Have you ever wondered what the world will be like 30 years in the future? It’s something that economists, world leaders and scientists are discussing. With the rapid advances in technology we are communicating much differently than we were 100 years ago. The modes of travel have changed, medicine is saving more lives than ever and the way that we buy and sell goods is also much different. Practically everything in the world has evolved to a form that would seem like science fiction 100 years ago. Our research into the topic has been eye opening and thought provoking as we’ve discovered predictions about 20 ways our world will be considerably different in 2050.
1. Genetic engineering will produce designer babies
According to David Gelernter, computer scientist and professor at Yale University, the research into genetic engineering that is currently underway is close to using science to create children who are healthier and free of genes bearing the potential for disease. This includes everything from crooked teeth, poor vision, low IQs and other genetically influenced maladies. It is predicted that parents will be able to customize the appearance of their children as well as choose the sex.
2. Organs for transplants will be grown in a lab
The number of individuals in need of donor organs exceeds the number of organs that are available for them, creating long waiting lists and the increased risk of death before a donor organ is found. Technology in this field has advanced to the point of creating artificial hearts and kidney dialysis as a stop gap method until an organ becomes available. It is predicted that by 2050, others will not need to die to provide organs for transplants. Some organs have already successfully been grown in laboratories including vaginas and bladders and they’re being transplanted into humans. Researchers are working on the technology to grow other organs including skin, heart, lungs and more and it is believed that these will be available by 2050.
3. The world population will expand by billions
The United Nations published a report that makes the prediction that the total population of the world will increase by at least 30 percent or perhaps more by the year 2050. There are currently 7 billion people, give or take on planet earth and within thirty years, the report predicts that there will be around 9.6 billion. This could bring about some serious concerns regarding food and water supplies which may not be enough to meet the growing needs unless actions are taken to correct the problem in advance.
4. Computers could be a thousand times better and less expensive
Ulrich Eberl wrote a book called “Life in 2050: How We Create the Future Today,” in 2011. In the pages, he points out how quickly IT has advanced and if research and innovation continues to advance as quickly as it has in the past, he believes that the computers of the future will be up to one thousand times faster at processing data, they will be smarter, and they will also be less expensive . This prediction is not out of line if technology continues to evolve in the same trajectory. When you think about it, we’re already wearing mini computers in the form of wrist watches that track our activities and we’re carrying them in the form of smartphones.
5. Artificial Intelligence will become smarter than human intelligence
It is also predict that AI technology will continue to advance at a fast pace and will surpass the intelligence of human beings. AI is a field that has produced robots and machines that are becoming faster and smarter and the advancement in technology for processing and computing capacity of these machines has been doubling approximately every couple of years. It is estimated that artificial intelligence will exist in machines, robots and computers which are programmed with a superior type of logic and they will be able to out think humans by the year 2050.
6. More robots will be working than humans in 2050
The rate at which the world has automated their businesses is astronomical. Processes which once took hours of human labor to perform and now completed through the use of automated machines and equipment and high powered computerized programs. Everything from assembly to processing and storing information and data is done through the use of apps and programs. Robots perform assembly tasks and we’re seeing this trend increase as more people are losing their jobs because of the automation systems which do the work of a full crew of workers for less overhead.
7. Life expectancy will increase along with better health
Associate professor Patricia Bloom of the Mt. Sinai Hospital geriatrics department predicts that people are going to live longer by 2050 and they will enjoy better health. In part, innovative advances in medicine and medical technology are making it possible to treat illnesses that were previously associated with high mortality rates. For example, research in HIV/AIDS has resulted in the development of medications and treatment programs that help to keep the HIV virus from turning into full blown AIDS.
8. The way we travel will be much different
It is estimated that by the year 2050, we will travel from one city to another though a Hyperloop system that is currently under development by Elon Musk and his engineers. The new system is called a “human propulsion network that can transport an individual from major cities via sealed pods that could reach speeds of 700 mph. This would dramatically reduce the amount of time that it takes to go from one city to another and it would significantly reduces carbon emissions by getting fuel powered vehicles off the road.
9. Almost all of the coral reefs will disappear
According to Chris Langdon, who is a marine biologist, the coral reefs are dying and dissolving into the ocean because of global warming and increases n carbon dioxide which is causing an acidification of the oceans. It is estimated that approximately ninety percent of the coral reefs throughout the world will dissolve by the year 2050, according to both Langdon and the United States Environmental Protection Agency scientists.
