When do you think that cars that drive themself will be the norm, or that you will be able to have a continuous wireless connection to the Internet through your brain?
When will computer viruses spontaneously evolve? When will we be able to use some form of ‘Universal Translation tool’ to communicate with your peers across the globe each speaking in your own language?
The New York Times imagines that the 'future' will actually begin in 2020, and has been running a crowdsourcing experiment. Science Times has been running an experiment, asking its readers to predict when events will occur.
Readers have predicted advances in technology, wireless, cloud intelligence, artificial intelligence and the spread of super viruses. We’ll find romance on the Internet, as will computers.
Voice recognition will become ubiquitous across devices. Voice recognition was a wild prediction in 2006, but now with Siri, asking questions of a device is now accessible to everyone with an iPhone.
Enterprise voice is a feature that has already been offered for several years by software vendors. Our universal phone number will ensure that we are accessible on every one of our devices, wherever we are.
Augmented reality will become more prevalent as users interact with 3D objects. Microsoft's Holodesk system has a simulated see through display where you can interact with 3D shapes. 'Minority Report' touch surfaces will become common throughout our homes and places of work.
We will have devices physically implanted in our bodies. These implants will make our lives easier removing the need for wallets, credit cards and other identity devices. We will be able to replace diseased parts of ourselves and regenerate our bodies. Technology automation will also play a big part in our lives. We will wear smart clothing and carry biodegradable devices.
But it looks like, even with this predicted utopia, we will still have to go to our place of work. Whilst there are plenty of predictions about the paperless office, crowdsourced predictions are also interesting for what they don’t include.
The predictions indicate that we will still be working in physical office buildings. We will still commute, we will continue to use devices to channel our productivity, and we'll still be saving documents to cloud based or local storage locations.
I wonder whether by then it will actually feel like data is beginning to take on a life of its own and machines are becoming sentient.
Or is the machine already using us?