The World Future Society has revealed its top ten expectations, which could alternately be seen as utopian or dystopian, for the world in which we will soon be living. Including, robots will care for our elderly, a profit-driven space race will unfold, “the cloud” will run our lives, and neurotechnology will know what we are about to do before we do it:
The “cloud” will become more intelligent, not just a place to store data. Cloud intelligence will evolve into becoming an active resource in our daily lives, providing analysis and contextual advice. Virtual agents could, for example, design your family’s weekly menu based on everyone’s health profiles, fitness goals, and taste preferences, predict futurist consultants Chris Carbone and Kristin Nauth.
Robots will become gentler caregivers in the next 10 years. Lifting and transferring frail patients may be easier for robots than for human caregivers, but their strong arms typically lack sensitivity. Japanese researchers are improving the functionality of the RIBA II (Robot for Interactive Body Assistance), lining its arms and chest with sensors so it can lift its patients more gently.
Neuroscientists may soon be able to predict what you’ll do before you do it. The intention to do something, such as grasp a cup, produces blood flow to specific areas of the brain, so studying blood-flow patterns through neuroimaging could give researchers a better idea of what people have in mind. One potential application is improved prosthetic devices that respond to signals from the brain more like actual limbs do.
Continue on to World Future Society.