dr. Michio Kaku. You have probably seen him on CNN and other news programs. Here are a few of the more interesting things that he predicted:
1. Learning a second language will no longer be necessary.
A tiny computer that fits in your ear, and translates what you hear into your own language. In fact, all the requisite technology exists today, and all that’s missing is for someone to connect the dots. (like a universal translator – very Star Trek! This would be very cool.)
2. Thousands, perhaps millions, of people will have a life expectancy of 150 years.
3.Only 2% of the world’s population will live in extreme poverty.
The eradication of extreme poverty will happen in our lifetime. In 1990, 42% of the world’s population lived on less than $1.25 (constant 2000 dollars, PPP). In 2005, that number had fallen to 25%. The UN estimates that by 2020, only 10% of world citizens will live in absolute poverty. My bold estimate is that by 2030, only one in 50 will.
4. The best food will be grown in skyscrapers.
Soil-based agriculture is so passé. Nothing short of an agricultural revolution is underway, spurred on by visionary Dr. Dickson Despommier of Columbia University. His plan is to build 30-story greenhouses in cities around the world, which will allow us to produce more food, for less money, in a healthier way, while freeing up arable land for nature.
5. Driverless cars will be commonplace.
I’m sure you’ve dreamed it: Getting into a car, kicking your shoes off and leaning back with a good movie and a cold beer while your self-driven car takes you safely to your destination, without your having to worry about directions or pedestrians. Well, the technology we need to make that car exists. (If you have not seen the video about the volkswagon levitating car, it is neat. Here is the link: http://www.flixxy.com/volkswagen-levitating-car.htm
Probably a lot sooner, actually. Developing a well functioning delivery drone network will pave the way for confidence in a practical network of drones delivering people. Humans have notoriously poor navigation skills in three-dimensional environments, so unmanned aerial vehicles seem a safer option than those prone to human error.
7. Most film actors will be out of work due to competition from cheap computer animated actors. (not sure about this one!)
Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) technology will enable us to create movies with animated characters so lifelike that they become indistinguishable from humans, rendering actors (in film anyway) obsolete.
8. A large number of people will have robot lovers.
This is perhaps Dr. Kaku’s boldest prediction.”When I ask guys if they’d get a robot girlfriend, most of them intuitively say no. They think robot and they think metal, wires, awkward motions and an empty stare. I’d say no to that too, if those were my associations with the word robot. But what if your robot partner looked, felt, sounded and even talked like a human? Robots that are physically indistinguishable from humans are only 15-20 years away.”
If you would like to read his complete list and more future predictions go to http://ilookforwardto.com.
Here are some more interesting points caught my eye for what will happen in the 2030’s:
1. Chocolate has become as rare and expensive as caviar, with even a single bar costing $10-15.
2. Recent advances in tissue engineering have made it possible to “grow” synthetic meat – using single animal cells. In-vitro meat has a number of advantages. Being just a lump of cultivated cells, it is produced without harm or cruelty to animals. It is unusually pure and healthy whilst retaining the original flavour, texture and appearance of traditional meat.
3. Alzheimer’s disease is fully curable.
4. Teleportation of complex organic molecules. (this really is Star Trek. Who wants to be the first to try the transporter?)
5. Emerging Job Titles: (I like these the best!)
Alternative Vehicle Developer
Avatar Manager / Devotee
Body Part Maker
Climate Change Reversal Specialist
Memory Augmentation Surgeon
‘New Science’ Ethicist
Old Age Wellness Manager / Consultant Specialist
Social ‘Networking’ Officer
Space Pilot / Orbital Tour Guide
Virtual Clutter Organizer
For more information on these and other predictions, visit http://futuretimeline.net
Please let us know what predictions you think will come true, which ones you think are totally farfetched and which job you might have in the future. Leave your comments here or on facebook: http://facebook.com/mindtrippingshow