How bad could it get? We mean literally longer. Droughts predicted to be the worst in 1,000 years will trigger vegetation changes and wildfires, releasing carbon. Thanks to dangers like climate change, epidemics, population growth and even direct hits by asteroid, he believes we'll need to find a way to leave Earth in the next hundred years. One out of seven exports from China go to Walmart, he says, and even Warren Buffett doesn't believe Walmart has a future. So will they come true? We've come to depend on antibiotics as a quick fix for so many medical ailments. ", Thanks to advances in cloning technology, we might be able to bring back animals like the woolly mammoths. Stephen Hawking, the world famous physicist and cosmologist, isn't very hopeful about the future of our planet. Without satellites, our ability to communicate would diminish dramatically. And as we enter into the planet’s Sixth Mass Extinction, we run the risk of damaging critical ecosystems and radically diminishing the diversity of life on Earth. But tiny robots in our bloodstream, that might also be transmitting our personal thoughts to a data-mining cloud? “The speed-up of warfare and cost factors will make LAWS essential for advanced nations and attractive to non-state actors,” Wallach said. Late last year, world leaders forged an agreement to limit human-caused global warming to two degrees Celsius. This legislation was criticized for being too severe and reactionary, but it’s a perfect example of what happens when a nation feels under threat. And the fact that small groups, and even single individuals, will have the power to attain and use these weapons will only make governments and citizens more willing to accept the loss of freedoms. That’s because there’s no one out there transmitting signals for us to intercept, and no one’s travelling between stars in search of new places to conquer. That's what Google's Eric Schmidt was promising in 2005, saying that the company would eventually "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." Alternately, intelligent life may choose to explore the infinite realms of cyberspace instead of the cold, dead cosmos. Worried about sun damage or the possibility of skin cancer? Alternately, aliens might be paranoid and xenophobic, playing it safe in case the neighbors are hostile. Ask any smart person and they'll tell you, "Oh yeah, we're making robots that are way too smart. We'll discover another 2,000 planets this year. "It's finally here," Pister told CNN in 2010. Corporations, eager to track the tendencies and behaviors of its users, will find it impossible to resist. A man-made pandemic was probably the scariest of the bunch, not just because of the death toll but because of the human evil necessary to create it. Climate models show that even if carbon dioxide levels came to a sudden halt, the levels of this greenhouse gas in Earth’s atmosphere will continue to warm our planet for hundreds of years. Few people today are aware of the risks posed by the partial or total loss of our satellite fleet, a catastrophe that could be instigated by a Kessler Syndrome (as portrayed in the film Gravity), a massive geomagnetic solar storm, or through a space war. Here are 30 predictions about the future that may surprise or even shock you—but one thing is certain: They're backed by some pretty smart people. But it's still amazing to think that one of the things we consider absolute can actually be altered. They were first announced in 2oo3, but we're still years away from a commercially available "neural prosthetic." "Jeans Guy" is our new favorite character. Yet we see nothing. 13 Predictions About the Future That Were Dead Wrong Joe McKinley Updated: Apr. If it doesn't crash into Mars, it will break apart into countless tiny bits, which will continue to orbit the planet. Still terrifying, though. He thinks we're heading towards an age when we'll be able to create virtual reality avatars of our deceased loved ones, realistic enough that we can interact with them. Are they getting closer to reality even as you read this? But according to Akira Iritani, a professor at Kyoto University, "Now the technical problems have been overcome, all we need is a good sample of soft tissue from a frozen mammoth." In the next five years, cars that don't drive themselves will be the hand-me-downs that nobody wants. In conjunction with powerful data mining algorithms, virtually everything we do would be monitored. And for ways to fight cancer right now, know the 20 Everyday Habits That Increase Your Cancer Risk. We have so many questions, and luckily the experts have answers. Such is the near future envisaged by futurist and sci-fi novelist David Brin. Granted, you'd need to live a long, long time to experience it, as we're only gaining about 1.7 milliseconds every 100 years. “Human empathy is both one of our paramount gifts and among our biggest weaknesses,” Brin told Gizmodo. The ongoing Great Silence isn’t just a trivial observation. “While countries like the US promise that there will be meaningful human control and strong communication links to LAWS, they are particularly interested in LAWS for undersea weapons because they are difficult to communicate with.” As an example, Wallach worries about an unmanned submarine that mistakenly launches powerful munitions or even a nuclear warhead. Terrorists will be capable of creating their own pandemic. We’ll be tricked into thinking they have minds of their own, leaving us vulnerable to all manner of manipulation and persuasion. Species unable to adapt quickly to a changing climate will go extinct. They’re also working to develop bacteria-fighting viruses and vaccines. For starters, we should improve the robustness and resilience of our infrastructure; our dependence on satellites has put us in a precarious position. In The Bulletin, science writer Dawn Stover lists the ramifications: The melting of snow and ice will expose darker patches of water and land that absorb more of the sun’s radiation, accelerating global warming and the retreat of ice sheets and glaciers. It might not work but you were gonna die anyway. Athlete, nerd, hopeless romantic, thespian. It’s The Terminator scenario come to life—the unleashing of fully automated weapons systems that dispassionately hunt down and kill human combatants. Where will we upload all our Mars selfies? It's that they aren't." 10 Best Tips for Sleeping on an Airplane. As time passes, both Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO) are getting increasingly cluttered with satellites and space junk. Here are 30 predictions about the future that may surprise or even shock you—but one thing is certain: They're backed by some pretty smart people. We are rapidly approaching the era of ubiquitous surveillance, a time when virtually every aspect of our lives will be monitored. They've already tested it on rabbits, who apparently have been tweeting lots of mean comments from their eyes all year. Mind uploading will likely require destructive atomic-scale scanning of the brain. In 2016, Oxford's Global Priorities Project curated a list of potential future catastrophes that could kill off 10 percent or more of the human population. It would take 300 years to make it happen, but it'd be worth the wait. Following the September 11 attacks and the subsequent mailings of anthrax spores, the US government enacted the Homeland Security Act. 20 Amazing Facts You Never Knew About Your Body. That's according to an issue of The Futurist magazine. The real story behind the NCAA basketball tournament's bankable nickname. Bryan Johnson, who launched a startup called Kernel, is making strides to be the first to produce a brain implant. Either way, zipping around the galaxy in spaceships doesn’t appear to be an option.