View Poll Results: Which of these tech predictions do you think will be true in 2020?

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  • Computers are embedded everywhere in the environment, such as in clothing.

    7 25.93%
  • People communicate with their computers via speech and gestures, instead of with keyboards.

    14 51.85%
  • Household robots are ubiquitous and reliable.

    3 11.11%
  • Retinal implants allow the blind to see, and spinal implants allow the paralyzed to walk.

    13 48.15%
  • Pinhead-sized cameras are everywhere.

    15 55.56%
  • Computers have made paper books and documents almost completely obsolete.

    10 37.04%
  • Most learning is accomplished through courseware presented by computer-simulated teachers.

    4 14.81%
  • quLanguage translating machines are routinely used in conversations.

    4 14.81%
  • Virtual reality is the preferred sexual medium.

    2 7.41%
  • Computers do most of the vehicle driving.

    9 33.33%
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Thread: What are your technology predictions for the next decade?

  1. #1
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    What are your technology predictions for the next decade?

    In honor of the new decade, it's time to bust out your crystal ball and make your technology predictions for this decade. Contrary to popular belief, predicting near-future technology is not particularly difficult if one examines current trends. Here are a few technology predictions from Ray Kurzweil, a renowned inventor and one of the more interesting futurists. He believes that all of the following will occur by the end of this decade. Do you agree/disagree with his predictions? What do YOU think technology will be like ten years from now?

    • Computers are embedded everywhere in the environment, such as inside furniture, jewelry, walls, and clothing.
    • People communicate with their computers via speech and gestures instead of with keyboards.
    • Household robots are ubiquitous and reliable.
    • Retinal implants allow the blind to see, and spinal implants coupled with mechanical legs allow the paralyzed to walk.
    • Pinhead-sized cameras are everywhere, forcing society to reconsider its definition of privacy.
    • Computers have made paper books and documents almost completely obsolete.
    • Most learning is accomplished through adaptive courseware presented by computer-simulated teachers.
    • Language translating machines are of much higher quality, and are routinely used in conversations.
    • Virtual reality is the preferred sexual medium, since it is convincing, safe, and enhances the experience.
    • Computers do most of the vehicle driving—humans are in fact prohibited from driving on highways unassisted. As a result, there are very few transportation accidents.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 01-07-10 at 08:02 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: What are your technology predictions for the next decade?

    Here are my thoughts on Kurzweil's predictions:

    • Computers are embedded everywhere in the environment, such as inside furniture, jewelry, walls, and clothing.
    I agree. The whole concept of a "computer" as a rectangular box that attaches to a keyboard, mouse, and monitor is already becoming obsolete. Is my new Droid a computer or a phone? I think it's both. By the end of the decade, I think it's reasonable that computers would be embedded in places you wouldn't even think to look today.

    • People communicate with their computers via speech and gestures instead of with keyboards.
    I agree. Voice recognition technology has made amazing progress in the last few years, and is quite accurate now.

    • Household robots are ubiquitous and reliable.
    Ehh...I'm not sure. I guess it depends what counts as a household robot. The Roomba is nice and all, and I'm sure that the technology will continue to improve...but I'm not sure that we'll get there by 2020 for tasks more complicated than vacuuming the floor or mowing the lawn. I really doubt we'll have robots cooking our meals, taking out our trash, and sorting our laundry by the end of the decade.

    • Retinal implants allow the blind to see, and spinal implants coupled with mechanical legs allow the paralyzed to walk.
    I disagree. Unless there is some amazing breakthrough in our understanding of the human brain (which isn't out of the question), I think this will take a lot longer than ten years.

    • Pinhead-sized cameras are everywhere, forcing society to reconsider its definition of privacy.
    I agree. The CIA probably already has them.

    • Computers have made paper books and documents almost completely obsolete.
    I don't know about this one. Things only become obsolete when something better comes along, not something newer. Most of the time I'd simply rather have a book than a Kindle document.

    • Most learning is accomplished through adaptive courseware presented by computer-simulated teachers.
    I disagree. While the technology for this may exist by 2020, old habits die hard. I honestly can't foresee 150 years of our education system suddenly collapsing in the next decade just because software is able to do the same thing.

    • Language translating machines are of much higher quality, and are routinely used in conversations.
    I agree. As I said above, voice recognition technology is already pretty good. Babelfish technology...needs a bit of improvement. But I think we'll get there by the end of the decade.

    • Virtual reality is the preferred sexual medium, since it is convincing, safe, and enhances the experience.
    I disagree. While that would be pretty cool, I doubt it'll happen in ten years. There's a pretty big technological leap between World of Warcraft and The Matrix.

