What will life be like for our children and grandchildren by 2050, as we continue our transition from a Type 0 into a Type 1 Civilization.
A Type 0 Civilization extracts its energy, information, raw-materials from crude organic-based sources (e.g. wood/fossil fuel); information is communicated by books, newspapers, oral tradition; natural and man-made disasters coupled with societal conflicts create extreme risk of extinction; it's capable of orbital spaceflight; limited medical and technological advancement; failure to improve social and environmental conditions often lead to their own extinction.
A Type I Civilization extracts its energy and raw-materials from fusion power, hydrogen, solar, and other renewable resources; able to utilize and store energy available from its neighboring star, i.e. the sun; capable of inter-planetary spaceflight, colonization, and communication within its solar system; mega-scale global engineering and trade; regional and world governments; digital access to all known information and knowledge; achieves medical and technological singularity; still vulnerable to possible extinction.
My grandparents grew up during the final transition from the 'Agriculture Age' into the 'Industrial Age' back in the early 1900's. They were there at the start-up of the automobile industry, the beginning of aviation, the introduction of home appliances like the washing machine and refrigerators. Long distance travel was largely by steam ships or locomotives. They were there when electricity and telephones were first introduced. My parents got to see these innovative new products and industries mature. They got to travel by jet airplanes and were there when black & white televisions were invented, when color TV sets came into being, and even saw the emergence of computer technology. They were there at the start of the 'Space Age' and when the first man walked on the moon.
I grew up in the 1960's and lived and worked during the transition from the 'Industrial Age' into the 'Information Age' of the 21st Century. I was there to see the startup and rapid growth of the information technology (IT) industry, the transition from analog to digital communication networks, the birth of the Internet and world wide web (WWW), the emergence of regional and global governing entities, the start of inter-planetary flight, the commercialization of space travel, the emergence of mobile, wearable and implantable IT systems, the mapping of the human genome and the birth of regenerative medicine, in addition to the development and use of artificial intelligence, drone technology, laser beams, 3D printing, virtual reality, and so many other advancements rapidly leading up to the achievement of medical and technological singularity.
So try and imagine what advancements and massive changes our children and grandchildren will see and experience by 2050 and beyond. For example, will they witness:
- Rapid growth in predictive and regenerative medicine leading ultimately to the end of disease and death as we know it;
- Achievement of medical and technological singularity, leading to the transition of humans from our existing life forms into cyborg or android bodies;
- Development of high-speed hyperloop transnational transportation systems on Earth;
- Development, deployment, and use of next generation inter-planetary transportation systems;
- Establishment of initial colonies on nearby planets within our solar system, i.e. Mars;
- Development and widespread use of 3D manufacturing, virtual reality (VR) and teleportation technologies;
- Reduction in Earth's population to more manageable levels, e.g. 5-6 billion people.
- Development and deployment of telepathic methods of communications between people;
- Development and deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) interfaced to the Internet of Things (IoT).
- Free and 'open access' to all the world's knowledge by human beings as needed;
- Exponential growth of innovative technologies and solutions to facilitate continued advancement of our civilization in order to transition from a Type I into a Type II Civilization in the 22nd Century.
Some of the many characteristics of a Type II Civilization will include: the ability to harness and control the power of a star; mastery of faster-than-light travel; the capability of inter-stellar travel; the colonization of other solar systems in our galaxy; starships powered by the collision of matter and antimatter; the ability to communicate all knowledge in a short, massive burst; initial contact established with other civilizations in the universe; the extinction of our inter-stellar civilization will be highly unlikely.