It is impossible to predict what will happen in the next few years. But it doesn’t stop us from imagining and discussing what we think could happen. Researchers have a rough idea what we can expect in the years to come.
Here are five possible outcomes that we might be facing in the future. Some of them are actually pretty frightening.
5. Humans will colonize other planets
You probably know about the Mars One mission and others like it. The intent of these missions is to land people on Mars in the next decade or so. There are two reasons for this eventuality. One is our scientific curiosity and desire to explore space and the other more harrowing possibility is that we don’t have a choice but to leave earth.
Be it natural disaster, nuclear war or earth’s diminishing resources; the day when we have made our dear planet a miserable wasteland will eventually come. There will be a time when we won’t have another option but to move.
Former NASA Administrator Michael D. Griffin famously remarked, “I’m talking about that one day, I don’t know when that day is, but there will be more human beings who live off the Earth than on it.”
NASA, SpaceX and Mars One are all looking to put a human on Mars. They all claim that by 2030s, there will be many humans “comfortably” living on the red planet. That would be step one. Gradually, probably not in our lifetime, humans will colonize the entire solar system.
WWF estimates that by year 2030, we would be consuming natural resources worth two planets.
It could be that one day earth will contain no human life.
4. Our characteristics and appearances will change drastically
You may find it hard to believe but there is a group of scientists that argue humans will be evolved into two groups in the next 300 years or so. There will be an elite human who will look a lot like us and a goblin like unintelligent creature.
The theory states that around the year 3000, a “perfect” human species would’ve evolved. This human will be 6.5 – 7 inches tall. He will live around 40 years longer than us. Men will have deeper voices, women will have softer voices with smooth skins with no body hair. There will be no race, all humans will have a coffee colored skin.
On the outside this “perfect” human will look good. But on the inside it is not such a happy story. Our immune system would be weaker due to increased usage of medicine and antibiotics. We will have abysmal social and interactive skills.
As far as the ogre like human is concerned, he will not have the privileges the perfect humans have. He will not have access to schools, medicine, transport, theatre and other “luxuries” of life.
No matter how much we evolve, how technologically advance we become, it seems trouble will always follow us.
3. Robots will rise and take over the world
You saw this one coming, didn’t you? – Hollywood has given you enough dosage to think that this is inevitable. You may be right.
Steven Hawking said in 2001 that it is not a question of IF but WHEN will robots take over human life and activities. He further said that we need to ensure that computers are aligned to human goals.
If robots are designed in a way that the only goal is advancement the one day they might take over us. Not feeling the need for human intervention. We will be discarded like lepers or worse eliminated altogether.
Artificial intelligence is progressing at an alarming rate. It is not long before officer workers are replaced by software. Factory workers are replaced by robots that work 24/7 and with perfection. Would you prefer to have a surgery done by human or a robot that is much more efficient with a fraction of cost?
Many people believe that technology is taking over the world – it has already begun.
2. What if humans become robots?
Forget robots taking over the world, what if we human become the robots? – Sounds crazy, right? It is not though.
Transhumanism is a movement towards improving human condition with the help of technology. Its core goal is to create eternal and flawless life through genetic engineering.
With the help of nanotechnology and human cloning, this future may not seem distant at all. Transhumanism aims to create perfect human beings by technically enhancing their features and strengths. This will boost our physical, psychological and intellectual capabilities beyond anything a natural human could achieve.
The concept is to store a brain of a dying or ailing person and uploading it to a robotic body. With all your memories and personality intact, you will essentially be a human robot. You would be able to upload skills and abilities just like you install an app on your mobile phone.
While the theory is exciting to some, others have pointed out flaws. If everyone lives beyond their expectancy, imagine how overpopulated the earth would become. Philosophically speaking, our mortality is one of the things that makes us human.
1. There will be no future, just extinction
All of this planning and debates may not be necessary, for there might not be a future at all. Earth has come agonizingly close to human extinct many times in the past. Whether it be Ice-age, Black Death or meteors, there are many ways we can end up extinct without a fair warning.
While most of us know the impending man-made disasters such as nuclear war, hunger, out-of-control technology that might wipe us out, we often discount the most powerful adversary: Mother Nature.
The most scary and eerily plausible thing that can happen to us is a solar storm. It will give us about 16 hour warning before destroying life as we know it. Every second sun sends a burst of charged subatomic particles into the space in the form of solar wind. These winds travel up to 1 million miles an hour. They are very week and never reach past Earth’s magnetic field. But scientists say that one day a solar wind strong enough might get to us after all.
The Earth would feel an energy explosion equivalent to ten nuclear bombs exploding all at once. It will cripple communication systems and destroy our life cycle. There will be no electricity, no life support technology, no transport, and no cell phones. The impact may not incinerate us quickly but it will virtually halt to life on Earth to a standstill. From running water to credit cards, everything will stop. In addition to this plantation will be affected.
Earth was hit by a solar wind in 1850. But back then our life was not dependent on technology like it is today. Researchers have said that if we were to get by a solar storm like that of 1850, humanity may never recover and parish within a matter of decades.