    • Computers do most of the vehicle driving—humans are in fact prohibited from driving on highways unassisted. As a result, there are very few transportation accidents.
    While I think the technology for this will probably exist by the end of the decade (it's already here, to some extent) I don't think it will catch on that quickly...at least in the United States. Our legal system is particularly nasty to companies which make products that injure people. Even if "smart cars" reduced fatalities by 90%, the other 10% would sue the manufacturers.
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  3. #3
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    Re: What are your technology predictions for the next decade?

    Could be fun…

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    • Computers are embedded everywhere in the environment, such as inside furniture, jewelry, walls, and clothing.
    Definitely think this will happen. Chips are getting smaller by the day, power sources are shrinking as well. Hell, there’s a “tattoo” that’s been done that actually is LED’s under the skin powered by a battery that gets electricity from blood running over it. You have flexible OLED screens being created and other sorts of new screen technology that could legitimately be woven into fabric or even perhaps in time implanted under the skin. Bluetooth is becoming more and more spread through electronics now. I see no reason not to believe that things will continue to get smaller and more interconnected over the next decade.

    • People communicate with their computers via speech and gestures instead of with keyboards.
    To a point, yes. But I don’t know if it’ll completely truly replace a keyboard. Voice Recognition is good but still have issues that no matter how advanced it will get will be problematic. For example imagine an office of 10 people all needing to “type” an email. It’d get loud and frustrating. I do think touch, gestures…both physically touching something and in the air…and speech will play a large role in controlling things in the future though. I’d imagine what you’ll begin to see slowly is a shift to mice who are essentially movable LED’s, allowing not just button presses but all manner of gestures to be used as well.

    • Household robots are ubiquitous and reliable.
    Closer to 20 than 10 I think. They’re just now really starting to become a reality. They still need to enter into the questionable realistic use but good enough for those with disposable cash phase. THEN they will get to the reliable and widely owned phase.

    • Retinal implants allow the blind to see, and spinal implants coupled with mechanical legs allow the paralyzed to walk.
    Yes on the first, don’t know on the second. There’s already work being undergone to potentially use electronics and technology to return site to the blind.

    • Pinhead-sized cameras are everywhere, forcing society to reconsider its definition of privacy.
    Yes, with a caveat. I think it’ll be a shift akin to the shift created now with Camera Phones. We already have got a society with cameras almost everywhere, it’ll just become even harder to realize.

    • Computers have made paper books and documents almost completely obsolete.
    Very doubtful. If for nothing else businesses that use classified information, paper is just in general a safer route. I do think however over the next 10 years newspapers and magazines are going to be hurting extremely badly with many going the way of the dodo.

    • Most learning is accomplished through adaptive courseware presented by computer-simulated teachers.
    Nope. The human connection is still too important and key to this generation of parents for MOST learning to be accomplished this way. Workforce training though will continue down this path.

    • Language translating machines are of much higher quality, and are routinely used in conversations.
    I could see this one being possible.

    • Virtual reality is the preferred sexual medium, since it is convincing, safe, and enhances the experience.
    No. I also don’t think we’ll get the three sea shells.

    • Computers do most of the vehicle driving—humans are in fact prohibited from driving on highways unassisted. As a result, there are very few transportation accidents.
    I don’t see this in 10 years. Maybe 20. It would take a major, major rework of the roads and cars and would need to filter out all the cars not able to be used in that way.

  4. #4
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    Re: What are your technology predictions for the next decade?

    None of the above.

  5. #5
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    Re: What are your technology predictions for the next decade?

    Maybe if I hope strong enough, the second to last one will be plausible
    "Doubleplusungood"

    George Orwell

  6. #6
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    Re: What are your technology predictions for the next decade?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrunkenAsparagus View Post
    Maybe if I hope strong enough, the second to last one will be plausible
    Until then I'll just have to keep relying on alcohol.

  7. #7
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    Re: What are your technology predictions for the next decade?

    Active RFID placed in our identification and laws requiring we carry said identification at all times.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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    Re: What are your technology predictions for the next decade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    Active RFID placed in our identification and laws requiring we carry said identification at all times.
    I believe US passports already have RFID embedded in them.

  9. #9
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    Re: What are your technology predictions for the next decade?

    We are not in a new decade yet. There was no year 0. The new decade doesn't begin until January 1, 2011.


    If you had a new decade party this year, no matter how much fun you had, you and all your guests were partying a lie, and are therefore quite lame.

  10. #10
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    Re: What are your technology predictions for the next decade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coronado View Post
    I believe US passports already have RFID embedded in them.
    Aye, they do. It's currently passive I believe. The goal is to make it active. And the Real ID act was meant to expand that technology to our driver's license.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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