The speculative human mind always tends to pose questions starting with “What if” and “What would happen” to feed its insatiable wanderlust and obsession with living in either the past or the future.
A similar question of how would the world look like in 2045 was answered by scientists at the Pentagon’s research agency, who took up the daunting and challenging task of predicting the future.
Almost anyone can speculate that the coming times will be dominated by robots and artificial technology, which will transform life and industry as we know it. Technologies such as autonomous weapons might change the concept of warfare, while self-driving cars will aim to make commutation a lot easier and efficient.
Darpa scientists added on these ideas in their video series shot last year called ‘Forward to the Future’.
Dr Justin Sanchez, who is a neuroscientist and director of Darpa’s Biological Technologies Office, speculates that mind control will be the thing of the future.
“Imagine a world where you could just use your thoughts to control your environment. Think about controlling different aspects of your home just using your brain signals, or maybe communicating with your friends and your family just using neural activity from your brain.”
Darpa’s work on neurotechnologies and futuristic breakthroughs like brain implants controlling prosthetic arms and giving a paralysed man back the sense of touch points towards this speculation becoming a not so distant reality.
Stefanie Tompkins, a geologist and director of Darpa’s Defense Sciences Office, was more excited about the prospect of the evolving buildings and other objects around us.
Here’s how she explains it:
“We’ll be able to build things that are incredibly strong but also very lightweight. Think of a skyscraper using materials that are strong as steel but light as carbon fibre. In 30 years, I imagine a world where we don’t even recognise the materials that surround us.”
Pam Melroy, an aerospace engineer and a former astronaut who is now a deputy director at Darpa’s Tactical Technologies Office said on the topic,
“I think in 2045 we’re going to find that we have a very different relationship with the machines around us. I think that we will begin to see a time when we’re able to simply just talk or even press a button to interact with a machine to get things done more intelligently, instead of using keyboards or rudimentary voice-recognition systems.
For example, right now to prepare for landing in an aircraft there’s multiple steps that have to be taken to prepare yourself, from navigation, get out of the cruise mode, begin to set up the throttles … put the gear down. All of these steps have to happen in the right sequence.”
What are your ideas on how our world would look like in 2045? Comment below!