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My 2016 Predictions: The Final Verdict

2016 science technology politics pop culture predictions future timeline Yuli Ban 2017 The Future™

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#1
Yuli Ban

Yuli Ban

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Last year...
 
So the second year of The Future™ has blown everyone's fucking minds. So much so that people, Singularitarians and transhumanists even, are starting to experience future shock.
 
Alas, the year's over. There's been a lot of amazing events, and a lot of awful events as well. But let's see how well I did predicting any of them?
 
Aaaaand.... a zero percent success rate! gg, happy new yers.
 
Okay, not really. But I missed quite a few of them.
 
So let's do the whole spiel once more. As usual, the official timeline predictions first! And note, this is regarding the predictions I had in my original, year old post. It does not reflect the current Timeline.
 
 
"Today's forecast is 'warm' with clear, sunny skies!"
Green: 100% true (Actual weather: clear, sunny, warm)
Blue: Mostly true (Actual weather: clear, sunny, cool; or, partly cloudy, warm)
Yellow: Roughly or less than half true  (Actual weather: mostly cloudy and cool, with clear skies at times)
Red: Untrue (Actual weather: torrential ice cold downpour all day long)
Purple: Can't say for sure, due to a lack of news or the prediction taking much longer than a single year to unfold (Actual weather: I'm trapped in a cave)

  • China builds the longest undersea tunnel in the world

Link 1
There's been virtually no news on this in recent months, but it's to be assumed that construction did begin. It should be noted that this one was going to be purple by default since it's listed as "2016-2020".

  • Completion of the Panama Canal expansion project

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The expanded canal began commercial operation on 26 June 2016.

  • Microchipping of all dogs in England

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Link 2
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Officially became compulsory on 6 April, 2016 in England, Scotland, and Wales. So far, there's been no data on just how many dogs have been microchipped, but it hasn't yet been a year so I'll let that one slide.

  • Euro 2016 is held in France

Link 1

  • Rio de Janeiro hosts the Olympic Games

Link 1
As if we're going to forget that shitshow anytime soon.

  • The first manned flight of SpaceX's Dragon V2

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Link 2
The September explosion set everything back greatly, and the current expected launch date isn't until 2018 at the earliest.

  • India's first manned space flight

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Link 2
Delayed to 2021 at the earliest.

  • India launches its second unmanned lunar probe

Link 1
Not happening until Q1 2018.

  • The International Lunar Observatory begins operations

Absolutely nothing.

  • The first hotel in space

Link 1
Something like the original idea will be undertaken in 2020.

  • Balloon trips up to 20 miles high

Nothing.

  • The Juno probe arrives at Jupiter

Link 1
Link 2
Link 3
Arrived on 5 July, 2016

  • The world's largest single-aperture telescope is completed in China

Link 1

  • The mining industry is highly automated

Link 1

  • Agricultural robots are appearing on farms

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I've even seen one in action.

  • High-definition CCTV cameras are ubiquitous

Link 1

  • OLED displays are in widespread use

Link 1

  • Three-person babies

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The actual trial will begin next year, but they were approved in the UK this year.

  • New drug delivery methods for brain-related conditions

Link 1

  • A pill to prevent sunburn
  • Completion of the i5K project

Link 1

Fixed, with the color changed from green to yellow, according to Will's testimony.

  • China completes the largest environmental cleanup in its history

Link 1

  • Polymer banknotes are introduced by the Bank of England

Link 1
Link 2
Link 3

  • United States Presidential Election

I don't even know what to do with that one.
 
 
Those were the official timeline predictions! Quite a few were right on the money, which is to be expected.
Now for all the failing predictions, those created by Yuli Ban!
 
To save time, there won't be links at the present moment.

  • Virtual reality courts the mainstream with an array of devices, including Gear VR, Oculus Rift, PS VR, and Vive

Gear VR's been out since last year, and Google Cardboard's been around since June of 2014, but those are the mid and low end of VR respectively. We were waiting for the high end this entire time— and the first contender was Oculus, releasing on 28 March, 2016. Thus far, the Gear VR and PSVR have been the big sellers, while the HTC Vive has been the most well recieved. Oculus Rift, once the deified symbol of Millennials and an icon of the times, is no longer the first choice for just about anyone, primarily due to a series of awful business decisions.

