Graphing out the future contrary to the popular believes is not impossible the only hurdle is that it is quite difficult. The thing needed to achieve this astronomical task is a very powerful computer to collect enough data analyze the collected data, point out the pattern emerging from the data, extrapolate and whatever results from the extrapolation is the prediction. Pinpoint accuracy however seems unachievable unless endowed with foreknowledge. Humans are however not known for that faculty. To adduce my claims the famed futurist and inventor Ray kurzweil has been though not accurately but consistently predicting the technological advancement since the 1980s.
I am going to make an attempt to predict the future starting from the next decade. Before I am misunderstood and taken for something that I don’t want to be associated with, no I don’t possess a crystal ball like the hokum Nostradamus neither do I have the gift of a prophecy like Daniel, nay I do not but what I do have are books a ton of them and I never stop reading and the perks of being a reader is that books fills heads with knowledge. I am extremely passionate about science and I fill my shelf with a plethora of them and my knowledge about the impending future comes from them. So this is my take.
I am going to give 5 predictions that I am sure will come to pass because all the good books are screaming about the certainty of these five starting from the next decade. Here are the 5 as follows,
1. Digital Currency: I am starting with this one because I see this happening in the next decade if not in the next 15 years. Fiat currency is going to become obsolete and it’s going to be replaced by digital currency. A digital currency is just like a fiat currency only that it is not digital. The candidates for these are cryptocurrencies built on the Blockchain technology used with a distributed ledger. 10 years ago an anonymous person by the name Satoshi Nakamoto wrote a white paper for a decentralized digital currency called Bitcoin and the rest is history. The idea behind Bitcoin was decentralization which meant no central government no central bank controls the currency it’s the people who controls the currency. 10 years later i.e. today Bitcoin is losing its vision and so are most of the cryptocurrencies. How this is going to turn out I believe is that nations are going to come up with their own digital currencies making fiat obsolete. Venezuela has already done that and they call their digital currency Petro.
2. Inter-Planetary travel: This is the one that I am most excited about. I am not only predicting that this is going to happen but I am also going to add that whomever achieve this will become the first trillionaire because Inter-planetary travel is going to be the next big thing. At the moment Elon Musk’s Spacex and Jeff Bezos’s Blue origin are getting ready for this but Elon seems to be 5 steps ahead of everyone he is getting ready to go to Mars by 2024. Becoming a multi planetary species is our inherent duty. We have got to go out and explore. Imagine looking down at Earth from Mars or some other planet a moment I want to see before I am wiped out of existence. We don’t have the technology to travel even to our nearest star form our Solar System that is Proxima Centauri B, so we have to begin within our Solar System.
3. Artificial Intelligence: Artificial Intelligence or AI in short is an exciting field and no matter what Hollywood are producing an Arnold like robot from the future will not come back to change the future because within the AI community the discussion is a little different. Ray Kurzweil is of the opinion that the technological singularity will happen in 2049. Technological singularity is the phenomenon where machines will achieve consciousness. The positive side of AI advancement is that it will make our lives better and easier the negative side is that it will make us all archaic leaving us all with massive existential issue. There is weak AI, Strong AI and general AI. Weak AI is present now everywhere, they are in our pockets. AlphaGo a line of codes by Demis Hassibis has already beaten the best Go player, the fascinating thing about AlphaGo is that it learns from its mistakes just like a human being. I can go on and write about AI but space prohibits me.
4. Designer Babies (CRISPR Cas9): A recent development made in the biological field is something called CRISPR Cas9 where with more development in the future we can design babies the way we want. Eye color, height and so on can be chosen from the beginning. CRISPR Cas9 is a genome editing tool. It allows geneticists to edit parts of the genome by removing, adding or altering sections of the DNA. This is going to happen in the future and with this we get into the danger of playing God.
5. Quantum Computing: There are two kinds of computers classical computers and Quantum Computers. The ones we are using now are all classical computers. A classical computer uses only a bit for calculations hence it can only do so much however a quantum computer exploits a quantum phenomenon called superposition where a particle can exists in two different state at the same time, it uses qubits hence can perform a million times better than a classical computer. The science is quite difficult and the best way I can put it down is that given a task to find a way out of a maze a classical computer will find out all the possible way out one attempt after the other but a quantum computer can find out all the possible way out in one go. There are a lot of challenges to building a quantum computer but it is not impossible because some quantum computers prototypes are already being used. If one day quantum computers can be produced for every homes like the classical computers now some part of our lives will be a lot easier.
I am betting for these five in the future. While some are possible in the next decade or so some will take at least four or five decades to come to pass. There are a few more in my mind like different forms of Governance, 3D printing, bionic prosthetics, increasing lifespan, a totally different forms of transportation and so on but the 5 mentioned about in detail are the one that will do the most impact. The thing that I question myself when I muse about these things is how are we (Nagas) going to react to these developments? And whether we will make any contributions or not? I hope we do because there will be no dodging these developments, keep in mind that the cellular technology just took only a few years to infiltrate every home in Nagaland.