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Your 2019 Predictions


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#1
Casey

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Your 2015 Predictions

Your 2016 Predictions

Your 2017 Predictions

Your 2018 Predictions

Your 2019 Predictions ←You are here!

 

Post your 2019 predictions here


  • wjfox, Zaphod and Yuli Ban like this

#2
Raklian

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Donald Trump becomes the 3rd U.S. President to get impeached by the House of Representatives, although he is likely not to be convicted by the Senate. He will finish his first term only to lose to a Democrat challenger during his bid for re-election. The Mueller investigations will not indict Trump until after he finishes his Presidency but some of his children and close associates will not be as lucky.


  • waitingforthe2020s likes this
What are you without the sum of your parts?

#3
Yuli Ban

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It's sufficiently late in the year, so I might as well start on this.

 

2019-2060
 
  • At some point during this period, the United States is struck by the most devastating earthquake in its history
 
2019-2025
 
  • The European Spallation Source (ESS) becomes operational
 
2019-2024
 
  • 3D printing becomes a mainstream consumer technology
 
2019
 
  • The New Horizons probe arrives at Kuiper Belt Object 2014 MU69
  • The first mission to a gas giant using solar sail propulsion
  • The first prototype Stratobus is launched
  • Launch of the BIOMASS mission
  • Europe's Galileo satellite navigation system is fully operational
  • Computers break the exaflop barrier
  • Bionic eyes with high resolution are commercially available
  • A vaccine to treat melanoma
  • Connected vehicle technology is being deployed in a number of countries
  • Automated freight transport
  • US copyright begins to expire, starting with all works from 1923
  • LEDs dominate the lighting industry
  • Jordan opens its first nuclear power plant
  • The City Circle Line opens in Copenhagen
  • The East Side Access subway extension opens in New York
  • The final collapse of the Larsen B ice shelf
 
My own predictions:
 
  • 5G officially begins, with 5G networks starting out in various cities in Europe, East Asia, and North America. Dubai and Singapore will also likely adopt it.
  • 5G connectivity is promised to finally bring about the long-hyped Internet of Things
  • 5G connectivity also theorized to boost potential of wireless VR
  • Virtual reality market slumps, but stabilizes, mostly due to the novelty beginning to wear off right as VR capabilities start increasing
  • Next generation of VR headsets from Oculus, Vive, and Samsung are unveiled throughout the year
  • Apple unveils either VR or AR headset
  • Microsoft unveils VR headset prototype, though it will not release this year
  • Commercial robotics market suffers major slump due to perceived lack of utility. Robots such as Roomba, Knightscope, and Pepper will survive.
  • Boston Dynamics formally releases SpotMini in limited numbers as a tool for R&D and entertainment. SpotMini will almost certainly cost more than a luxury vehicle, but the price is promised to eventually come down
  • DeepMind's AI defeats human experts at Starcraft II
  • AlphaZero taught to play more games than just go, chess, and shogi
  • IMPALA-based AI shown to master Atari games
  • Quantum supremacy is achieved
  • Destructive brain scan technology (the basis for new BCIs) are formally released and early feedback from the brain already allows for extreme gains in deep learning
  • BCIs are also paired with augmented reality in experiments
  • CG graphics achieve near-total photorealism in a tech demo
  • AI generates photorealistic CGI
  • AI generates speech indistinguishable from a human, including subtleties in cadence and intonation
  • AI generates a more complex cartoon, perhaps 10 seconds long, based on textual input
  • Personalized content creation teases the mainstream due to some sort of generative AI becoming a short-lived meme
  • Next-gen consoles are formally teased, but not unveiled
  • AI funding undergoes a major slump as hype begins to face reality
  • There is a steep economic downturn in major industrialized countries. GDP growth falls to stagnation-levels in otherwise strong economies and enters prolonged decline in weaker ones
  • The UK goes through with a No-Deal Brexit, triggering a major geopolitical crisis and potentially leading to talks of Scottish and Welsh independence
  • China begins ensnaring Africa in debt traps and uses this to take over land and territory. 
  • As property values fall and businesses declare bankruptcy, Chinese investors buy up property all across North America and Europe
  • Russia and China pursue closer relations with Venezuela, Cuba, and Mexico, with China spearheading this outreach
  • China's economy flatlines, leading to a political crisis and total consolidation of power by Xi Jinping (effectively turning China into a full-fledged totalitarian state)
  • Oil prices fall back to 2016 lows
  • Marijuana legalization continues to spread
  • Psilocybin is decriminalized or legalized in a US state
  • Embryonic genetic engineering occurs again in China, forcing Western scientists to accelerate ethical research while continuing to condemn China for allowing rogue researchers to defy the scientific process
  • Prosthetic hand created that has very high levels of fluidity and precision gripping
  • Texting-by-thinking first demonstrated with the new generation of BCI
  • Number of electric cars on the road passes 6 million
  • Level 3 AVs see wider commercialization, with at least a half dozen models being released or announced by year's end
  • Level 4 AV tech teased by Waymo, Uber, and others, but remains in the prototype stage
  • Autonomous vehicle services expand
  • Passenger drones begin testing for commercialization
  • SpaceX formally announces lunar orbit mission date, most likely some time in 2020
  • Automation begins stinging the job market, though in relatively light ways due to the limitations of AI
  • Room-temperature superconductor formally found, though only at extremely high pressures
  • Generative AI/machine learning used to create a stylistic editor, able to allow one to write closer to another person's style.
  • Solar power capacity reaches well over 600 GW by year's end, with most growth in China and India
  • Indian air quality deteriorates as the country continues to industrialize and urbanize
  • Voice recognition technology becomes widely used thanks to smart speakers
  • Smart speakers become a more common and widespread aspect of hotels
  • SSDs begin overtaking hard drive sales as their price collapses, perhaps by as much as 50%
  • The first terabyte SD card is released
  • Self-flying drone tech spreads as more affordable drones adopt the capability
  • Boston Dynamics unveils massively improved version of Atlas and/or Handle
  • Next generation of gene tools beyond CRISPR are developed, but not formally released
  • Gene editing used to tackle sickle cell disease
  • New smartphones are announced that are explicitly designed to take advantage of 5G and deep learning
  • Cultured meat goes on sale for at least a test at commercialization
  • There is growing agreement that tech companies need to be regulated and broken up, and Europe spearheads this. America drags its feet.
  • Railgun, directed energy tech accelerates due to a growing arms race between the US, China, and Russia
  • Russia begins investing exponentially more into AI, alarming the West and stoking fears of weaponized autonomous weapons
  • Israel also begins investing heavily into making more autonomous weapons
  • Another AI company besides DeepMind develops an AI capable of doing more than one task
  • Service robots begin spreading into retail after failing in the home
  • Another animal is made de-extinct

