I have this deep fascination with the future. I love asking myself what’s going to happen and why. I don’t know, it’s fun for me. So, I have painstakingly compiled many, many predictions and forecasts regarding the future, from now until everything in the Universe is toast. Let me start out by saying that the vast majority of these are predictions, but some of them are legitimate forecasts into the future of humanity, Earth, and space-time. With that being said, let me introduce you all to part 1 of The Zephyr Lounge Presents: 1.21 Jiggawatts! The Future of Humanity and the Universe.
In part 1, humanity gears for a large boom in technology, encompassing everything from robotics to artificial intelligence, computation and regenerative medicine, and even a return to the Moon and the first missions to Mars.
2014 A.D.: Expected time of completion for the World Trade Center site. The fifth report of the United Nations’ International Panel on Climate Change is to be given. Referendum to be held on the Independence of Scotland. U.S. and U.K. troops are scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan. According to the Japanese NISTEP 2030 Report, AgRobots will be used for agricultural tasks. According to Paul Mockapetris (inventor of the DNS system), all electronic communications will be IP-based.
2015 A.D.: The learning of other languages may become obsolete with universal translators that run on mobile devices. The spacecrafts New Horizons and Dawn are to arrive at dwarf planets Pluto and Ceres, respectively. Also by this time, every South Korean household will have a robot, as will many European households, as per comments made by the South Korean Ministry of Information and Communication in 2007. According to the U.S. Department of Defense in 2006, one-third of the fighting strength of the U.S. Military will be composed of robots. According to Techcast, voice control will replace the keyboard/mouse interface for 30% of routine computer tasks. The United States of America will lose it’s superpower status, be defeated in the New Great Game, and default on it’s sovereign debt, marking a major financial collapse and a steep rise in the Glocalisation of daily social interactions due to the increased cost of basic commodities. Russia mans new missions to the Moon.
2016 A.D.: Brazil becomes the world’s fifth-largest economy, surpassing France, the United Kingdom, and Italy.
2017 A.D.: According to the Japanese NISTEP 2030 Report, by this time, robots will be caring for the elderly and medical robots will be performing low-invasive surgeries.
2018 A.D.: Most computing could be done in Cloud technology. The South Korean government predicts that there will be robotic technology capable of performing surgery. Self-driving cars are commercially available.
2019 A.D.: According to the Japanese NISTEP 2030 Report, household robots will be in full use. According to Ray Kurzweil, a $1,000 computer will match the processing power of the human brain. Nanotechnology is used in about 30% of products. Hybrid cars will make up about 30% of the market.
2020 A.D.: Technology that augments reality could be in use. Also, the Voyager program is expected to terminate. Arthur C. Clarke predicted in 2001 that by this time, artificial intelligence will have reached human levels. According to the Federal Initiative for Regenerative Medicine, there will be widespread regeneration technology for most tissues and organs. The world life expectancy for a newborn exceeds 70 years. The United States’ carbon emission market exceeds $1 trillion. According to the U.S. Army, nanotechnology in soldier armor controlled by an on-board computer can the properties of fabric, treat wounds, filter out chemical and biological weapons, and provide an exoskeleton. American imperialism disintegrates in a manner similar to the U.S.S.R. According to MIT’s Aeronautics and Astronautics department, humans will land on Mars. NASA plans on returning to the Moon by this time and starting a lunar colony. According to Intel, humans will be able to control electronics using brain waves by this time.
2021 A.D.: Brood X, the largest brood of North American seventeen-year cicadas, will emerge. According to the Japanese NISTEP 2030 Report, nanorobotics will be a reality by this time. According to Arthur C. Clarke, humans will land on Mars.
2022 A.D.: Techcast predicts that by this time, robotic intelligence will be capable of sensing their environment, have decision-making intelligence, and have a capacity to learn. Those robots will be used in about 30% of households and organizations. According to the Japanese NISTEP 2030 Report, transhumanism will be a reality by this time.
2023 A.D.: Copyright on the earliest Mickey Mouse cartoons will expire under current United States copyright laws. According to Arthur C. Clarke, scientists will be able to clone dinosaurs. Alternatives to carbon-based fuels make up about 30% of all energy used worldwide.
