It’s hard not to think about the future and have an opinion about it. Some people get scared. Fear of the unknown, after all, is one of humanity’s biggest concerns. Other people get excited and look forward to technological advances, hoping that they will increase the quality of human life.
No one can predict the future for sure, of course, but what experts can do is forecast and reasonably predict based on current variables. There are multiple areas in which applied technology has already yielded promising results, giving a clearer picture of what sort of advancements the future may hold.
So if you’re more the type to sit and wonder about what sorts of things we may be able to do in the future, here are a few reasons to get excited about what’s to come.
Okay, being honest, who isn’t a little excited yet simultaneously terrified about the idea of self-driving cars? For those already driving, the idea of AI superseding human judgement can seem a bit unnerving. But perhaps it won’t be all bad. The vast majority of car accidents are caused by human error, and many people believe that the roads will actually be safer with self-driving cars, since AI will not have to contend with distractions like their human counterparts.
Interestingly, some companies have noted that when AI is created to drive too much like humans, car crashes still happen. So now the challenge is…create something that doesn’t think like a human, and somehow get the other humans to accept it.
Okay, same thing here—so everybody’s a little scared about robots taking over the world, but in the meantime, you have to admit that they can do some pretty cool stuff. Artificial intelligence can now design other artificial intelligence. Not that’s something.
Ideas for how AI can change the future are limitless. From nanobot medication pills to helping humanity harness solar power, the applications of AI run across every area and sector you can think of. AI is what’s going to drive those self-driving cars you’re so excited about. One thing’s for certain, though—AI and humans will be writing the future together.
It’s a safe bet that clean energy technologies will play an increasingly large role in the world’s electricity grids. Although it’s still uncertain as to how much of fossil fuel production will be replaced by renewable energy, it can be reasonably predicted that green technologies will continue to increase in market share. In fact, renewable energy is growing at a faster rate than its fossil fuel counterparts. This is in large part thanks to technologies that are making it ever more viable.
It’s now more beneficial than ever, for example, to install solar panels in your home. Many states as well as the federal government now offer substantial tax subsidies for installation.
Advances in Healthcare
Everyone’s excited about this one. Technology applied to medicine is yielding some pretty cool results, and a lot of them may mean an extended quality of life. Many of the challenges doctors have been facing for hundreds of years are now beginning to come within grasp. Virtual reality technologies, for example, have shown promising leads in treating patient pain and in managing some mental health conditions.
Technology has impacted almost every field of medicine so far. Dermatology, for example, may be able to use 3D printing in the future to create new human skin. Many dermatology services will only get better as new technologies are developed.
And speaking of 3D printing…here’s some more really cool stuff to look forward to. 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is starting to change the face of manufacturing around the world. Processes such as generative design, an AI platform that incorporates 3D printing, can help manufacturers create and test new products quicker and more efficiently. That may mean cheaper goods for you, and more profits for manufacturers.
But 3D printing isn’t just for making consumer goods. It also has huge implications in the healthcare field, where doctors are currently exploring the idea of 3D printing human organs and tissues. Crazy but true!
Okay, how could you not be pumped up about space travel? Even if you’re the type who doesn’t plan on flying into space, ever, you have to admit that the brand new world of space tourism is a pretty cool concept. And with Branson, Bezos, and others recently heading into space for a few days just to take in the sights, the dream has become an attainable reality in many ways.
SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space exploration company, is already experimenting with fuel-efficient rockets and reusable boosters, lowering the cost of buying yourself a ticket into space. Who knows—maybe one day you’ll be heading to the spaceport instead of the airport.
Going to Work
Or rather…not going to work? Already, with the advent of COVID-19, many businesses have begun making remote work a permanent part of their company culture. Many companies already allow employees to work from anywhere they choose, as long as they’re still available by teleconference.
It’s also interesting to think what the future of work may look like as AI advances into more and more areas. Some folks guesstimate that as many as half of the current jobs in existence are automatable. But some others say that AI is nowhere near that point yet. It does seem certain, however, that AI and humans will be working together in the foreseeable future.
Had to throw this one in!
Because after all, is the future really the future if it doesn’t include a flying car? If humanity is flying in space, building organs using a computer program, and has AI driving cars—shouldn’t that mean that flying cars aren’t far away?
In reality, there actually are a few flying car prototypes out there, expected to hit the market in the next few years. So nothing yet, but maybe…soon?
When it comes to envisioning the future, sometimes it may feel as if the world is your oyster. In the last century alone the world has seen so many technological advances that it has become both scary and fascinating. It’s hard not to think of what’s coming next, but either way, it’s never quite what you think.
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