I have always said: time is us who pass. And the beauty of the future is that it comes one day at a time. Nice words, but if we think about it, things run dizzyingly. Where will these changes lead us, especially in technology at the time of artificial intelligence? While waiting for them to invent time travel, I try to hypothesize.
Let's fast forward to 2050, then let's look back and see what happened. Do you like it? Good. For those two who are still reading the article: it was a false start, first we need to take a small step back.
Time travel, starting from the (recent) past. How did we get here
Our little journey through time begins in the past, because we must always contextualize. We don't go very far, though.
2000 - Let's make the story start from here. It seems like yesterday, but to make you understand, at the beginning of this century there were PCs as big as boxes, we rented films also in VHS from Blockbuster, to orient ourselves we bought paper maps and… do I have to continue? Think about what happened in 22 years. In the next 28 there will be even more rapid changes.
2022 - Today, artificial intelligence make images and early videos, creates music, revolutionizes the cinema, interprets the language, help designers and, in summary, try to do some things we do, but in a different way. Robots aspire to be companions on the road and at work. And one of them (Sophia) even took citizenship :)
As always, before taking our time travel to unknown shores, I'll tell you the obvious.
Nobody knows the future. There are many factors, micro or macro, that could change this trajectory. A world war, a pandemic, social changes that we do not imagine today, or climate disasters. Again: it may well be that everything will go according to these forecasts, but it will not be for everyone, and new technologies will be exploited only by the richest.
Anyway, let's go. Expensive 2050, tell us what has changed in some key areas.
Healthcare: genomics and predictive
Over the next 28 years, we will move from age, weight and gender based healthcare to a new world of personalized care, starting with genome sequencing of an individual. The signs of this shift have already begun, and will spread as technology improves.
Health systems will come to be predictive, naturally after more and more people have been somehow (hopefully voluntarily) sequenced to "train" the algorithms.
Today we will have unthinkable awareness about our body, about our physique. Each of us will have, if he wants, a small instruction manual on how his own personal organism works.
AI will treat and, in many cases, will remove physical and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, and also several birth defects, possibly spinal cord injuries, as well as blindness and deafness. By 2050 our minds will direct prosthesis more resistant and advanced robots than biological ones.
In the field of diagnostics, time travel shows us that AI will be able to do everything. From conducting the initial exam to administering tests, from taking x-rays and CT scans to formulation of a preliminary diagnosis. If we will allow it (and if it will be safe) even the administration of treatment. Most medical examinations will likely be conducted by videoconference, with wearable devices (or robots) as “in attendance” assistants.
Several interventions, even complex ones they will be performed directly remotely. Above all, new generations of doctors will have a much more open and aware attitude towards algorithms: that will be the real transition to the era of genomic and predictive medicine.
As you know, today we still live between bits and bytes, but something tells us that this situation is starting at sunset. Quantum computing promises to be the way of the future.
The qubits, which can be any fraction of the state from 0 to 1, could constitute a completely new computer science. The first tests revealed a substantial and exponential increase in calculations, which are also performed simultaneously.
Research into the huge data sets needed to “train” an artificial intelligence will only be possible with quantum computing.
Population increasing by 2050 (before a decline expected in the second half of the century) will work mostly from home, yet will always need transportation. All the tech giants will have technologies or services related to autonomous driving.
Today this autonomous driving is level two: cars are able to control steering, acceleration and braking. At the end of this time travel we will find ourselves with level 6 cars, which do everything themselves. This passage will not be limited to roads, however: passengers and goods will also move through automatic drones.
This is a word that to the friend Marco Camisani Calzolari makes you turn up your nose. More than anything, he simply claims that the metaverse does not exist. The fact is that he's right at the moment, and maybe he'll be right tomorrow too. However, a phenomenon that sees such huge investments deserves more than reflection, and more than speculation on its possible route.
If technology develops at current rates and in the intentions of the "promoters" of the Metaverse, including Zuckerberg, by 2050 it will be impossible to distinguish between a virtualized real person and an avatar based on artificial intelligence. Avatars will be as common as cell phones are today.
As the functions of the metaverse (or "only" of VR and AR, ok Marco?) Expand, the possible activities will be spectacular. We will be able to “visit” our planet in increasingly immersive ways, and perhaps also others (real and otherwise).
A more engaging parallel life, and hopefully less alienating than the digital one, will appear before our eyes. Of course, it will be a very confusing reality. It will literally overlap with everyday life, and it will be hard not to get lost in it.
Would you have said it? Time travel to 2050 “says” that AI's most significant impact will be on the way we work. Everywhere. Administrative, sales, catering, transport and production jobs will be disrupted.
Far less physical work will be required to maintain what we would now call a "basic life". Today we are seeing the first steps of a "general" artificial intelligence, which will be able to understand or learn almost any intellectual or mechanical work that a human being can do.
AI will be able to identify relevant facts, make decisions and execute. It will be up to us to understand if we want to allow it by learning to manage it, perhaps integrating other types of tools. Or, if we still want to live with the logic of "boss and employee", continuing to let us manage life.
End of time travel
Uff! This intoxicating rush can leave you stunned. Each aspect (plus others that I have left out) deserves a separate book, and it is not certain that one day someone will not come out :) At the moment I can say that (always remember the premise) by 2050 artificial intelligence will be completely intertwined with our life.