My friend, the futurist Scott Bennie, was one of the key ingredients in a string of fun Star Trek games Interplay released in the 1990s. He has put together his list of advancements that will happen in the next decade, and I am glad he gave me permission to share them. I may not fully agree with them (I think the opposition to nuclear power is still too strong for microreactors to have much of an impact), but it is an exciting list. I especially like lucky #13.
Check out Scott’s list, and let me know what you are most looking forward to in our Roaring ’20s:
1. Someone’s going to beat the break-even mark on nuclear fusion. It’ll still be a long way from industrialization.
2. There’s going be some significant progress on cancer and diabetes, but no cures yet. More progress will be made on personalizing medicine, customizing it for genetics and other factors.
3. Smart homes will become more common and widespread and linked to a city grid. Computers will get a lot smaller, smarter, and energy efficient. We’re not yet at the singularity. Self-driving cars will become commonplace.
4. Solar panels will become so cheap and so efficient that you’d have to be crazy not to adopt them.
5. Batteries will become cheaper and lighter. An electric car price will drop to 20k US dollars.
6. Progress will be made on industrializing artificial meats.
7. The first micronuclear reactors will appear: cheaper and safer.
8. Despite government, significant progress will be made in climate change, water supply, and waste disposal. The internet will become ridiculously cheap, again despite government.
9. Progress will be made in music composition and literature. so much so that we’ll have computer-generated Beatles, Zeppelin, and Dickens by the end of the decade.
10. Someone will construct a virtual amusement park, probably to promote other entertainments.
11. Progress will be made on a permanent moonbase.
12. Electric aircraft will make aviation cheaper and safer.
13. We’re going to make more astronomical discoveries in the decade than in the entire history of the human race combined. At least one of them will have a profound impact on humanity.