I don’t know, but it will happen sooner or later, count on it. The 80s were the PC, the 90s extended that to the Internet. What technology might explode with innovation in the decades ahead? Maybe computers will keep on groov’n, artificial intelligence or voice rec. Given the state of large oil and gas reservoirs, it could well be solar energy, thin films, applied like paint out of a can, or fusion, or maybe some source completely out of left field. Then again regenerative medicine looks hopeful, new organs, new eyes, substantial increase in life expectancy beyond the cruel natural limits imposed by nature. But I’ll take a guess for the next big thing, below the fold.
I’m going with bots and I don’t mean toys. Sophisticated autonomous cybernetic machines, as advanced over our current clunky prototypes as an iPhone is over UNIVAC. Bots as small as dragonflies, faster than cheetahs, larger than houses, self driving cars or planes, and everyone of them more nimble than a hammered yoga master.
What if robots became so sophisticated that they could take over every job, from their own manufacture and maintainance, to the extraction and production of raw materials through to finished product and repair, wouldn’t that reduce the cost of, well, everything, a hell of a lot? Talk about an economic revolution, when the number of man hours it takes to build a house or a Ferrari equals the number of man hours it takes to sharpen a pencil, wouldn’t houses and Ferrari’s drop a great deal in cost? What do you think?