Five possibilities in what promises to be a mind-boggling future!
Medical nanorobots: this nanowonder could be one of the first products developed after creation of ‘the assembler,’ which scientists expect could happen by mid-2020s. Billions of computer-controlled ‘bots would flow through veins and zap pathogens before they harm us, replace damaged and aging cells with new youthful ones, and keep our bodies in perfect health 24/7. One day these nano-marvels could even deliver nutrients to our cells more efficiently than the current method of eating food.
Human-machine merge begins: positive futurists predict biotech and nanotech advances between now and 2035 will eliminate most diseases and end human aging. Granted, our evolutionary ‘curse’ could awaken new diseases, but visionaries see humans adding more non-biological parts to their bodies during late 2030s and 2040s, and by mid-century most people in developed countries will be living in a secure, powerful body with built-in auto repair features.
Brain transfers: with a thorough understanding of consciousness expected during the 2020s and 2030s, mid-century minds could easily be transferred into a new ‘housing unit’ should disaster strike the old body. At this point, we would consider our lifespan indefinite; never again will we be forced to suffer an unwanted death. By eliminating most deaths, creating children to carry on the family image will become less desirable, which will reduce global population, easing strains on planet resources.
Quicker-thinking minds: by 2050, our brains will process information millions of times faster than today’s supercomputers can, enabling us to peruse hundreds of ‘what-if’ simulations in a split second when making decisions. Some believe this could reduce desires to commit crimes or harm others.
Space development: should molecular nanotech become reality by mid-2020s and the Space Elevator constructed by 2040, creating the high frontier will unfold quicker than analysts predict. Technologies over the next five decades could cause a rush to space that by today’s thinking, would be unimaginable. Experts believe that by 2060, 250,000 humans could live and work in space.
In conclusion, I realize that these advancements may sound more like fiction than science, but in this writer’s mind, these events all have an excellent chance of becoming reality. Comments welcome.
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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