Tagged With predictions

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Many of us, owing to an intuitive sense of where technological and social progress are taking us, have a preconceived notion of what the future will look like. But as history has continually shown, the future doesn't always go according to plan. Here are 11 ways the world of tomorrow may not unfold the way we expect.

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Futurists and science fiction authors often give us overly grim visions of the future, especially when it comes to the Singularity and the risks of artificial superintelligence. Scifi novelist David Brin talked to us about why these dire predictions are often simplistic and unreasonable.

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Stephen Hawking is at it again, saying it's a "near certainty" that a self-inflicted disaster will befall humanity within the next thousand years or so. It's not the first time the world's most famous physicist has raised the alarm on the apocalypse, and he's starting to become a real downer. Here are some of the other times Hawking has said the end is nigh — and why he needs to start changing his message.

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Donald Trump will not be the next US president. Neither will Bernie Sanders, Jeb Bush, nor Hillary Clinton. How can I say this with such confidence? Because none of these people have beards. And that was supposed to be the style for US presidents by now. At least according to one random magazine from 1966.

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We are apparently so desperate as a civilisation for news of the next iPhone that there are Apple diviners who specialize in predicting when it will come. Now the best of these diviners, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, says he's convinced the new iPhone is coming in August.

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Recently, we did an experiment: We took an outdated issue of a respected popular science magazine, Scientific American, and researched exactly what happened to the highly-touted breakthroughs of the era that would supposedly change everything. What we discovered is just how terrible we are at predicting the long arc of scientific discovery.

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It's so easy for us to look back at old predictions for the future and see them as quaint or overly optimistic. But when we take a closer look — when we stop to really process what's going on in these predictions — we often find that they weren't merely silly or naive. They were warning of the horrific, dystopian future to come.

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What do you imagine will be the biggest challenges that the world will face in 20 years? Energy or food scarcity? Overpopulation? What about our biggest triumphs? Cures for cancer and extended lifespans? Smarter humans? Well, these would all sound similar to the people of 1980 when they looked 20 years into the future to the year 2000.