Predictions

The Trivial

Mobile computers will displace desktops. Workstations will still be used for some time.

Use of paper for communication will be unheard-of. Even for archival purposes, paper will be abandoned.

Most vehicles will drive themselves. Car accidents will become extremely rare.

Cars will evolve drastically when they no longer need to accommodate human drivers. They will have standing headroom, Internet-connected desks, couches, entertainment centers, bathrooms and bedrooms. Living in your car may become acceptable.

3d printing will revolutionize manufacturing. People will 3d-print/manufacture most things they need in their homes. Print templates will form the basis of a new economy. Eventually, when you can 3d print your next 3d printer, computers will finally reproduce.

Embedded, subdermal technology will become commonplace and eventually mandatory. It’s only a matter of time before we have small receptacles for tech embedded inside our bodies. Nobody will know you just answered a phone call again. Everything everyone does will be recorded.

The Less Trivial

Once everything we do gets recorded, property crime will effectively disappear.

As communication becomes more ubiquitous, privacy will cease to exist as a common concept.

Incarceration will be abandoned as a method of dealing with crime.

Race will become a matter of choice. Gene therapy will make it possible to change far more than the colour of your skin. You’ll be able to change your entire racial makeup right down to facial features and bone structures. Obviously, this will kill racism.

A society’s birth rate is directly and inversely proportional to its prosperity. As societies get richer, they stop breeding. Right now this means Africa and Asia are producing most of the world’s children, but they too are becoming rich. Within 50 years, we will start to shrink.

As birthrates dwindle, humanity will eventually realize it faces extinction and will take action. The first step down this path will be baby factories and creches. Within 200 years, these engineered humans will represent the majority of human reproduction.

Some subsets of humanity will refuse to accept these engineered humans as real humans and will implement different rules to govern them. This will amount to slavery for a time, although it will likely be limited to small areas and won’t last long by cosmic standards.

You will be able to choose your sexuality. Pop a pill, become gay. Pop another, become straight.

Love will become less meaningful as a concept. We grow dispassionate. This has already started.

The nuclear family of one husband & wife for life with many children, is dead. Forever.

Conventional sex will become less and less important to us with each passing generation.

Not At All Trivial

Human lifespans will first double, then triple, then grow tenfold, and will eventually become effectively infinite.

Lifespans will approach immortality. Science will cure most diseases. Self driving cars and other technology will prevent most accidents. Within 200 years, suicide will be humanity’s most common cause of death, and common it will be.

Virtual reality will become as important as what we currently think of as the real world. Possibly more important. Eventually, we will begin to see there is no real difference. All aspects of life, including survival, are a game. Cliché though it is, we all lose in the end.

Hedonism will become more important to us, at least for some time. It may well become our primary purpose as life forms for the next phase of our existence. Once survival and reproduction are automated and no longer challenging, hedonism may well be all we have left.

Organized religion has run its course, served its purpose, and will die out.

Justice and morality will cease to be relevant concepts as we advance. Benefit to the species will emerge as a driving precept. Punishment for the sake of justice will be unheard-of. This is a good thing.

Piece by piece, we will replace the biological parts of our bodies. We will make ourselves better organs, better eyes, better ears, hearts that do not fail, skin that does not cut, until we wake up one day to find we have become computers.

Yes, that means at some point in the far distant future, we will abandon our bodies. They will serve no purpose.

At some point we’ll figure out what laughter is. Then we’ll probably stop doing it.

The Internet was just the first step in humanity’s shift from being a collection of individuals to being a collective. Every advancement in communication takes us further down that path. In time, there will be no individuals. Humanity will be one.

As we advance, both spoken and written language will become too inefficient for us. When an idea can be transmitted instantly, accurately and unambiguously, words will be useless. In time, this will result in the death of all languages as we know them.

However fast humanity advances, and however far it goes, computers will go further, faster. They will surpass us in every way, including creativity. Our destiny is to create that which will replace us, and then merge into it.

~Reg Natarajan