I have previously written a series of articles about Technology Advancements and Life in 2050. In this article a first attempt is made to project even further into time and make predictions about life by the end of the century – Year 2100. By then we will have completed the transition from a Type 0 to a Type 1 Civilization.
Predictions for the Year 2100
The following are a preliminary set of high level predictions of life in the Year 2100:
It is predicted that the global population will be close to 12 billion by 2100, barring any unforseen major pandemic or major extinction event. Over 80% of the world’s population will live in urbanized areas where ‘Smart Cities’ will house the bulk of the world's population. Networks of metropolitan regions linked by new forms of government, transportation, communication, and economic systems. By 2100, governments around the world will be using various forms of population control, e.g. preventive medical solutions, legally approved coercion, re-engineering social norms. Technology will allow us to overcome language barriers allowing people to communicate anyone in the world – and to communicate telepathically.
Demand for Food and Water resources will grow substantially as the global population increases substantially by the end of this century. High-tech solutions, precision farming systems, use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), expansion of urban farming techniques… will all be needed to boost yields several times over to meet the growing global demand. Expect to see widespread use of drones, robots, artificial intelligance (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous self-driving farming vehicles, global weather control, and many other new technologies designed to meet the needs of the large scale corporate farms of the future. Today’s scarce fresh water resources will be vastly expanded by low-cost desalinization technologies that will convert sea water into potable water.
Business & Manufacturing
Global standards will be in place for all sectors of the economy, e.g. technology, medicine, manufacturing, transportation, telecommunications. Use of Smart 3D Printers, Robots, Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), Advanced Manufacturing Techniques... will dramatically transform manufacturing by the end of the century. Many new and almost unimaginable ‘smart’ materials and technologies for building housing, making clothing, manufacturing cars... will be developed and put into use. Much of the workforce will use augmented and virtual reality technologies to perform their work remotely in most industries, e.g. education, healthcare, research, manufacturing, retail, transportation... both on Earth and off-planet.
A new global ‘digital’ currency and a more secure monetary system will have emerged and taken hold by the end of the century. Use of coins and paper money will be a distant memory. New and continuously evolving global financial systems will draw heavily upon the use of new technologies, e.g. Blockchain, ‘Bitcoins’, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Crowdfunding, Implantables, Sensors, Smart ‘Wallets’... Tens of thousands of bank branches will close and most accounting jobs will disappear. Collaboration, 'Open' Solutions, and Continuous Innovation will remain key management strategies for success throughout the 21st century.
Education will be free for everyone and human illiteracy will have been eliminated around the world. Access to free, continuous life-long learning opportunities will be available for all as the rate of change continues to accelerate. humans to adapt to the global economy. Many new technologies like implantable computer-brain interface technology, artificial intelligence (AI), 5G Internet, virtual and augmented reality systems, free and ‘open access’ to research and educational materials… will all play a role in revolutionizing the education system, and eliminating the cost of acquiring knowledge and becoming more productive in the future.
The official end of the 'Oil Age' and use of fossil fuels on Earth will have occurred back in 2050. A range of renewable energy sources will provide 100% of the world’s energy, e.g. wind, solar, hydro, fuel cell, nuclear fusion – and maybe still a little oil and natural gas. Continent-wide ‘smart supergrids' will be used to help manage the world's energy needs. Both the high cost and scarcity of energy on Earth will be a thing of the past. Roofs, windows, painted surfaces, clothes… will all be used to collect energy for home and office devices, with excess unused energy being fed into the country’s smart supergrid. Wireless energy transmission systems will be in common use.
Average global temperatures will have risen by more than 5°F by 2100. Ongoing climate change will make storms far more intense around the world, e.g. hurricanes, tornados, cyclones, monsoons. Sea levels across the globe will rise by a little over 3 feet, flooding many coastal areas around the world. Major extinctions of many animals and plant life will have occurred. For example, deep ocean mining operations around the world will become widespread further disrupting sea life. Nearly half of the rain forests and jungles in the world today will have vanished, but global efforts to halt de-forestation, clean up the seas, restore coral reefs… will have finally taken hold. Many displaced people will have migrated to Antartica as the snow cap melted and it became habitable.
