April 24 2008 / by futuretalk
Category: Other Year: General Rating: 9 Hot
By Dick Pelletier
What kind of a world can we expect in 2050? Although no one can accurately predict events that far ahead, by observing where science is today, and factoring in exponential advances in nanotech, biotech, infotech, and cognitive sciences, we can make plausible guesses at how the future might unfold.
We begin our glance into tomorrow’s world with what renowned futurist Ray Kurzweil calls, “The Biotech Revolution.” Already in beginning stages today, this monumental understanding of the human body is predicted to grow exponentially in the next decade.
2010-2020 – NIH leaders want to change our healthcare approach from “reactive” to “proactive.” The Federal Initiative for Regenerative Medicine promises affordable replacement tissues and organs “on demand” by 2020 or before. And experts predict that embryonic stem cells and genetic engineering’s newly-discovered RNAi science could be the tools that turn this government dream into reality. Most deaths from heart disease, cancer, and other sicknesses will become preventable during this decade.
2020-2030 – With molecular nanotech arriving by mid-2020s, scientists can create the long-awaited “killer application,” microscopic-size machines that can roam through veins and zap disease before it causes harm, and repair faulty DNA to halt aging. These amazing nano-machines will also provide Star Trek-type replicators that create inexpensive food, clothing, and essentials.
2030-2040 – By 2030, deaths from sickness, disease, and aging will pretty much disappear, leaving only accidents, crime, and wars as the main causes of death. By mid-2030s, molecular nanotech, quantum computing, and advanced artificial intelligence will produce powerful android-like robots that can outthink humans. These silicon marvels possess reasoning and logic similar to ours, but they share knowledge millions of times faster than we can with our slow human language. At first, many feared these creations as competitors, but it soon became evident that by transferring their intelligence into our brains, humans would always remain Earth’s most powerful species. (cont.)
2040-2050 – In clinical trial simulations, scientists found that accessing our machine’s superior logic reaped huge benefits. It also became apparent that non-biological machines could experience a more secure and rewarding life than ours. Many asked, “Why fix biological bodies that suffer environmental damage, when we can replace the atoms that make up human cells with “invincible” atoms that never need repair?” Opting for a rejuvenated body became the preferred life choice for many by late 2040s.
2050 – Living in a maintenance-free body that in the event of disaster instantly rebuilds itself with consciousness, memories and emotions intact; has eliminated concerns over aging and death. As humanity begins its post-2050 future, other ideas now command attention. Empowered with greater intelligence, we can now focus on activities, like building new space colonies, developing faster-than-light travel systems, and launching manned explorations to distant stars.
With technologies providing a scarcity-free life for everyone, the poor and middle class enjoy life styles that were previously available only to the rich. This affluence has caused religions to lose much of their influence over society. Positive-thinkers see a future unfolding without fears of crime, terrorism, and wars.
Could this “magical future” become reality in just 42 years? Experts believe that it can, and it could happen in time to benefit most people alive today.