  • wjfox, Zaphod, Casey and 4 others like this

And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#4
caltrek

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I have no predictions.  Any predictions that I would make would be so utterly boring that I won't torture the rest of you with such speculations.

 

Still, I salute folks like Yuli Ban who put so much energy into these threads.  That is really taking the scientific theory to heart.  Form an hypothesis - and then test it. 


  • Erowind likes this

The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#5
SkittleBlu

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I’m going to divide the predictions, so I don’t bore this thread with one insanely long post. They will focus on geopolitical developments: 

 

The World in General

 

-The global economy will approach the end of its expansionary period in the business cycle. For most countries, recovery from the 2008 financial crisis has been very weak. Many of the problems that led to the last economic downturn haven’t been corrected, but merely swept under the rug. Debt around the world is piling up. Income inequality is rising. Authoritarian governments have taken power to contain these problems. Slower global growth this year will pose a challenge to many of these governments, and their respective countries. Most should be able to get through the year without buckling. However, some will be able to cope better than others. 

 

-Oil prices will not rise high enough to help those countries that rely heavily on oil exports to prop up their economies, particularly Russia and Saudi Arabia. A substantial increase in US shale oil production alone will be enough to compensate for potential losses in production in such countries as Iran and Venezuela, which are facing internal instability. Through the year, global oil production will outpace global consumption.


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#6
SkittleBlu

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North America

 

-The US is overdue for one of its cyclical recessions, and it may enter one by the end of the year. There is reason to believe, however, that the next recession will be worse than the last one. Income inequality in the US is the highest it’s been since the Great Depression. Its total debt has reached historically high levels. The country is in the process of redefining many of its most important trade relationships. Political polarization has become particularly acute. The next recession, whenever it occurs, will bring short term trauma and could substantially affect American foreign policy. It may also accelerate the socio-political awakening that comes whenever the country transforms itself. But if a recession doesn’t occur this year, the US economy will, at the very least, experience slower growth.

 

-Slower growth in the US will have adverse effects for those economies heavily reliant on the American market, and that are caught in its orbit. Particularly vulnerable is Canada, which is deeply involved with the US economy and is accumulating a massive amount of debt.
 
-Many Central American countries will receive an increase in foreign direct investment. Although Russia and China will be sources of some of this investment, they will not be able to make serious dents. The US is closer to these countries and has seen an increase in migrants fleeing political violence arriving at its southern border. So it will have a more meaningful interest in involving itself in the region. The US will be supporting political and economic development enable to bring some form of stability to these countries. 
 
South America
 
-The new administration of Bolsonaro in Brazil will implement reforms aimed at bolstering economic recovery and diversifying the country’s trade relationships. Particular attention will be paid to the US, where Brazil will want to forge a closer trading relationship.  In light of its trade war with China, the US will be seeking alternative markets to tap into. Brazil will be seen as one of these alternatives.


