As our 21st Century unfolds, revolutionary changes will appear at overwhelming speeds. Most of these changes will be driven by the four NBIC areas: Nanotech, Biotech, Infotech, and Cognitech.
By 2030, computer power will have doubled several times, which will help researchers unravel many of our genetic mysteries; and nanotechnology, the science of building things atom by atom, will provide us with a host of new miracles making our lives more pleasurable.
Things that will change by 2030
1. Cancer and heart disease deaths will disappear, according to the National Institutes of Health.
2. Organ transplants won’t be needed. Doctors will grow new organs from patient tissues.
3. Coronary bypass procedures will be passé as doctors use gene therapies to grow new blood vessels to replace those that are blocked.
4. False teeth will be replaced by stem cell therapies that grow natural teeth. Clinical trials of this new procedure are already underway in Europe now.
5. Getting lost will be nearly impossible with GPS chips in cell phones and watches; and implanted under the skin on children and older people.
6. Internal combustion motors will increasingly be replaced by fuel cell/electric motors.
7. New skills will be needed for voice control of automated collision-proof driverless cars.
8. We will become friends with personal robots that can think limited thoughts by themselves.
9. Neuron therapies that alter negative human behavior, made possible by a better understanding of consciousness, will produce a more positive global civilization as we enter the fourth decade of our 21st Century journey. This breakthrough has evoked excitement from society everywhere, and some are even predicting that crime and violence could soon end.
Things that won’t change by 2030
Religion will remain popular. People have forever predicted religions to fail, but (unfortunately, at least in this Humanists’ view) they will be wrong. UN statistics suggest that world religions will not disappear by 2030. In fact, one third of the world will still be Christians, followed by Muslims, Humanists/Atheists/Free-thinkers, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, and others.
In addition, old-fashioned sex will be more enjoyable than ever. Virtual reality romances and intimate encounters with robots will be embraced by many, but the real deal – with its familiar risks and rewards – will still be the dominant romantic interface in 2030.
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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