There is a relatively common belief and idea that we are in an age of accelerating technology. Technology is advancing and there is a good chance that various super-technology will be developed over the next 80 years. The story of technology and the world is more than just the number of cars and different technologies that are developed and dispersed.
1940 to 2020 vs 2020 to 2100
There is some level where technology and developments accelerate and some aspects where things slow down. It is useful to consider how much has changed since 1940 to 2020 (80 years) and also the change from 1860 to 1940 (the prior 80 years).
There was more change from 1860 to 1940 in terms of the lives of people in North America and Europe. The 1860 to 1940 period saw the dispersion of the industrial revolution. The world shifted from traveling on sailing ships, bicycles, horses and the beginner steam industrialization to oil-powered trains, ships, cars, and airplanes. Railways were built, airplanes were invented and used in WW1 and the start of WW2. There was also the development of sanitation, vaccines and the beginnings of antibiotics.
There was electrification and cleaner water and a large scale.
90% of the human population did not get full development or all modern medicine until much later. Half of the world population is still vastly underdeveloped.
There is a vast rise in the numbers of cars produced each year.
Other technologies have also been developed and rapidly adopted. However, going from walking on foot to bikes and then to the first cars are greater changes in utility and productivity than going from the model T to the Edsel and then to the Volkswagen.
Going from the pony express to landline telegraphs and then to the first landline telephones is a bigger change than going from landline telephones to mobile phones. Communication went from weeks and days to hours for mail delivery to wired telegrams. The transmission was instant but then the message had to be delivered to the recipient. Phones cut the time for messages to be delivered to instant 60% of the time. You had to reach the person at the office or in their home or other known location.
World steel production increased by around 30 to 40 times from 1860 to 1940. It went from 3 million tons per year to about 130 million tons per year.
Oil from the ground was not really a thing in 1860. They were going oil from whales and using a lot of coal.
Predictions from 2020 to 2100
The First Humans will go to Mars 2024-2050, Most likely in the 2024-2035 timeframe.
I have a lot of predictions about the age of fully reusable rockets. I will consolidate and update to this article.
Molecular nanotechnology will be developed 2022-2080 (100%). I think there is a pretty good chance this happens in the 2023-2050 (60%), I think it can happen sooner 2023-2035 (35%). This will need to be broken down in detail as how much and when. We already have graphene and carbon nanotubes but the impact has not been widespread.
Artificial General Intelligence. It will happen but it is complicated in terms of how much and when. I will follow up with an analysis of this.
Radical life extension will happen. I am most optimistic about Rejuvenate Bio and AgeX. I am tracking over 100 other companies. This will require consolidating a large amount of information and developments. Deployment will be similar to the development and deployment of cures and partial cures for AIDS-HIV. Adding 20-30 years to lifespan and healthspan will happen within 30 years (by 2050). However, there is lag in this appearing in statistics.
As I said, it is time-consuming and complicated to do proper large scale predictions. Therefore, more articles to follow and more updates of this article.
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.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.