Monday, March 22, 2010

What will our world look like in 25 Years?

How will the world look like in the future 25 years? Some very insightful perspectives are summarized below.

1. Everything you say and do will be recorded by 2030. By the late 2010s, ubiquitous, unseen nanodevices will provide seamless communication and surveillance among all people everywhere. Humans will have nanoimplants, facilitating interaction in an omnipresent network. Everyone will have a unique Internet Protocol (IP) address. Since nano storage capacity is almost limitless, all conversation and activity will be recorded and recoverable. -Gene Stephens, “Cybercrime in the Year 2025,” July-Aug 2008, p. 34

2. The cars days as king of the road may soon be over. More powerful wireless communication that reduces demand for travel, flying delivery drones to replace trucks, and policies to restrict the number of vehicles owned in each household are among the developments that could thwart the automobiles historic dominance on the environment and culture. If current trends were to continue, the world would have to make way for a total of 3 billion vehicles on the road by 2025. -Thomas J. Frey, “Disrupting the Automobiles Future,” Sep-Oct 2008, p. 39 et seq.

3. There may not be world law in the foreseeable future, but the world’s legal systems will be networked. The Global Legal Information Network (GLIN), a database of local and national laws for more than 50 participating countries, will grow to include more than 100 counties by 2010. The database will lay the groundwork for a more universal understanding of the diversity of laws between nations and will create new opportunities for peace and international partnership. -Joseph N. Pelton, “Toward a Global Rule of Law: A Practical Step Toward World Peace,” Nov-Dec 2007, p. 25

4. Professional knowledge will become obsolete almost as quickly as it is acquired. An individuals professional knowledge is becoming outdated at a much faster rate than ever before. Most professions will require continuous instruction and retraining. Rapid changes in the job market and work-related technologies will necessitate job education for almost every worker. At any given moment, a substantial portion of the labor force will be in job retraining programs. -Marvin J. Cetron and Owen Davies, “Trends Shaping Tomorrows World, Part Two,” May-June 2008, p 41

5. Urbanization will hit 60% by 2030. As more of the worlds population lives in cities, rapid development to accommodate them will make existing environmental and socioeconomic problems worse. Epidemics will be more common due to crowded dwelling units and poor sanitation. Global warming may accelerate due to higher carbon dioxide output and loss of carbon-absorbing plants. -Marvin J. Cetron and Owen Davies, “Trends Shaping Tomorrows World, Part One,” Mar-Apr 2008, p. 52

6. Trending insights for reflection predicted by Cisco Systems Inc. futurist Dave Evan. In five years we’ll be creating the equivalent of 92 million Libraries of Congress worth of data a year, in 20 years artificial brain implants will be available and in 25 years robots will replace all workers. “It behooves those organizations and individuals and governments to really get this and embrace this,” he warned. “This is a fundamental shift in how we as a species will operate forward.”

Other Trending Insights – Things we know and don’t know:
  • Things are no longer growing at a linear rate. Because of the law of large numbers things are accelerating at an exponential rate.
  • The world’s data will increase six times in each of the next two years – including corporate data multiplying 50 times a year.
  • So by 2029 we’ll pay a mere US$100 for 11 petabytes of storage.
  • By 2013, wireless network traffic will reach 400 petabytes a month, compared to the 9 PB a month that flow today through both wired and wireless networks.
  • Moore’s Law, the dictum that the number of transistors that can be put on an integrated circuit will double roughly every 18 months, will be extended “for some time,” despite fears that the limits of reducing silicon will be reached soon. It will – around 2021.
  • By then, a breakthrough in quantum computing will make “mind blowingly fast” computers that will allow instantaneous language translation and machines that recognize faces that think and networks that can transmit an unlimited amount of data any distance
  • Each of us may have a virtual assistant – a digital creation with feelings – taking over the drudgery of online tasks like going through our inboxes and monitoring e-Bay auctions.
  • Because “data does not equal knowledge,” intelligent machines will be put to use mining those mountains of digital files, videos and music we’ll be storing to help us make smart decisions about our lives.

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