Some Predictions about Technology in Future
“The Only Constant in Life Is Change.” precisely in the field of technology. From minor alterations in pre-existing models to creating new experimental ones, technology has never been stagnant.
Ray Kurzweil — the world’s foremost futurist, author of bestsellers like “The Age of Spiritual Machines” and “How to Create a Mind.” His writings resulted to be so influential that Google hired him to lead the efforts of its artificial intelligence. He is very well known for making predictions, and is proven to be right 86% of the times. But who’s to say that these predictions will truly be integrated into society in the next ten or twenty years? However, seeing the current pace of technological advancements, these seem do-able.
Here are a few of the predictions as to what technology — some new, other state-of-the-art — will become an integral part of mainstream society in the future.
1. Internet of Things
First and foremost is the Internet of Things — machines conversing with each other, computer-connected humans engaging in observation, analysis and action, based on the resulting “Big-data” explosion. Mundane devices like refrigerators, toasters, and even trash cans could be computerized and networked. One of the better-known examples is Google’s Nest thermostat.
This Wi-Fi-connected thermostat allows the user to remotely adjust the temperature of their home via mobile device and also absorbs the routine behavioral patterns in order to create a temperature-setting schedule. Nest was acquired by Google for $3.2 billion in 2014. ‘Smart Things’ A company acquired by Samsung in August, 2014 offers various sensors and smart-home kits that can monitor things like arrival and departure of people from user’s houses and can alert them in case of leakages. Fed by sensors soon to number in the trillions, working with intelligent systems in the billions, and involving millions of applications, the Internet of Things is likely to garner new consumer and business behavior yet unseen in the corporate world.
2. Eradication of Ageing
“Death, thou shalt die,” quoted the 17th century metaphysical poet and Church of England cleric John Donne. As spiritual as his point might seem, David Wood, the co-leader of Transhumanism UK feels that the “abolition of ageing” is an achievable goal.
Dr. Ian Pearson, a futurologist who researched numerous ways to extend human life and pointed to advances in genetic studies said “We’re looking at the genetic modification side of things already, and we’re looking at technologies in biotech that will allow us to play with telomeres [cells linked with the ageing process] on the end of the DNA strands.” The technologies for life extension that IT offers are probably around the 2040, 2050, 2060 time frame, when we’ll have the IT that will allow us to live almost forever, or at least until the IT stops working. It will enable us to create our brains and it’s replicas, it can even allow us to model an extension of our brain outside in the world of computers. Therefore our brain could migrate into those computers, and at some point in our distant future, 99% of our mind could be residing in a computer while losing the body could lead to a loss of just 1% of our brains, the rest of it gets carried on regardless. An android once bought, could be used as a medium to carry that brain alongside throughout one’s life.
3. People reincarnation through AI
Sounds insane, I know! And the idea probably will face backlash from most of the religious people, however, Kurzweil claims that technology will enable us to “bring back” our relatives through artificial intelligence. By 2050, we’ll be able to dispatch nanobots into people’s brains and extract memories of loved ones. Augment that with a DNA sampling of the deceased, and it will enable us to create a convincing virtual version of a deceased loved one. For those interested in it, there is a movie about it: the discovery.
4. Virtual Reality
The concept of virtual reality can be traced back to the late 1950s, at a time when computers were confined to the size of a house. A young electrical engineer by the name of Douglas Engelbart saw the potential of a computer as a digital display and introduced the concept of virtual reality. Fast forward to today and VR has not advanced as expected — at least not the way we’ve seen in movies.
But if we were to experiment with the proverbial VR goggles what insight into the future might they grant? Well, we’d see a place for VR that exceeds the boundaries of video games. Multiplayer VR provides the foundation through which a bunch of people can go on a virtual tour of the Egyptian pyramids, or give the elderly an experience of what it is like to share a visit with their grandkids who may be halfway around the world. Where VR might be most useful is not in modelling fantasies, but enriching reality by connecting people like never before. It’s terribly exciting.
There are a sea of predictions one could make about the future of technology. And however superficial and imaginary these might seem, the quick wits have time again proven to exceed the expectations of people.
As a concluding note, it is undeniable that technology is only going to evolve in the years to come. What can seem to be impossible today, or as a matter of fact can’t even be comprehensible by normal understanding, can become a reality in the future all thanks to technology.