The rise of 'Regenerative Medicine', Genetic Engineering, Stem Cell Research, and the development of 'Human Augmentation' technologies will dramatically alter people's health for the better over this next century. New technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), and the Invisible User Interface (IUI) will all be incorporated into Health 4.0 systems of the future. Use of DNA biorepositories and genomic information systems will further transform healthcare, help lower costs, combat diseases, reduce child mortality, and extend human lifespans to well over 100 years. Look to see the emergence of a new health industry focused on BioEngineering human organs and new lifeforms.
There will be more than a 1,000-fold increase in computer processing power, data collection and storage, information analysis and dissemination... By the year 2100, there will be widespread use of robots, drones, virtual reality, smart appliances, 5G Internet, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), nano-bots, brain-computer interfaces (BCI), unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAV), 3-D printers, Invisible User Interface (IUI), teleportation, and many other technologies in every industries, e.g. agriculture, manufacturing, military, government, transportation… Wearable and implantable technologies, not to mention teleportation and telepathy systems, will also be widely used in all facets of daily life,, e.g. healthcare, education, security, ... All will be needed to solve many of the challenges brought about by a growing world population, rapid urbanization, climate change, pandemics...
Electric and Hydrogen Fuel Cell powered vehicles will have long since replaced fossil fuel powered vehicles. Hi-tech unmanned autonompus vehicles (UAV) will be the dominant form of transportation with very few people owning their own cars. High speed Maglev trains and Hyperloop systems will be completed between major cities across the U.S. and around the world. These will all have a dramatic impact on the trucking and airplane industries as we currently know them. Finally, the commercial space transportation industry will continue to grow and evolve as mankind begins to colonize outer space.
Government & Society
The vast majority of countries will have adopted some form of democratic government. New alliances and partnerships between countries will lead to reinventing regional and global governance systems. Many non-state actors will take the lead from governments in confronting major global challenges, e.g. climate, pollution, healthcare… Building leadership in government and business that can be 'trusted', that is not corrupt, is citizen-centered, and not built on greed and the quest for money and power... will continue to be a major challenge for society to achieve.
By the end of the 21st century, real time language translation technology will greatly improve global communications between individuals and organizations around the world. There will be continued progress towards the eradication illiteracy and global poverty levels. Women will have assumed a significantly growing role in public and private sector organizations across the world. Racial, religious, and gender discrimination and intolerance will have also been largely eradicated in the US and many other parts of the world. Finally, each individual will receive some guaranteed form of Universal Basic Income (UBI) from government which will meet the minimum requirements to sustain their lives, especially when changing jobs or looking for new work.
It will be highly unlikely that war will go extinct, though its frequency, nature, and scope will continue to change and adapt to the future we will inhabit. Many wars will be fought in the ‘virtual world’. It is expected that rapid changes and shifts in ‘power’ may ultimately lead to more smaller intra-state and inter-state conflicts around the globe.
There will be widespread use of new technologies in weapon systems, e.g. Unmanned Autonomous Vehicles (UAV), artificial intelligence (AI), laser weapons, drones, robots, human augmentation technology, teleportation, telepathy... Also, expect to see the use of military weapons and warfare spreading to outer space as the quest to colonize the moon and other planets across our solar system becomes a reality.
Space Travel & Colonization
Spaceflight technology will have taken a major leap forward allowing for Inter-Planetary travel. Millions of humans will make up the first wave of immigrants populating permanent colonies on other planets and moons in our Solar System. Large scale geoengineering construction in support of these steadily growing colonies will have begun. Public and private sector organizations will be aggressively moving forward to further explore and exploit resources on nearby planets, moons, and asteroids in outer-space well into the 22nd century. Plans for the first unmanned journeys to potentially habitable planets in the nearest solar systems of our Galaxy will be initiated.
We are in the midst of the transition from the ‘Industrial Age’ of the 20th century into the ‘Information Age’ of the 21st century. We are also in the midst of the transition from a Type 0 Civilization into a Type 1 Civilization. It’s an amazing time to be living and the world is in some turmoil as it struggles to deal with these momentous transitions. To help people deal with the rapid pace of change all around the, this article attempts to paint a preliminary picture of the future to help make some sense of the seeming chaotic times we are living through. I hope you find this article informative and brings some clarity about the rapidly changing world you, your children, and your grandchildren are living in.
Links to Selected Resources & Reports