  • Aldebaran's Pepper is released in the US and becomes an immediate success as the first affordable artificially intelligent domestic humanoid robot

Unfortunately, Pepper has yet to be released outside of Japan and Taiwan. Softbank was pushing for a US release through their US wing— known as 'Sprint'— but they couldn't make it happen. Worse, news finally broke that Pepper really is just an oversized toy instead of a proper utility robot. Despite allegedly being hooked up to IBM Watson, its intelligence was lacking at best, offering a very poor show of what Watson could actually do. This problem is apparently being fixed in time for Pepper's 2017 US release. Nevertheless, Pepper continues to sell out whenever it goes on sale, so it's still clearly a success.

  • Pepper gets the Amelia deep learning system installed, further assisting its capabilities

We don't even know if Amelia's really that impressive to begin with, but even if it were, Pepper doesn't have it.

  • Domestic robots begin entering middle class homes at a shockingly high rate

Nothing out of the ordinary. More Roombas, more drones, more specialized utility robots, things like that, but no big grunge moment for any one particular robot.

  • Various hyped augmented reality smartglasses are released

Only one was released, and that was the HoloLens. On top of that, what was released was a devkit, not the smartglasses proper. They were released in the US first back on 30 March, and then in the UK and Europe on 30 November.

  • Bitcoin becomes a legitimized currency
  • Successful launch of the Falcon Heavy

Delayed due to the September explosion.

  • Deep learning algorithms/spiked neural networks reach superhuman success rates

At the time, spiked neural networks was the hot thing that Starspawn0 was on about, but I extend this to mean all neural networks. And of course deep learning ate the world in 2016.

  • Oil prices fall to historic lows and create a new and strangely uneven recession as the oil industry collapses
  • Solar and wind explode into the mainstream, obliterating all previous growth expectations
  • Battery/supercapacitor breakthrough proves to be a quantum leap forward for energy storage, advances all estimates relating to energy storage by five years

I've heard about many breakthroughs in batteries and supercapacitors, but nothing exactly that has brought estimates of energy storage up by such a large amount of time.

  • Nuclear fission makes a comeback as the oil industry is brought to its knees and a new generation of reactors begin coming online; nuclear industry chooses to work alongside renewables
  • Nuclear fusion enjoys multiple unbelievable breakthroughs; doubt is cast upon ITER as investment quadruples, at the very least, into commercial fusion power
  • Google Fiber begins first large-scale roll out over multiple cities at once, while municipalities begin rolling out their own high-speed internet en masse

Google Fiber failed. Instead, they're going for wireless internet.

  • Novelty of drones begins to wear off, especially as regulations begin being put in place, and they become an accepted norm of society
  • The first drone-based Global Internet service scheme begins

Facebook led the charge on this way back in June.

  • Smart TV market booms, especially as more ditch cable companies
  • OLED holographic screens are put on buildings to create 3D ads, beginning in cities such as Dubai, Tokyo, and New York
  • Bionic hands become fluidly dexterous, imitating real hands almost perfectly

They became much more dexterous, but "imitating real hands" is a tall order, I admit.

  • New generation of ASIMO is unveiled to the public, featuring and showing off such bionic hands and also featuring a deep-learning based CPU

This one surprised me. Considering that the whole ASIMO project began in 1986, I thought for sure that Honda was going to bring out a new model in time for its 30th anniversary. Unless they decided that 2000 was the "real" birth of ASIMO, of course.

  • Robots competing in the DARPA Robotic Challenge seem to be worlds beyond 2015 models

DARPA Robotics Challenge was a 2012-2015 thing, not a yearly thing. Just like how their self-driving car challenge ran from 2004 to 2007.

  • First robot brothel opens
  • Autonomous vehicle technology accelerates growth, with AVs shown as being capable of traversing hazardous environments

It's been claimed that they can traverse hazardous environments, but nothing's been done to show that they can actually do such a thing yet.

  • Robots begin appearing in commercials more regularly
  • First UBI experiment attempted in a European city
  • ISIS is defeated

ISIS has greatly waned and are on the verge of 'proper' defeat, rendering them an underground organization, but we were unable to deal the beast a blow. Probably because we were also arming them in Syria. Kinda hard to kill the guy you keep nursing and feeding.

