Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Ideas from the future

I was sent a link to the TED Ideas website this week and read an article entitled 26 Ideas from the Future.  I'm not going to write about all 26 of these ideas, but I do want to mention some that I think are really interesting.

  • Progress in medicine - several TED speakers mentioned this.  The idea is that greater life expectancy will drive innovation, in particular the ability to diagnose a disease very early - even before you know there is anything wrong with you - the human body will be infused with technology and implanted chips will be able to measure health data.  Medicine will also become more personalized - it will be designed specifically for you.  Predictions are also that bioengineering could become a new field of innovation.
  • Other speakers mentioned travel.  For example autonomous vehicles that will cut energy consumption and air pollution.  The prediction is that this could lead to the disappearance of road congestion and that we will save huge amounts of time that are now spent sitting in traffic.  Predictions are also that people will be able to travel from any major city in the world to another in less than a couple of hours.  Predictions are that everyone in the world will be connected with new methods of transportation, including ariel vehicles or drones.
  • Energy consumption is mentioned by others.  If future energy is clean and cheap then this will lift people out of poverty.  Energy will allow us to desalinate water and incinerate trash to reduce waste.  The prediction is therefore that we could leave large portions of the world to nature.
  • Personalization is another theme.  The prediction is that we will all experience a different view of reality - we will see and hear a different world from anyone else as we augment our experience of the world with our personal electronic devices.
What do you think the future will be like, 20 or 30 years from now?

Original artwork by an ASB student

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