Future predictions in 2019 are notoriously hard to make. What will life be like in 2050? Technology does not progress in a steady state, it accelerates.
And usually the technology advances faster than we can imagine it, let alone predict it. But still many predictions that were made in the past have turned out to be true, even though they were unimaginable at the time that the prediction was made.
In 1865, Jules Verne, the author who wrote 20,000 leagues under the sea, and journey to the center of the earth, predicted that we would send people to the moon, and it would precisely 3 people, from of all places, Florida. And he even described weightlessness in space. He had no way to know 150 year ago how gravity would behave in space.
In 1909, Nikola Tesla, the inventor of the AC electrical system, predicted widespread use of personal wireless devices. This was over 100 years ago!
In 1987, the late Roger Ebert, famous movie critic, predicted video on demand dominating the entertainment industry. You have to remember, this was 30 years ago, a time when video cassette tapes were just getting popular.
What do these predictions have in common – they were all ridiculed at the time as foolish speculation. But of course, we now know that they were pretty much spot-on.
Let’s take a look at what I consider the top 10 most incredible predictions, from some of the world’s most renowned thinkers.
#10 – According to Nadia Thalmann, computer graphics scientist at the University of Geneva, CGI will replace most extras and actors in movies. Only the main characters and A-list top stars of the movie will be live actors. This has already started to happen for example in movies like Avatar. Acting may not be a great career choice, not that it is right now.
#9 – We’ll never have to go shopping for groceries or anything else again, as drones will deliver food and other items on demand directly to your home. This is already in the works, as you might know, and is called Prime Air by guess who…Amazon. They already made the first drone delivery in the U.K. in 2016.
#8 – Most people will not need to own cars, but get rides in driverless self-driving cars. These will be a lot less expensive than owning your own car, and some of these will be free sponsored by corporations where you will have to listen to ads if you want a free ride. They will be called AVs or Autonomous Vehicles. This is predicted by Benjamin Clark, Professor of planning and public policy at the University of Oregon.
#7 – You will be able to access the internet, check email, and watch movies through your contact lens. This is coming sooner than you might think. Scientists at Samsung have already developed a prototype that is being tested on rabbits
#6 — Malanie Walker, Medical advisor to the World bank predicts: Hospitals will be on their way out. We will mostly treat ourselves in our homes, perhaps with help from doctors through telemedicine. Fewer accidents will occur because of self-driving cars. Tiny nano robots will be able to be injected into our bodies to fight diseases. We will be able to 3D print biological organs. All this will happen within 20 years she predicts.
#5 – Stephen Hawking, who needs no introduction, predicted that we would need to leave earth by 2115 because the earth will have become so toxic due to climate change, epidemics and population growth that it will be virtually uninhabitable. He has made some other dire predictions as well. He was not an eternal optimist if that was your impression.
#4 – Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, predicts that within 20 years, Robots and AI will displace millions of jobs. He proposes taxing corporations on using robots in order to fund the transition of humans away from these jobs.
#3 – Ray Kurzweil, famous futurist, who has been right 90% of the time, and director of engineering at Google believes that within 30 years, we will be able to communicate with our dead relatives via virtual reality. How will this happen? We will be able to preserve memories and thoughts of people by scraping memories from their brain using nanobots, and put them straight into a computer. And through AI software, the computer will be able to mimic the personality, voice, and intelligence of our dead relatives such that we will be able to talk with them, and really not even know that you were talking to an AI.
#2 – By 2045, swarms of tiny nanoscale robots called foglets will be able to take the shape of virtually any object you can think of and change on the fly to anything else that you can think of according to nanotech pioneer J Storrs Hall. If you’ve ever seen the evil robots Terminator 2 or 3, you’ll know what I am talking about.