About the Author: Salah Stevens is a licensed attorney focusing on cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology. As a fan of innovation, Stevens is a fierce proponent of the changes that are happening with Bitcoin, Etherium, and Litecoin, believing strongly in the worldwide improvements that the blockchain technology can bring. For more: http://salehstevens.com
A Great Time to be Alive
If someone were to go back to the 1900s when things like smartphones, computers, and artificial intelligence were incomprehensible technologies, they would witness a completely different way of life. After all, functioning elevators were once considered to be advanced. Now, people find even advanced products like drones on their way to becoming an everyday item. Improvements are being made daily and life-changing innovations occur more rapidly.
What are some of the ways that technology might alter our lives in another twenty years?
Let us consider how people used to find a job in the past. The process would start with countless letters sent and hours spent visiting prospective employers and unions. Nowadays, one can join LinkedIn and discover multiple job opportunities in a matter of minutes. In the future, virtual reality might take over these aspects of life.
For example, students in classrooms may start learning from virtually-based sources and old-fashioned textbooks will become obsolete. Similarly, in-store shopping could be replaced with facial and body recognition software, and people could see how something would fit them over their phone without having to visit a store. These are just a few of the major areas where virtual reality could have a significant impact on the way we work, learn, and play.
The 3D printing evolution has already begun. Although it is still in its prototype stages, one can expect to use this technology as a standard resource in twenty years. Households could start relying on these devices to print everyday items like food products, and various tools like utensils. More importantly, 3D printing will begin to help people create things like vehicles and houses. Being able to replace factories and assembly lines with a large-scale printer would certainly be a change to remember.
The idea of humans being replaced by automated devices is nothing new. Drones taking the role of delivery drivers, however, is a radical shift in the way things get transported. Many companies have already started working on this plan in order to improve efficiency and timeliness. Drones have been mass produced and made available to the general public, and it would be reasonable to expect them to get more usage in the next 20 years. They are a resource that can save time, fuel costs, and create energy efficiences, which makes them a very attractive and likely step forward.
As with drones, self-driving cars have already started showing up on the market. Transportation companies like Uber could increase their profits if the costs of drivers were to be reduced. The best route to that solution is to invest in research projects for cars that can operate via sensors and computer programs. In turn, seeing automobiles that have nobody behind the steering wheel will become the norm two decades from now.
Homes Equipped With Artificial Intelligence
This might be a change in life that will happen sooner than others. People are already able to do things like lock and unlock their homes, ignite their vehicles, and view security camera footage remotely via smartphones. In the future, this trend could evolve to include full control of every portion of one’s house. Meaning, turning the lights on or off and disarming the security alarm through voice control might become very common. Furthermore, voice-enabled ovens, refrigerators, or TVs might be the only type of equipment available in the market soon. Not to mention custom-designed artificial intelligence systems that could keep track of households members and detect when someone is at home.
Helping the field of medicine evolve might be the most important role of technology. A testament to this is the fact that there are numerous diseases that can now be cured. In the next 20 years, one can expect to witness developments that involve more robot-led surgeries, drug developments, and usage of nanotechnology to treat conditions like cancer. This would enable doctors to devote more time to progressing treatment methods while the surgical aspect of things would be handled by computers.
Cooking and cleaning might be some of the first household duties to get replaced by robots. Similar to cleaning bots and drones that are now available, their cost will soon be affordable to every layer of society. This means that people will delegate chores to devices since the machines can handle them effortlessly. Another perspective to take into consideration today is the impact that robots will have on the industrial job market. Low-skill labor is already under attack as, for example, many companies are implementing self-checkout mechanisms that require no cashiers. Another 20 years from now, most stores will be completely automated with robot checkouts, assistance, and more. This trend will, in turn, require more people to get high-skill jobs that require an advanced education.
The Limits are Hard to Predict
A few decades ago, it would be impossible to find a person who would believe in modern-day concepts like face-timing. This is why it is very difficult to pinpoint every aspect of life that will be altered by technology developments in the upcoming years. Yes, it is very likely that all of the aforementioned will be affected to some extent, but the precise results remain unknown. People might classify things like “flying” into a group of advancements that would never be possible without planes. This, however, does not mean that humans will never find a way to develop unimaginable concepts that would make it plausible to fly. Leaps in technology are being made daily and life-changing innovations are occurring at a rapid pace. At the rate we’re going, in 20 years the sky may be merely a jumping off point for what the future has in store.