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Wednesday 4 June 2008

Be Ray Kurzweil: EED-Predict-o-Tron [DrDave]

I frequently see frothy news articles like this one that wax lyrical about how ace life is going to be in the future (presumably when we invent proper VR porn). The one thing these articles all have in common is the wisdom of reknowned futurologist Ray Kurzweil. Now, I'd always assumed that Kurzweil had the best job in the world. Write a couple of books, crop up every now and again and make wildly speculative predictions about times in the future that are so far away that no-one will remember what you said. Sit back, rake in the cash.

But reading through his wikipedia biography reveals that he's actually quite acurate. For instance, his predictions about 2009 (published in 1999) include:
  • Solid state memory taking over from hard drives;
  • Distributed computing becoming prevelant;
  • Cheap laptops for kids.

Of course, he was wrong on some things, but he gets a pretty good hit rate normally.

Now, it seems reasonable to assume that barring a catastrophic BeejTech incident or epic huffquit, this blog will exist in ten years time. So wouldn't it be interesting to see if we can out-Kurzweil Kurzweil and come up with some predictions of our own for the year 2018? Just imagine, we can dig up this blog and gaze at our younger selves' naivity (before returning to our VR environments to have Gail Porter (1997 edition) lick our cyber-balls). To kick us off, here's what Ray himself reckons will come to pass by 2019:
  • A $1,000 personal computer has as much raw power as the human brain.
  • The summed computational powers of all computers is comparable to the total brainpower of the human race.
  • Computers are embedded everywhere in the environment (inside of furniture, jewelry, walls, clothing, etc.).
  • Three-dimensional nanotube lattices are the dominant computing substrate.

Have a think about it, and post three (or more, if you're feeling particularly Nostradamian) predictions for what luxuries we'll enjoy in 2018.


  1. Paddys wont be unreliable no show cunt0rs!

    Aussies wont be loud and short tempered!

    English people wont all have a unquestionable hard on for the royal family!


  2. All fuel supplies are depleted and technology is obsolete. A new dark age has begun and we are having to resort to wearing animal skins again, obviously skimpy versions for women.

    Cornwall has returned to it's rightful place as the centre of the universe.

    Clan EED create a new world order and live like kings.


  3. I shall be commuting to work in my flying car, wearing my silver jumpsuit.

  4. So much for tempting clannies with a shot at the infamy of forsight. Well, here's mine: "Ambient" wireless internet access will be ubiquitous, with very few people having a fixed line connection in their homes. Most people will connect through municipal wireless access or the descendents of 3G mobile. Ranges of networks will be extended by something like the OLPC's mesh networking; Physical media will be all but dead for movies, music and software. Media comanpies will have got a clue and learned to utilise peer-to-peer networking to create a fast distribution network using micropayments as revenue. Media is stored on a user's house NAS, which acts as a central data repository for all computing. Laptops, desktops, PDAs, mobiles etc are mostly just processor boxes that use the house NAS datastore anywhere in the world; Nobody has a phone number anymore. Instead, communications mechanisms (voice, email, IM) are unified under a single framework. Your net identity (whatever form that may take) can be used to contact you by whatever means is appropriate; Exploration of Mars has progressed to the point where we have a number of rovers and landers on the surface, with more landing at rate of several per year. A mission to place permanent unmanned base on the surface is underway, though some years off. This base will be semi-autonomous and use robotic devices to prepare the way for a manned settlement by 2030, by amassing raw materials and constructing structures.It's actually harder than it looks. Well, future self, look upon these predictions and mock if you will. See you in 2018.