5 Surprising Changes We Will Make in the Next 50 Years
The last 50 years have seen more improvements in technology and innovation than ever before. We have seen computers shrink to fit into the palm of your hand and we have invented self-driving cars and self-landing rockets. Things we considered science-fiction as kids are now a reality. Our first few steps in the 21st century have been milestone after milestone. We don’t seem to be slowing down either. The idea of flying cars and hoverboards is no longer as ludicrous as it once was. All of this innovation in the last five decades may make one wonder, what will come in the next 50 years. What will come by the year 2067? Compiled here are 5 of the most surprising changes that scientists believe will occur in the next 50 years.
1. Everyone Will Be Thin
We will be able to eat whatever we want without gaining weight! Ever wish you could drop 10 lbs. to prepare for summer? Well in the future that won’t be a problem. In only 10 years a drug will be developed that will actually help you manage your weight. In the past few years scientists have already found a way to re-engineer genes in rats that control weight, in the next few years we will discover those same genes in humans, allowing us to change the way our bodies digest food. We could take a pill that keeps us thin. Diets may still exist, but controlling your weight, will be easier than ever! In 50 years it is predicted that we will have the ability to put an end to obesity.
2: Paper will be outdated
Already we have seen receipts, bills, and mail computerized. Today we also see most newspaper companies diminishing their offline content as well. We even see entire companies dedicated to the automation of things traditionally done with paper. Even simple things such as instruction manuals are being changed electronically; the company BILT has created 3-D images and voice-overs that give people interactive instructions for assembling new products or repairing old ones. Companies like BILT have seen an enormous amount of growth in the last 10 years, and this growth doesn’t seem to be slowing down. There are many other companies similar to this that replace paper with a screen. In 50 years we will continue to see screens becoming less expensive, and a huge increase in paper reduction. This will mean a huge decrease in paper waste, which will be great for all the environmentalists out there. Some speculate, however, that blue-light radiation (caused by looking at electronic screens for too long) may cause more mental health problems. So though we may see a decrease in waste, we may also see a spike in health conditions such as insomnia.
3: Humans and Robots Will Merge
The year 2016 brought about an interesting new idea to the market. When SpaceX CEO Elon Musk reported that he was developing implantable brain-computer interfaces, it became a hugely controversial topic. Musk’s company Neuralink is just one of several companies competing to come up with a way to connect our brains with computers. They hope to be able to create devices, similar to smartphones, that we will only need to plug into our brain, rather than hold in our hand. Devices already exist to control thinks just by thinking, and implanting small devices under the skin for a number of different purposes.
To take that even further, some predict that in 50 years we will not only be able to physically wire our brains into computers, but we may be able to download our consciousness into robots, and by so doing create synthetic immortality. Innovations like these will create huge changes in humanity, leading us to possibly even question what it means to be human.
4: Most of Us Will Be Old
Statistics show that the old are getting older. The world’s population has been getting older and older, and not much seems to be slowing down the aging process. Though cancer, diabetes, and dementia cases are going to increase, so will modern medicine. Even these diseases will be less of a problem even non-existent, which means more elderly people. NBC News predicts that by mid-century, one in every six people on earth will be over 65 years old. If that is true then we may face some very interesting challenges, such as changing the way retirement benefits work, or how we care for the elderly. It will be very interesting to see how society will change as a result of the change in population demographics.
Which Technology do You Most Look Forward to?
5: Solar Power Will be the Most Prominent Source of Energy
The technology to turn sunlight into energy is one of the advances that will continue to take off in the next few decades. We have already seen an incredible leap in the last 40 years since solar panels began to be marketed. The international energy agency predicts that solar power could become the world’s largest source of electricity, surpassing both natural gas and nuclear power. Since the mid-200s the power generated by new solar installations has grown, on average, 66% a year. With Tesla's new Solar shingles making converting your home affordable, we are sure to see a huge increase in solar use in the next one to two years.
Though many things remain uncertain about our future, there are some things that we can remain optimistic about. Find some promising technology we you think is worth mentioning? In the comments below name the thing that you are looking forward to in the next 50 years.