Science fiction writer Isaac Asimov tried to imagine the life of humanity in 2014. Let's analyze Azimov's forecasts, as well as study the predictions of experts for 50 years ahead - about the life of mankind in 2064.
In 1964, science fiction writer Isaac Asimov tried to imagine the life of humanity in 2014 - and indeed anticipated some of the achievements we enjoy today, journalist Teresa Guerrero recalls in the pages of El Mundo. The newspaper analyzes Azimov's forecasts, outlined by him in an article for The New York Times, and also cites the predictions of 6 experts for 50 years ahead - about the life of mankind in 2064.
According to the newspaper's estimates, in 1964 Azimov guessed one hundred percent in less than 40% of cases. 30% of the forecasts did not come true by 2014 and are extremely far from being realized, and another 30% came true in part or approximately. For example, Azimov stated: "The equipment, of course, will be without wires, it will be powered by long-term radioisotope batteries." Cars do not hover, and there are no moving sidewalks on the streets.
At the same time, Azimov predicted that when communicating on the phone, we will be able not only to hear, but also to see the interlocutor, as well as use this screen to view documents and photographs, "read excerpts from books." Thanks to orbiting satellites, it would be possible to call anywhere on the planet directly, he expected.
He also guessed that there would be miniature computers. “But he did not specify that they could be used as telephones, but wrote only that they“will serve as a brain for robots,”the author notes. Television sets will be “crowded out by screens on the walls,” Azimov wrote.
True, even Azimov failed to foresee the Internet, said Ramon Lopez de Mantaras, director of the Institute of Artificial Intelligence, in an interview.
The kitchens will have devices for cooking, "breakfasts will be ordered in the evening so that they are ready by the agreed time in the morning," Azimov wrote. “However, I suspect that even in 2014 it will be desirable to have a small corner for cooking by hand in the kitchen, especially when you are waiting for guests,” the writer added. He also believed that there would be climate regulation systems in homes.
Asimov's predictions about Mars partially came true, but about the Moon - they did not come true. "Only unmanned spacecraft will be sent to Mars, although an astronaut expedition will be prepared in 2014," he wrote. Indeed, NASA is planning such an expedition, but not earlier than 2030. Azimov believed that in 2014 there will be settlements on the moon.
In the field of medicine, Azimov predicted that psychiatry would become the most important area, and "humanity would suffer greatly from pathological boredom." He exaggerated, the newspaper said. Azimov also believed that the use of mechanical devices to replace hearts and kidneys would expand, that doctors would learn to "repair" arteries and nerves.
Azimov expected that the growth of the Earth's population would force people to settle in the polar zones and deserts. He also predicted the appearance of underwater houses.
Azimov expected the appearance of giant solar power plants, but was mistaken in his prediction that there would be "one or two experimental thermonuclear reactors." In fact, the first results at the ITER reactor, which is being built in France, are expected in the early 2020s. The prediction about power plants in space did not come true either.
In the area of nutrition, Azimov expected artificial food to appear, as well as "processed starter cultures and algae-based products that would be available in a range of flavors." Well, in 2013, the first artificial meat hamburger was prepared, the newspaper recalls.
“In the world of 2014, there will be few routine jobs that a machine could not cope with better than a human,” Azimov said.
What will the world be like in 2064? All 6 experts interviewed by the newspaper stressed that it is very difficult to make predictions, but they dared to follow in the footsteps of Azimov.
Ramon Lopez de Mantaras, director of the Institute of Artificial Intelligence (Spain), believes that highly intelligent humanoid robots will help us with our housework, as well as autonomously explore other planets. Robotic cars will be produced in large quantities, and road accidents will practically stop. Aircraft with engines of the new type will fly much faster. It will be possible to grow new organs for living things to replace sick or damaged ones.
Maria Chamiso, an experimental physicist (CERN), writes that to cure cancer, it will be enough "to take pills of protons (or other hadrons) that destroy cancer cells without damaging healthy tissue." Renewable energy sources will become mainstream. Methods for the complete processing of nuclear waste will be developed, and mankind will again think about returning to nuclear power. “The quality of scientific research will improve as the contribution of women to science will be judged at the same level as that of men,” Chamiso writes.
Alvaro Jimenez, director of science and robotic research at the European Space Agency, predicts space tourism will become common, albeit not cheap. Humanity will get to Mars. “The problem is not technical, but economic: the cost of flying a manned spacecraft to Mars is too high,” explains Jimenez. By 2064, mankind will well recognize the nearest exoplanets and, possibly, will find several planets where conditions are favorable for the origin and existence of life. But getting to these planets will require more efficient transportation than modern ones, Jimenez said.
Amador Menendez, Research Fellow at the Asturias Institute of Materials Technology, expects us to use the Internet through implants. “Perhaps one day we will send to the landfill not only paper, but also screens: all information will flow from chips to neurons, and we will visualize it in our brain,” he writes. Optogenetic implants can treat diseases and brain defects. Computers with emotions will appear. “This will make them smarter, as it has been proven that it is impossible to come to reasonable decisions without emotion,” the author predicts.
Jose Luis Cordeiro, a researcher at the University of the Singularity (Silicon Valley), believes that after 2045 we will have artificial intelligence that will surpass the human mind, and we will move on to the next stage of development - we will become "posthuman". “Human civilization will unite into a single planetary organism, the power of the intellect of which will exceed the current one by millions of times,” the article says. This brain will process information millions of times faster. By 2064, colonies of posthumans will appear on the planets of the solar system. “Civilization will be transplanetary and almost immortal,” concludes Cordeiro.
Antonio Abelian, Research Fellow at the Population Department at the Supreme Council for Scientific Research (Spain), believes that the world's population will not exceed 9 billion people. The birth rate will decrease, but the beginning of old age will be postponed, and life expectancy will increase (on average, up to 85, 4 years in developed countries and up to 74 in the rest).