Modern technology is the engine of development of our world. The Internet and different online services have greatly simplified our lives. For example, now travelers don’t need to search for a company office or call someone to book a luxury car rental Baltimore MD, because everything can be done quickly and simply by using a computer or smartphone.
But what will the world look like 10 or 20 years later? Will Moore’s law lead robots to take over the world, or will we defeat global warming and happily achieve technological singularity? Some futurologists make predictions, and other futurologists refute them. Predicting future events is not easy, especially in dynamic, fast-growing industries. However, some reasonable assumptions can be made.
In this article, we will discuss some of the statements, which have quite mythological character. So, let’s get started…
Soon everybody will have a flying car
Scientists have been predicting flying cars for several decades. It’s believed that everyone will be able to travel the earth or the sky – it will be simple, fast and safe.
However, NASA closed its project to support the inventors of personal flying vehicles. There are too many obstacles in the way of a flying car: cost, air legislation, safety, terrorism, fuel efficiency, pilot training, take-off and landing are among them. All these factors won’t allow flying cars to fill the skies in the foreseeable future.
Those concepts that now appear as flying cars are usually hybrids that are just capable of driving on the road but not suitable for taking children to school. For example, the Dutch PAL-V Liberty – a serial car that has already entered pre-sale, requires at least 180 meters of flat surface for take-off and landing, and costs $400,000.
Technological singularity is approaching
Many futurists prophesy that the technological singularity will come in 2030 – only they haven’t been able to agree among themselves what does singularity mean. Some argue that this will be an AI release that can compete with humans in independent thinking.
Others argue that this will be a blast of computing power, after which a person and a computer will unite. Why all these people call phenomena singularity is an interesting question.
Meanwhile, scientists criticize this concept, arguing that there won’t be a pronounced point of singularity with an acute crisis. Scientists agree that we are creating ever-faster and smarter machines, but the mind relies on experience and training, not programming and fast processors. Finally, theorists of technological singularity rely on Moore’s law – and it’s far less accurate than it seems.
Moore’s law is like Newton’s law of gravitation
In the 1960s, at the very beginning of the information revolution, Gordon Moore, subsequently one of the founders of Intel Corporation, drew attention to an interesting pattern in the development of computers. He noticed that the amount of computer memory doubled approximately every two years.
This pattern became a kind of empirical rule in the computer industry, and it soon turned out that it can be applied not only to memory, but also to each indicator of computer performance – the compactness of microcircuits, processor speed, cost of production, etc. Over time, empirical observation became the major rule the futurists.
But, unfortunately, the endless continuation of this law is little compatible with the laws of nature – for example, no microcircuit can become smaller than an atom. In addition, an economic collapse smoothly creeps up to this law: as microcircuits become smaller, they cease to become cheaper. On the contrary, they begin to rise in price.
Robot is a friend of man
It’s unlikely that we will face the Terminator-style Armageddon. However, more and more scientists are expressing doubts that our robotization of the surrounding space is well thought out.
One of the main problems is automation. Will we allow machines to make decisions, and how will people intervene? How should self-driving cars react if someone is killed in the road? In addition, robots have already begun to capture those areas of activity where we might not want to see them.
Microsoft has already used video-AI at the reception in one of its buildings. Medical prototype robots are already able to question patients about their symptoms and express their sympathy.
Global warming will be stopped soon
Is global warming inevitable? Many climatologists claim that humanity has already passed the point of no return. Even now, we can observe climate change – glaciers are melting, and sea level is rising. Some island states, such as the Tuvalu, are already at risk of total flooding – and developed countries still continue to release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Even if we stopped all emissions today, by the middle of the century, global temperature would have risen by 1 degree, because the existing carbon dioxide would remain in the atmosphere for at least half a century. A temperature increase of 3 degrees by the end of the century could lead to disaster and flooding of most coasts – and this scenario is quite possible.