2024 A.D.: According to a 2004 prediction made by the International Association of Biomedical Gerontology, a comprehensive functional rejuvenation of middle-aged mice will have occurred. According to Tim Sweeney (Founder, Technical Director, and CEO of Epic Games), video games will be photo-realistic. Humans will be mining asteroids. The Chinese plan on having landed on the Moon by this time.
2025 A.D.: Most labor intensive work — at home or in the workplace — could be achieved using robots. According to Ray Kurzweil, reverse engineering of the human brain will be possible. Full immersion virtual reality using direct input into the brain becomes available. According to the United Nations, the world population will exceed 8 billion people. Over one billion millionaires exist worldwide. According to 4Frontiers Corporation, there will be a permanent human colony on Mars.
2026 A.D.: Construction on the Sagrada Familia is expected to be completed. The groundbreaking for the massive Barcelona church was in 1882. According to Professor Mohamed Abderrahim of the HANDLE Research Project, a robotic hand will have been developed that is capable of performing certain complex tasks with the precision, autonomy, and dexterity of a human hand. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the world population will exceed 8 billion people.
2027 A.D.: According to Goldman-Sachs, China’s GDP will exceed that of the United States.
2029 A.D.: The Message From Earth will reach Gliese 581.
2030 A.D.: Possible earliest date in which androids could be integrated into human society. According to Marshall Brain, robots will be capable of performing labor tasks at human level. It’s also possible, according to the Democratic Peace Clock, that by this time, 90% of world governments are democratic. Projections also show that by this time, the usage of renewable energy will overtake the usage of fossil fuels and vehicles, such as cars, trucks, trains, and airplanes will no longer use crude oil and gasoline. Virtual reality allows any type of interaction with anyone, regardless of proximity. The population of people aged 65 or older exceeds 1 billion worldwide, and the life expectancy of newborns in developed countries exceeds 130 years. All cars on major roads will be under the control of satellites and roadside control systems. According to Techcast, humans will have landed on Mars. Russian cosmonauts develop the first Russian base on the Moon.
2032 A.D.: According to the University of Notre Dame, a 1 zettaFLOPS supercomputer will exist. According to the National Intelligence Council, India’s GDP will exceed Japan’s.
2034 A.D.: As predicted by iRobot chairman Helen Greiner, robots — home automation systems — will be performing the majority of household tasks.
2035 A.D.: As predicted by the U.S. Department of Defense in 2006, by this time, the first completely autonomous robotic soldiers will be in operation.
2038 A.D.: The Year 2038 Problem.
2040 A.D.: Personal jet packs, and other methods of personal flight, are commonplace, as well as self-driving cars and quantum unification. Space-based solar power will be commercially viable. According to Arthur C. Clarke, the universal replicator will have been invented by this time.
2043 A.D.: According to the United Nations, the world population will exceed 9 billion people.
2044 A.D.: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the world population will exceed 9 billion people.
2045 A.D.: According to Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity (creation of the first ultraintelligent machine) will occur. The world average life expectancy of a newborn exceeds 75 years.
2047 A.D.: On July 1, the People’s Republic of China’s obligation to run Hong Kong as a special administrative region per the Sino-British joint declaration expires, and with it the enforceability of the Hong Kong Basic Law.
2048 A.D.: Asteroid 2007 VK184 has a 1-in-1,820 chance of colliding with the Earth.
2049 A.D.: On December 20, the People’s Republic of China’s obligation to run Macau as a special administrative region per the Joint Declaration on the Question of Macau expires.
Mid-to-late 21st Century: Virtual immersion is predicted to lead to virtual worlds and universes that people can enter, leading onto the next great technological revolution, on par with radio, television, and the Internet.
2050 A.D.: Nuclear fusion will meet the world’s energy needs. Human’s will also completely utilize bionics into everyday life, and begin manned missions to Mars. Humans will also have set up a lunar base by this time. The Three-North Sheltar Program — China’s attempt to hold back the expansion of the Gobi Desert with a series of human-planted forest strips — is scheduled to be completed. Robot “brains” based on computers that execute 100 trillion instructions per second will start rivaling human intelligence. According to Hans Moravec, a computer costing a few hundred British pounds will have the capacity of the human mind.