What do you Think 2045 Will be Like?

DARPA VTOLX Plane Concept | Darpa.mil

2045 may be a long way off, but a lot can happen in thirty years. We could see a future that matches our more reasonable predictions, or we could insist on a future of kitschy space age people as 1980s sci-fi flicks did when they imagined 2015.

How many times do you think people mentioned Back to the Future II during 2015? I don’t think a day went by without lamenting the lack of hoverboards, or promising that self-lacing shoes were coming soon (they did, but not until 2016).

We make idealized predictions for the future that are based on the trends of current technology, but sometimes our desires for the future break from what is possible.

Recently, scientists at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, have made some predictions for 2045, and while they are grand and far-reaching, they are also realistic extrapolations of how technology will develop in the near future.

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These predictions are based not only on current technology trends but also on the opinions of researchers that are at the top of their respective fields.

DARPA’s Projections for the Year 2045

Ever hear of a genre of science fiction called Cyberpunk? It’s one of my personal favorites because it depicts a future that is just a short leap ahead. We may even live to see it one day.

In the Cyberpunk future there is Direct Neural Integration (DNI). Put simply, it is what you get when you find out how to directly connect someone’s brain into a machine. We saw this in The Matrix, we saw it in Cyborg, and if we’re lucky we’ll see it in the real world soon.

According to Dr. Justin Sanchez, the director of DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office, we may, in fact, be so lucky, because he predicts that we’ll be able to control different aspects of smart-technology using only our brain signals.

He also says that we may be able to communicate with one another using neural signals, though he says little about what that would actually be like. DARPA is apparently hard at work on neurotechnologies that can enable these things to happen but wait–there’s more!

Here’s my personal favorite DNI-related prediction, and it’s one that I have had a keen interest in even before I came to Edgy Labs: prosthetic limbs that can be controlled via brain implants.

If you lose an arm or a leg, we can’t currently give you another one, but with improvements in mechanics and neural integration, we have the potential to not only give you a new arm, but we can give you one with tactile sensors. If research into soft robotics is any indication, it may even have flesh-like skin that makes it indistinguishable from a normal human limb.

If you listen to Stefanie Tompkins, the director of DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office, you might hear a thing or two about the kind of materials that we’ll build with by 2045.

With our ever increasing understanding of super materials, we may be able to make entire buildings out of materials that rival steel for strength but still aren’t any heavier than carbon fiber.

These kinds of materials could have implications all the way from Earth to Mars, and they would be a good replacement for aging structures that will last for years to come.

Finally, drones and AI will merge. Self-driving vehicles will stretch our definition of drones.

Pam Melroy thinks that we may be able to interact with computers or cars by simply talking to them, thanks to insanely advanced AI language recognition.

Imagine planes or self-flying cars that can automatically go through each step of the landing process with a simple voice command, and you just may be envisioning the skyline of future cities.

Speaking of AI, everyone will have to welcome the singularity into their lives. With all of this highly advanced language recognition that we’re expecting to see, Kurzweil’s prediction of an artificial superintelligence may not be such a stretch of the imagination.

2045 Projections From Edgy Labs

Last month, we reviewed a company that is taking us back to the moon.

If their predictions for the future are correct, then perhaps we should get some lunar real-estate for our headquarters. I’m hoping to see lunar colonies that will serve as examples for how humans can finally spread into the stars and thrive.

Will Moon‘s helium-3 harvesters be a reality?

Edgy Labs readers: Comment below with your favorite prediction for the future, whether it is exciting or terrifying. An intriguing prediction could become a future article here at Edgy Labs.

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