The list of technologies under study is very long and is constantly updated: one of the latest lists of future developments that could change the world forever comes fromInstitute of Ethics and Emerging Technologies, a research center founded in 2004 by a philosopher, Nick Bostrom, and a bioethics expert, James Huges. The list, drawn up with the advice of the futurologist Gray Scott, presents really interesting elements: here are the “magnificent” 6 technologies that could arrive in the near future.
Age reversal - By 2025, Scott writes, those with money and a strong sense of risk will be able to attempt therapies that aim at age reversal, through techniques based on the disabling of mitochondrial functions or other techniques currently tested in mice (which have produced rejuvenation comparable to that of a 60-year-old man who is brought back to the functions and health of a XNUMX-year-old). There are also other bodies (in the USA at Stanford, for example) that work on an age reversal obtained through the lengthening of telomeres, the terminal areas of chromosomes. However, these techniques do not eliminate several other causes of death such as cancer, so the impact of this technology may be less than hoped for. It is not a therapy that gives immortality, it can extend life but it does not make it invulnerable to dangers.
Mass artificial intelligence - In 2015, more than 200.000 industrial robots capable of performing more than one task will be sold. We will see them run in hotels, hospitals and restaurants by 2020. Just to stay in a hospital: which of the figures of nurses, nurses, cooks, therapists, cleaners will be replaced first? It takes much more, in my opinion. By 2025 we may have cars that can drive autonomously, but I think it is very premature to think of ubiquitous robots by that date.
Vertical LED Farms - By 2050, 75% of the world's population will live in cities or large megacities that have grown up around the world's major cities. The food and service needs of these large agglomerations will be frighteningly large. A model like the current one, based on large areas where to grow food that is then shipped over great distances, may no longer be sustainable or sufficient for everyone. Vertical agriculture can allow great energy savings, reduce the number of pesticides and allow greater availability of zero-kilometer products. It could spread by 2025. The recent discovery that plants would grow better under red and blue LED lights may lead to new devices that can improve production and reduce consumption. It is clear that without increasing agricultural production and without improving the distribution system it will be impossible to feed more than 8 billion people by 2050. Within 10 years we could obtain up to 10% of total production from vertical farms.
Transhumanism - From intelligent objects to body implants of all kinds (teeth and vascular systems above all) there will be an ever greater fusion between man and machine. When not directly implanted in our bodies, technologies such as smart contact lenses, augmented reality glasses and others could send our smartphones into the attic and constitute totally different user experiences. In fact, several million "cyborgs" already live on the planet with small machines that replace bodily functions: the development of even more advanced technologies is only a consequence, and I would be surprised not to see any progress in this sense in the next 10 years.
Atmospheric water collection - Several companies are already studying and / or developing methods for extracting water from the air, mostly using micro filtration systems. The technology obviously works best when there is fog around, which suggests its optimal application in desert territories not too far from the sea. Once made efficient enough, such a mechanism could become much cheaper than drilling. I have no idea how long it will take to see this technology applied: it already exists, but the doubt is about how to develop it on a large scale.
3D printing - We have been talking about it for quite a while (in Italy the tirade of Beppe Grillo, misunderstood at the time, who introduced the subject is famous): this technology is becoming more and more capable of providing large-scale applications. Stylists are already using 3D printers for their clothes, several companies print metal parts for vehicles and aircraft. Soon we will see furniture and homes. Will we ever see printers that can print other printers? Beyond what might only appear to be a boutade, this is the technology that will be applied more than ever in recent years.
How many / which of these technologies will meet the premises? We just have to wait ... and monitor :)
Gianluca Riccio, born in 1975, is the creative director of an advertising agency, copywriter and journalist. He is affiliated with Italian Institute for the Future, World Future Society and H +, Network of Italian Transhumanists. Since 2006 he directs Futuroprossimo.it, the Italian resource of Futurology.
Futuroprossimo.it is an Italian resource of futurology opened since 2006: every day news about the near future. Scientific discoveries, medical research, prototypes, concepts and predictions about the future for free.
Gianluca Riccio, copywriter and journalist - Born in 1975, he is the creative director of an advertising agency, he is affiliated with the Italian Institute for the Future, World Future Society and H +, Network of Italian Transhumanists.