Through the lens of imagination, humankind has the ability to see far beyond the present. The strongest of these guiding visions tend to coalesce and together steer the trajectory of where we’re headed—even if we don’t arrive exactly where expected.
But what fuels the imagination? The information we consume paints a picture of the world we inhabit. Both sci-fi and forecasting offer fertile ground for stimulating thoughts about the future, while also helping us imagine the steps necessary to get us closer or further from the destination.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite future visions from past stories to spark your imagination. No one knows the future for sure—but here are a few wild possibilities.
By Peter Diamandis
“We’re heading towards a world of perfect knowledge. With a trillion sensors gathering data everywhere (autonomous cars, satellite systems, drones, wearables, cameras), you’ll be able to know anything you want, anytime, anywhere, and query that data for answers and insights.”
By Peter Diamandis
“It’s not about the predictions. It’s about what the predictions represent. Ray’s predictions are a byproduct of his (and my) understanding of the power of Moore’s Law, more specifically Ray’s “Law of Accelerating Returns” and of exponential technologies. These technologies follow an exponential growth curve based on the principle that the computing power that enables them doubles every two years.”
By Peter Murray
“The ever-excitable futurist filmmaker focuses his latest enthusiasm on Ray Kurzweil’s Six Epochs of Evolution. If you’re not familiar, the epochs are Kurzweil’s major stages of technological progress that we humans have [gone] through and continue forward with — we’re currently in Epoch 5: The Merger of Human Technology With Human Intelligence.”
By Steven Kotler and Ken Goffman
“One of the things that happens when you write books about the future is you get to watch your predictions fail. This is nothing new, of course, but what’s different this time around is the direction of those failures. Used to be, folks were way too bullish about technology and way too optimistic with their predictions. Flying cars and Mars missions being two classic—they should be here by now—examples. The Jetsons being another. But today, the exact opposite is happening.”
By Jason Dorrier
“As a whole, future generations may view our science fiction as largely symptomatic of human anxiety during a time of rapid change. For much of history, each new human generation had much the same experience as the last generation and the next one. Now, notable technological and cultural change happens within generations or faster.”
Artwork courtesy of Justin Totemical