What will the world be like in 50 years?
By news editor, on 7 March 2012
Last week, our Science Fiction; Science Futures event – organised by the wonderful UCL Science and Technology Studies was based around the concept of how we look at what’s around the corner. It included a fair bit of conversation about failed futures – those things that previous generations predicted would be here by now, like flying cars and invisibility cloaks (though apparently they’re not far off).
At the end of the event we asked the participants to make their own predictions for the world in fifty years time. This is what they said:
Grace – Human skills as currency given pressure and inequality in resources. Contact lenses with the web in, filter so that when you see things you’re interested in, stuff e.g. vouchers are overlaid. Two-way with cameras so you can publish what you see! (With and off switch).
Dennis – the end of the traditional nation-state replaced by smaller city-based units connected by multi-layered networks of information, trade and culture, and some federal structure.
Jared – America will be known by its new name, “New China”.
Richard – FLYING CARS. I’m serious. Not within the reach of the average consumer, but researchers at some military installations will have a prototype flying car.