10. We will colonize the moon
According to a journal which has recently been published by NASA scientists, there are initial plans to set up a satellite base camp on the Moon. Chris McKay is an astrobiologist with NASA and he explained to Popular Science journalists how there are discussions about establishing a manned colony on the moon to serve as a base camp for further exploration of Mars which could ultimately lead to a colonization of the planet. It would certainly get us a little closer to Mars than we are from the earth and it would provide a terrain for training and establishing the necessary procedures before venturing further into space.
11. The American military won’t be the strongest in the world in 2050
Roman Muzalevsky delivered a report that indicates that the United States will lose its position as the top in military strength by the year 2050. He further asserts that the U.S will resort to technology through the use of autonomous weapons which will mean fewer incidents requiring military personnel to be present in attack and other dangerous or threatening zones throughout the world. However, even though it is predicted that the US military will become more dependent on technology, others will have it as well so America could well lose its current posturing as the playing field is made more even throughout the world.
12. Smart homes will be the norm
Homes in America have already began to change. Technology that allows residents to turn their heating, cooling, lights, alarms, electronics and other systems throughout the home off and on through remote access is becoming common. You’ll even be able to customize the functioning of heating and lighting so it follows you from one room to another in your home.
13. A large portion city of Manhattan will be below sea level
According to a report released by the National Academy of Sciences in 2015, up to a third of Manhattan in New York State will be below sea level by 2050. Ben Horton of Rutgers University assessed that the violent storms which have struck the state may continue and it’s becoming more common. There are predictions that the storms will become yet more intense with the passage of time and it’s vital for us to act now to prepare the city for more intense flooding as was seen recently with Hurricane Sandy.
14. American workers will look like Iron Man
Work is currently underway by Hyundai and Panasonic in the development of robotic suits originally invented by the United States Department of Defense. These suit will be worn by human workers and they will give them super human strength. It will enhance their ability to lift heavier objects without sustaining physical harm and it will also enhance walking and running abilities. The Iron Man suits will become commonplace, making American laborers a type of robot/human hybrids while they’re wearing the suits and it’s expected to happen by 2050 or before.
15. Skyscrapers will be much taller in 2050
With some areas of land increasing in value in certain sectors of major cities, it’s at a premium. It has been predicted that skyscrapers will be built much taller and it’s believed that some of them could reach up to 8000 stories and take on the characteristics of small cities. These will truly be high rise buildings.
16. Textbooks will be a thing of the past
The face of education will be changed by 2050. We’re already seeing a migration from traditional printed textbooks to online publications which are accessed via a device with online capabilities. McGraw Hill as well as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt are both developing virtual content that moves away from printed textbooks and it is believed that by 2050, colleges and public schools will move to a virtual format for texts in an ebook format and do away with printed texts altogether.
17. American roads will be filled with autonomic vehicles
It is predicted that by 2050, we’ll commute via automobiles and commercial vehicles which are self-driving. This technology is being widely tested currently. Several major automakers are working on this technology such as Audi with their self parking feature, Sartre with cars which drive one another, BMW’s Traffic Jam Assistant and many others who are throwing their hat in the ring in the development of self driving cars.
18. Religion will take a downturn
According to the Pew Research Center, the United States will experience a drop in religious affiliation by the year 2050. While the prediction does not suggest that people will not have beliefs or claim spirituality, it does predict that there will be less membership in specific denominations and religious sects. There are already multiple smaller non-denominational organizations which cater to the needs of persons who are spiritual but dislike labeling and are not interested in the mainstream denominations.
19. By 2050 we’ll move to a cleaner source of energy
The US Energy Information Administration is predicting that natural gas will become the main resource for obtaining energy by the year 2050. The demand has steadily been growing in Canada, Mexico and in the United States. They predict that just under forty percent of all natural gas in liquid form will be produced by the United States and exported to other countries as an alternative to the environmentally harmful coal energy.
20. By 2050, almost half the American population will be overweight
This is one of the predictions that we certainly hope does not materialize, but the outlook is not good at this point. The Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology conducted a study to determine the trajectory of obesity in America. The figures assert that if the current trends persist, up to 42 percent of the American population will have a body mass index that is 30 or more, which is considered to be overweight.