Popular Mechanics has a rather interesting article up speculating on how things will change in the world of technology over the next 110 years. Some of these speculations are standard futurist fare — colonies on Mars, robotic nurses, ion rocket drives. But some are more plausible based on current technology. Driver-less cars, already legal in Nevada, are a major prediction. Google has already put several of these out on the roads and subjected them to tests. It won’t be much longer before human-controlled cars are viewed as a liability instead of an asset. Another prediction I found interesting is the ability to accurately predict traffic jams. If the prediction software is good enough, then perhaps our computer-controlled cars would either bypass the jam altogether or we would see fewer traffic jams since most jams are caused by humans and their erratic driving.
Also in the realm of computers and communications is the prediction that soon everyone will be fluent in every language. As translation software gets better and begins to “learn” how to “speak,” soon we may have phones that can translate our conversations on the fly, breaking down the language barrier between nations and individuals. Broadcast studios and movie studios may get to the point of where they no longer have to wait and hire translators to overdub their movies for foreign audiences — software may be able to make it sound as if the actors themselves are fluent in every language on the tree.
The last thing that captured my interest was the tendency for predictions to scale down. Medical technology will go to the nano-scale as chemotherapy and other computing and innovative solutions become more practical, smaller, and efficient.
For your part, what are you looking forward to in the future?