The world is constantly moving forward with technological advances, with various new technologies coming out every year. In 50 years from 1950 to 2000, the world has gone very far, we have created multiple nuclear bombs and tested them in various locations. We have walked on the moon. Perhaps the most wondrous technology is the internet, which has given us the ability to hold so much data and information always at our disposal. However, the amount of progress we have made in these 17 years of the 21st century is much more exciting than the progress made from 1950 to 2000. We have self-driving vehicles, mechanical brains, renewable technologies to improve our real world and Artificial Intelligence to improve our virtual world. However, there are still many years left in the first half of the 21st century and there are still many more incredible things to come. Here are 7 incredible things that will happen before 2050.
Randal Koene, a neuroscientist with funding from a wealthy Russian investor and his team of scientists plan on mapping the entire human brain and it’s every function by 2045. This will, in theory, enable them to create an artificial model of the human brain. The team will be able to map out a particular person’s brain and replicate it like writing a code and hence, be able to make a perfect copy of it. In theory, even if the person’s body wears out and dies, they can technically stay alive forever through their artificial brain. Think about it, people around you, anyone you see may become ‘immortal’ in a sense, in this lifetime. While the idea may seem like a typical sci-fi movie, the real-life implications could be endless. These artificial brains could not only exist at a human level but it could even help people reach the depths of outer space. In medicine, it could be implemented on a microscopic scale and humans could study bacteria and viruses on a much closer scale than ever which would help in understanding many different diseases. However, your consciousness could also be transferred in an artificial robotic body, making you an actual real-life cyborg. It is still a big ‘if’ as this kind of technology will require a lot of money and a lot of time to develop.
Eradication of Poverty
The World Bank has calculated that over 700 million people live in conditions of extreme poverty. This is a large number of unfortunate men, women, and children; however, it is a significant decrease. In 2012 it was calculated that over 900 million people are living in conditions of extreme poverty which means that around 200 million people have been rehabilitated in only 5 years. These people earn less than an average of $1.90 per day. While these figures suggest that the world is only falling deeper into this pit, the World Bank estimates that extreme poverty may be nearly eradicated by 2050. In fact, it says that roughly 3% of the population will be living under the extreme poverty line by 2030. In 2042, around the time the world reaches the population of 9 billion and the richest person will be a trillionaire (estimated figures), most people in the world will be far above the poverty line. Nonetheless, if poverty is to be eradicated within this time, a lot of work must be done. However, to achieve this goal, a huge amount of effort needs to be put in by the financially stable population of the world.
Cure for HIV
From 2012 to 2014, research grants in finding a cure for HIV increased by 82%. As the understanding of HIV increases, so do the chances of a cure being developed soon. Since 1985, amfAR, the foundation for AIDS research has been determined on curing HIV and AIDs and through their ‘Countdown to Cure’ program. They’re confident that they can develop the means necessary for a cure by 2021. They plan on achieving this by strictly focusing all of their research on specific parts. For example, on how the human DNA reacts with the HIV cells and looking at singular HIV strands to figure out their properties. These deeper understandings only bring them closer to the cure. amFAR says that they won’t have a cure ready by 2020, but will definitely be able to eradicate HIV and AIDS in our lifetime.
Many smart cars are already surfing the road around us, they can tell us the distance between cars, when an obstacle is ahead and in some cases even parallel park. Although this itself is a big achievement; in the early 2020’s, most auto companies will have already tested their own self-driving cars. We may see self-driving cars around us soon, maybe even in the upcoming year. They will drive you to and from work, and drive you back home if you’re intoxicated or just tired. Cars in the 20’s will still require human supervision but by 2035 the automobile industry will be fully automated with no human supervision needed in driving or manufacturing the car. The roads will be patrolled by A.I which will make the roads much safer as human error will be out of the question. This may seem scary to most people but it would have great benefits to the environment. It is estimated that there will be more than 7 million cars produced and in the market by 2020 and the number will shoot up to 100 million by 2030. This will help reduce CO2 emissions by 30%.
If you’re afraid of these changes that will occur in the future, you can just leave Earth. Yes, it will be possible to visit and colonize other celestial bodies in the future. In the 21st century, we have already accomplished so much. From barely having motor cars to exploring outer space in different vessels and finding so much about the world beyond ours. In the near future, we will be able to visit bodies beyond our solar system. China plans on creating its own Space Station by 2022, and it also plans on visiting the moon somewhere in the 30’s. Space hotels may open up as early as 2020. SpaceX, run by Elon Musk also uses its resources to explore outer space and plans on sending cargo to Mars by 2024, the company plans on sending the first ever manned mission to Mars by 2026, beating NASA’s plans by several years.
By 2050, over 50% of the Amazonian Forest will be deforested and over 70% of the population will live in urban cities so getting clean air will become a huge problem. Although there are plans to colonize Mars and the moon by the mid to late 21st century, that would still be a small portion of the population and people will still need clean air to survive. In the next 20 years, the UK plans on fully phasing out coal and so do many other European countries. While the United States doesn’t plan on completely removing coal from its system, a study conducted by the Department of Energy showed that over 80% of all energy will be from either solar power, hydropower, electric power, geothermal power or wind turbines. This will decrease excessive CO2 emission in the environment by 80% and reduce water wastage by 50%. The detailed and heavily researched study accurately shows the condition of the United States’ industry and the commitments needed to ensure a safe and clean future for the next generations.
As computerized worlds become more visually detailed and video games grow into complex extensions of real life,‘The Matrix’ starts to become a reality. Even now, Apple and Google two of the biggest tech giants, both host their augmented reality sessions. Apple has the most comprehensive and detailed worlds simply appearing on the screen of your iPhone. With video games becoming more immersive and a bigger part of everyone’s lives such as VR, employers may invoke them into their employees working style, for example, using reward based games to make employees more motivated towards their tasks. It is predicted that by 2050, all of the mainstream street shopping will be a thing of the past. Online shopping will also be replaced by VR headsets through which people will go about their daily shopping while sitting in the comfort of their homes.
Super Tall Buildings
With such a large influx of the global population moving into cities, contractors and builders will need to come up with new, larger designs of buildings to fit so many people into the cities. Many analysts predict that by 2050, buildings will be supervised by Siri like A.I to make contact between tenants and landlords easier. Super tall buildings will become common and would serve as cities within cities where workers would create their own communities on different floors etc. while other floors may be occupied for recreational activities and such. These buildings will also be built rapidly thanks to 3D printers which will be much more evolved by that time. Winsun, a Chinese company was able to 3D print 10 houses in one day. They were fully packed with electrical wiring, outlets, and pipes for plumbing. They did it for only $5000 per home. Add that with the inventions of special exoskeleton suits which will enable workers to create entire cities within weeks and months.