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Future technologies – reasons to be excited about future technologies

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Technology is changing fast, and future technologies will change the world. They may transform the way we travel, make us healthier, enhance our natural abilities, entertain us, solve the problem of food shortages, and may even destroy borders, creating a truly globalised world in which war may become redundant.

Autonomous cars are perhaps the highest profile current example of new technology.  Recently, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, claimed that by the end of 2017, a Tesla car will drive from Los Angeles to New York without the aid of a driver.  His prediction may or may not prove correct, but it is only a matter of time before this does happen.

Autonomous cars offer many advantages – they are, or at least they will be, safer than cars driven by humans.  They will drive in much closer formation than cars driven by humans, creating two major benefits. For one thing, there will be a peloton effect, something that cyclists are familiar with, affording a major aerodynamic benefit, conserving energy. For another thing, this will mean that cars will make more efficient use of available road infrastructure – enabling more cars per unit of space without creating traffic jams. Autonomous cars may also do away with the need for car parks although they will need to go somewhere when not in use. There is a view that the sharing economy will converge with autonomous cars, and less of us will own cars – instead we will share them instead.

Another example of a possible future transport technology is Hyperloop, a form of transport recently proposed by Elon Musk, in which pods travel in tubes, in a partial vacuum, at speeds approaching 700 miles per hour.

Healthcare is being transformed too. Future technologies include sensors that can monitor our health, with the resulting data combined with data from the sequencing of our genome, analysed by AI to diagnose illness with a degree of accuracy which was once impossible.  Future technologies will turn healthcare from disease centric to preventive centric, nanotechnologies will create sensors inside our bodies, in our blood stream for example, creating even more accurate data, while tiny nano-sized robots injected into the blood stream, will be able to seek out infected cells and deliver their payload of medicine with extraordinary accuracy.

Other future technologies such as graphene may revolutionise the desalination of water, making the most valuable resource in the world, fresh water, more common and helping to end hunger. Stem cell research is being applied to make synthetic meat – so we can remove the need for inefficient meat processing factories called cows, sheep and pigs.

Virtual and augmented reality will be transformed; the movie industry will see a convergence with video games, creating new, super immersive environments that may become more fun than reality – but whether the end results of these particular future technologies will be positive or negative is yet to be seen.

Augmented reality will also transform the way we communicate over long distances – holograms for example or wireless earplugs that can translate any language known to man.

Future technologies are creating an emphasis on collaboration, furthermore, a collaboration across borders, around the world. The combination of real time voice translation, global social media tools, and even multiplayer video games in which participants are scattered across the world – may make international borders an irrelevance – and by doing this, future technologies may remove the pressures that lead to war.




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