The BBC predictions are from Jan 2, 2013.
BBC – A successful demonstration of fusion power by 2020.
NBF more power will be produced in a nuclear fusion demonstration than the power input before Dec 31, 2017. NBF tracks fusion energy projects all the time. There are some decent prospects for a breakthrough by Dec 31, 2015. The Lawrenceville plasma physics project, John Slough’s tests this summer for fusion propulsion could also be a breakthrough net gain lab demonstration of fusion power. General Fusion in Canada could have a good demo within 3 years. EMC2 fusion and Tri-alpha Energy’s work seems to be slower but they are both being secretive.
BBC – Wealthy people are able to select elements of their offsprings genetic makeup by 2050.
NBF – Selection based on genetic makeup will occur by 2023 for pre-implantation and by 2030 for selection of the egg or sperm via non-destructive methods and genetic modification of cells and embroys.
The genes that have a positive or negative effect on intelligence will be announced in two months. 750 genes that have an effect on height are known. Full genome sequencing of an embyro, combined with the knowledge of which genes contribute would allow
BBC – Cars are now purely automated and driver free by 2037 (4/5 odds)
NBF – The first commercial automated cars will be by Dec 31, 2019. Having new cars and many old cars with purely automated driving by 2027.
BBC – A base established on Mars by 2060 (33/1 odds)
NBF – Elon Musk wants a Mars base and Spacex will succeed with reusable rockets to drive the cost of space access down. A permanently manned Mars base by 2037.
BBC – First human clones by 2062 (33/1 odds)
NBF First human clones by 2032 (English odds 1/9. 90% likely. Odds in favor. It could happen a lot earlier but might be secret or unproven. It could already have happened. Technological it could be done a few years ago, but it means going through many failed embryos. Cloning of mice is very effective now in Japan. So if it has not happened already it could happen in 2-5 years. I am reluctant to bring the prediction up so much because the first human cloning may not be publicized for a long time. It is like predicting when Lance Armstrong cheated on steroids.
BBC At least one building with a height over ten kilometers by 2050 (2/1 odds)
NBF – A 2000 meter building will be made by 2028 (the 650 story building that Broad Group of China has)
A structure with a height over ten kilometers by 2038. Technically possible for the building, but the economics may not be there for an over ten kilometer building
BBC – A human being has lived to over 150 years of age by 2150 (40/1 odds)
NBF – A human being has lived to over 150 years of age by 2113 (English odds 1 in 19, 95% likely) (odds are in favor of it). Someone who is 50 years old now. At least one of the 70 million people who is 50 years old or someone older will make it. Before 2073, a molecular nanotechnology enhanced SENS damage repair methodology will be produced to enable radical rejuvenation.
There is a reasonable chance (50-50) of regular SENS, synthetic biology or some form of stem cell rejuvenation adding enough life extension starting around 2030 to help get someone who is 70 to better life extension. This would mean boosting the life expectancy of a young person by 40 years and someone who is 70 by 10 years. Those forms of life extension might or might not add the years needed to get to 150 for some who is 70 years old now. If these were successful then it would be human being has live to over 150 years of age by 2093. Extending the life of someone who is already old is a far tougher thing.
50-50 that there should be molecular nanotechnology with nanofactories by 2040 with freitas like nanomedicine by 2045. Medical tourism may be needed to get to a place where nanomedicine is approved in a timely fashion.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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