Humanity’s merge with its technology, which began shortly after the taming of fire, is still happening today. Many predict that the fine-tuning of our DNA-based biology through stem cell and genetic research will spark a powerful nanotech revolution that promises to redesign and rebuild our bodies and the environment, pushing the limits of today’s understanding of life and the world we live in.
Nanotech will change our physical world much the same way that computers have transformed our information world. Physical things such as cars and houses could follow the same path of computers, when Moore’s Law correctly predicted value-to-cost would increase by 50% every 18 months.
Existing products that are now expensive, such as photovoltaic solar cells, will become so cheap in the decades ahead, that it may one day be possible to surface roads with solar-collecting materials that would also gather energy to power cars, ending much of the world’s dependency on fossil fuels.
In addition, imagine machines that create clothing, medicine, food and most essentials, with only your voice needed to command the action. Today, such devices are not available, but by early 2030s, experts predict, a home nanofactory will provide most of your family’s needs at little or no cost.
Now bring on the most amazing impending revolution – human-level robots – with intelligence derived from us, but with redesigned bodies that exceed human capabilities. These powerful android creatures expected by 2030, will enable us to tap into their super-computer minds to increase our own intelligence. Constructed with molecular nanotech processes, they will be affordable for every family.
Finally, by mid-century, many people will complete the technology merge by replacing more of their biology with nanomaterials, creating a powerful body that can automatically repair itself when damaged. No more concerns over sickness, accidents, or unwanted death.
Evolution created humanity; humanity created technology, humanity will soon become technology. This is simply our next evolutionary step. Where this trip will take us may be beyond present day knowledge, but whatever the future holds, many people alive today can expect to experience all of its wonders.
Of course, not everyone may hold such a glowing vision of how life may unfold, but for one who has seen so many amazing changes over the past eighty two years, I think it difficult to imagine a negative outcome as we trek through what promises to be an incredible future.
Dick Pelletier was a weekly columnist who wrote about future science and technologies for numerous publications. He passed away on July 22, 2014.
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