Technology is advancing fast. Probably at a rate faster than ever before, and that trend is only set to continue. Sooner than once imagined, we will all be integrated into a world of AI and science fiction and some technologies that we thought would never be possible will soon be emerging. Below is a list of the top 10 most likely technologies to emerge within the next 80 or so years. Some are closer than others to being a reality, but all are certainly possible.
1 – Space-Based Solar Power: This is being talked about quite a lot at the moment and may be one of the technologies we could be seeing sooner rather than later. Space-based solar power could solve the issues of climate change once and for all and is an idea that has been in proposition since the 1960’s. Japan is the closest to making this a reality and has created a system called SBSP. The idea behind this system is that it would use satellites to target a 1.8-mile wide receiver, generating enough electricity to power half a million homes.
2 – Artificial Lifeforms: We will soon be at the stage where we scientists can create new organisms from scratch. Researchers from Synthetic Genomics and the J. Craig Venter Institute have already managed to create an artificial bacterial genome that is smaller in size than anything else known in nature. Further research in this area will enable scientists to categorize essential genes within cells and explore the major functions of life. A new program is being launched that involves creating a synthetic human genome from scratch, and once they can do this the same technology could be used to make designer babies.
3 – Molecular Assemblers: This is a potential type of fabricator that would be able to manipulate individual atoms in order to build anything needed. Biological assemblers are already in existence, so it’s just a case using that same logic to produce material objects. These devices could also be used to produce food among a whole host of things that would otherwise be impossible to construct.
4 – Utility Fog: This is a swarm of nanobots that have the ability to take on any desired shape or form and can change it in an instant. Each swarm is called a foglet and would be just 10 microns in diameter, but be equipped with an onboard computer and 12 arms that stick outwards. Upon two of these foglets linking together, a circuit is formed, allowing power to be distributed throughout the entire network.
5 – Weather Control: We may not be talking complete weather control, but it will definitely be stepped up a notch. Places such as California are already manipulating clouds to stimulate rain and has been dong so for the last 50 years. Beijing has also played its share in weather control during the 2008 Summer Olympics. Before storms were due to hit, they fired 1,100 rockets into the clouds to trigger downpours beforehand. Moving forwards, weather control could be used to prevent tornados or hurricanes from forming. Studies have proved that a wind farm big enough to house tens of thousands of turbines could reduce storm surges by up to 79 percent. A weather machine could also be constructed that would be capable of creating any desired atmosphere.
6 – Fusion Power: Nuclear fusion is where a single heavy nucleus is created from two smaller ones. Scientists suggest that it’s possible to completely replace fossil fuels and nuclear reactors by instead using nuclear fusion. But, it’s easier said than done and the problem is trying to contain the reaction and make it safe for everyone. Once this has been worked out, there will be no stopping it.
7 – Mind Uploading: We aren’t far away from copying an entire brain, and that is basically what mind uploading is all about. It takes one person thoughts, memories, personality traits, etc. and copies it completely to another. This technology might not be quite so imminent, and there are still many ethical issues to get over first.
8 – Geoengineering: Current geohacking proposals that could help to calm the devastation caused by climate change including cirrus cloud seeding, sulfur-aerosol injection, stratospheric particle injection, and tropical reforestation. A giant space reflector has also been mentioned although this is not as likely.
9 – Brain-linked Virtual Reality: This one really isn’t that far away and in fairness is already here in some form, but none give a true sense of being in another reality – not yet anyway. But, in the 2100’s or less, virtual reality will become barely distinguishable from real life as experiences are fed directly into the brain making the experience that more real.
10 – Mind-to-Mind Communication: Not only will this bring us closer together, but will also give us strength in numbers. Haven’t you ever heard the saying that two minds are better than one? It may even lead to a collective mass consciousness.