  • Autonomous flying car unveiled by a major automaker

Not by major automakers, sure, but passenger drones are on the radar of many.

  • Pet cloning industry grows
  • Memristor-based computer shown off
  • Biotech field sees further exponential growth
  • First asteroid mining mission begins, more as a proof of concept

Luxembourg put forth a plan for an asteroid mining mission, but there's been no actual mission undertaken.

  • Ukrainian conflict fades

Very little news escaping to the rest of the world as to what's going on in Donbass. Mostly sensationalist news that fails to crack the mainstream.

  • Technosexuality begins encroaching into the mainstream as "virtual waifus" take off
  • Global carbon emissions begin to decline

They've flatlined, but not declined.

  • 8k TVs begin entering mass market

There were two more 8K TVs teased this year, but only one is actively being sold.

  • Haptic holograms proven to be able to interact with environment, lift small objects
  • Holograms begin entering the mainstream as the iPhone 7 introduces 3D holographic capabilities
  • Smartwatch capabilities improve as more become capable of health monitoring
  • Bernie Sanders elected President of the United States of America, with Elizabeth Warren as vice president

Donald Trump is our 45th president. Either way, at the time of writing this, I knew Clinton and Bush would never be president, unless both of them were our only choices.

  • Worker cooperatives begin pushing their way into the mainstream
  • Saudi Arabia declares $100 billion+ deficit

This happened in 2015, but no news yet on if this will be true for 2016.

  • Marijuana legalized in the United States, Canada, and a few other nations
  • Talk begins of legalizing all psychoactive drugs, at least for medical purposes
  • Australia recommits to green energy efforts following Abbott's green dark age and the near-collapse of the oil industry
  • Deep learning growth begins hyperacceleration of AI progress, faster even than Moore's Law
  • A deep learning algorithm learns to recognize the alphabet of any language
  • Deep learning begins moving onto auditory and haptic recognition
  • Experimental hyperloop track begins construction
  • RFID implants begin entering the sub-mainstream, mainly for animals and newborns, to the horror of conspiracy theorists
  • Internet of Things begins expanding more deeply into middle class homes
  • Lunar rediscovery as more space agencies begin plans to send rovers to, study, and colonize the moon
  • NASA announces manned mission to the moon by 2019, based on Falcon Heavy's success
  • Supersonic commercial jets reenter airports, but yet to carry passengers
  • GPUs undergo extreme upgrade
  • 7nm computer chips enter production
  • 3D chips enter production
  • Memristors enter mass production
  • Deep learning algorithms begin accelerating scientific growth
  • Higher temperature sub-room temperature superconductors discovered (perhaps up to -50°C)

This may be retroactively confirmed as a result of the solid metallic hydrogen breakthrough.

  • Objects discovered on the very edge of the observable universe, suggesting the first formations of large cosmic structures began immediately after the big bang
  • Microbots and micromachines see boomtime as people begin focusing on the easier microscale rather than nanoscale
  • Beijing's air quality reaches record lows before rising by the end of the year
  • China begins plans to generate terawatts of electricity by 2030 via an intense focus on solar, wind, nuclear, etc. energy sources

The final verdict? Meh. Year wasn't as good as it could've been, but it could've been worse.


  • wjfox, Sciencerocks, Casey and 4 others like this
Nobody's gonna take my drone, I'm gonna fly miles far too high!
Nobody gonna beat my drone, it's gonna shoot into the sky!

#2
Casey

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Great read, and your accuracy honestly wasn't bad at all - especially considering that you had the best success rate for sci-fi/tech news, which is what I care about the most.

 

ps 2017 predictions



#3
Sciencerocks

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A lot of the more futuristic stuff didn't come true...Sadly.



#4
wjfox

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Thanks for this, Yuli.

 

I've updated the 2016 page of the timeline, and made a few changes on the 2017 page.

 

You've marked the i5K project as green, but I checked their website and apparently they're nowhere near reaching 5,000 genomes. Only 238 currently.

 

Biggest disappointment for me (aside from the U.S. election result) was the Falcon Heavy which is delayed yet again. I haven't bothered moving it to 2017 as it's starting to lose credibility with me. How many more delays do we have to put up with?


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