Earth 2062: a brief look at how our future could unfold in 50 years
Flying cars, super-smart robots, conquering death, heading for the high
By Dick Pelletier
Positive futurists believe we will see more progress during
the next five decades than was experienced in the last 200 years. In
The Singularity is Near, author Ray
Kurzweil reveals how science will change the ways we live, work, and play. The
following offers some incredible possibilities for the next half century:
2012-2022 – More people become techno-savvy in a
fully-wired world. Smart phones, the Internet, global trade and
automatic language translators give birth to a humanity focused on improving
healthcare and raising living standards. Stem cell and genetic engineering
breakthroughs emerge almost daily.
Technologies that recognize voice, gestures, and predict our
thoughts are replacing the keyboard and mouse; and by decade's end, simulated
holograms, indiscernible from reality will appear as interactive characters,
bringing friends, relatives, and associates into our homes and offices without
need to travel.
2022-2032 – Biotech, personal nanofactories, automated
systems make life healthier, easier. Doctors direct stem cells to
regrow worn tissues, bones, muscles and skin. By late 2020s,
nanorobots maintain health throughout the body; and by reprogramming faulty
DNA, these 'bots have eliminated humanity's most dreaded scourge – aging. Age is
now important mostly as an indicator of life experience.
Nanofactories began appearing in homes in late 2020s and
quickly became indispensable. These replicator machines rearrange atoms from
supplied chemicals or inexpensive waste materials and create food, clothing,
medicine, and most household essentials; or another nanofactory, at little or no
cost. On voice command, desired product appears within minutes. See 5-minute
video of artist rendition
Automated systems, such as personal avatars that help manage
the maze of new technologies, and
household robots, which assume food preparation, cleaning, and security
duties have eliminated most of life's drudgeries. Robot servants now surpass
cars as the most indispensable family acquisition. 2032-
2042 – Driverless cars, 'skycars', brain science
advances, create better world. Collision-proof vehicles have reduced
auto deaths to near zero. Flying cars, powered by
superconductive electro-magnetic drive, travel streets and highways, and can
also rise silently in the air and glide to destinations. Rides are safe, both in
the air and on the ground, with quantum GPS accident-prevention technology.
Neuroscientists made huge strides during the 2030s in
better understanding the human brain. By adjusting neurons, doctors can
enhance happiness in marriages and friendships, and diminish violence in
criminals. This new mind science has slashed divorce rates and reduced crime and
2042-2052 – Merging with machines becomes reality,
signaling the end of human death. Physicist Paul Davies, in his book
The Eerie Silence writes that humanity's future lies in transitioning
into non-biological beings. "Biological life is transitory," he says, "It is
only a fleeting phase of evolution."
By 2050, a few bold pioneers began replacing biology with
stronger non-biological muscles, bones, organs, and brains, economically created
Merging with machines demonstrated the advantages of living in
non-biological bodies and convinced more people to choose this powerful option.
Non-bio bodies can
auto-repair themselves when damaged; and in a fatal accident, consciousness
and memories are
transferred into a new body. By mid-century, death has become no more
disruptive than a mental lapse. Most people are not even aware they had died.
Say goodbye forever to the Grim Reaper.
2052-2062 – Influenced by Moon and Mars forays, a new
era of space exploration infects humanity. Recognizing that a
single-planet species cannot survive, experts believe exploring the high
frontier and promoting a mass space exodus is necessary for humanity to continue
its successful evolutionary path.
provide Earth-like temperatures and gravity in our space colonies, encouraging
more people to live offworld. By 2062, Moon population stands at 5,000, Mars,
The coming five decades promise to change our lives beyond the
wildest imaginings of science fiction. Clearly, the road to this vision winds
around unknown, and possibly even dangerous turns, but strong public interest
suggests that this positive future could become your reality by 2062. Comments
This article appeared in various print publications and
on-line blogs. Comments always welcome.