#7
SkittleBlu

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Europe

 

-Many Eurozone countries will experience slower growth or even contraction this year, amplifying their economic and political difficulties. In particular, Germany will be vulnerable from a contraction of its economy. Nearly half of its GDP consists of exports, with most of that going to the European Union. If Germany enters a recession this year, it will complicate matters for whoever next occupies the position of chancellor, as the country approaches a transition in its government.

 

-The European Union will continue down the long road of disintegration. Save for Britain, no country will formally leave the bloc this year. The issue will be not so much of members leaving, but of growing disagreements over what the bloc is supposed to represent. Member states will prioritize pursuing their own self-interests rather than on the policies coming from Brussels. This has to potential to spark infighting within the bloc. However, no country will yet be in the position for a major confrontation. Italy will not duel with the European Union this year.

 

-Britain will leave the European Union with a deal in place. Both sides will have an interest in maintaining a coherent relationship, because both remain highly dependent on each other. Britain is the second largest economy in Europe, and many EU members, particularly Germany, will want to continue to tap into it. Likewise, Britain will want to maintain the deep trading relationships it has with many countries on the continent, as well as its close security relationships with such countries as France and Poland. However, the fallout from this process could aggravate divisions within the country, especially if some areas are impacted more than others. Scotland may garner increased support for independence. The peace with Northern Ireland in place since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement could eventually falter. But these and other issues concerning British unity are ones that will largely have to be dealt with farther into the future. For the coming year, the primary issues will be dealing with the end of the first season of the Brexit drama, and getting used to the idea that Britain will still maintain a close relationship with the European mainland.

 

Africa

 

-Wary of increased foreign competition in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia will be compelled to assert itself. Its rapprochement with Eritrea and its attempts to resolve the conflict in South Sudan will be part of an overall strategy to temper the instability along its borders and to expand its sphere of influence. Ethiopia will also be collaborating with the countries to its east to build the infrastructure necessary to improve its access to the sea. With a high growth, rapidly industrializing economy dependent on exports, Ethiopia will have a long term interest in expanding and securing its presence along the strategically important trade route through the Red Sea. However, the tenuous situation outside its borders, as well as the continued risk of communal violence within that could threaten the new regime, will make such moves precarious. In addition, an increased foreign presence will limit its ability to get very far. 



#8
SkittleBlu

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Middle East and Central Asia

 

-With most of the territory of the Islamic State having been vanquished, the focus of the US in the Middle East will increasingly move towards containing Iran. The threat of jihadism will no doubt remain, but the US will feel the need to shift its focus towards more pressing matters. In doing so, the US will be reconsidering its alliances and how it commits itself to the region. Rather than relying on direct force, the US will instead support native powers to try to achieve its desired balance of power. An “Arab NATO” consisting of such countries as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel will present itself as an intriguing idea for the US, as each state shares an interest in trying to block Iran. However, such an alliance will have limited success. Besides having a common adversary, each of the members have little to work with. For many of these states, more pressing problems closer to home will absorb their focus.

 

-It will be a difficult year for Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Kingdom will be the recipient of much international condemnation regarding its human rights. It will face increased pressure to liberalize and bring changes to its society. However, it won’t be able to go too far in liberalizing without risking a major backlash from religious conservatives. It will be a tight balance the kingdom will have difficulty in maintaining. In addition, the new Saudi prince will be trying to implement reforms aimed at diversifying the Saudi economy while it’s at its most volatile, with an oil market increasingly out of control. Despite all of these threats, the House of Saud should be able to get through the year without a collapse. 

 

-Israel will attack Hezbollah in Lebanon. However, it will not have an interest in escalating its offensive too far. Israel will not want to get into direct conflict with Iran, which has been supporting Hezbollah forces there for some time. In addition, Israel has other threats along its border that it must deal with. The most likely scenario is an Israeli offensive that is limited mostly to airstrikes, intended to target munitions factories and to disrupt the flow of supplies to Hezbollah militia. 

 

-Growing internal instability in Iran will limit the ability to maintain its influence abroad. A weakened rial, periodic bouts of social unrest and the fallout from US sanctions will take their toll and challenge the current regime. Iranian military influence, which has spread itself far too thin across the Middle East, will be forced to retreat in some areas. The most likely area of retreat is in Yemen, where the US and Saudi Arabia have been trying to bring an end to the conflict.  

 

-Greater confidence and assertiveness on the part of Turkey about its position in the Middle East will inevitably create friction with other powers in the region. For its part, the US will have a genuine interest in preserving its strategic relationship with Turkey. The US will be seeing Turkey as invaluable to achieving its desired balance of power. However, there will continue to be disagreements on the nature of Turkish operations, especially in relation to the Kurds. Although its relationship with the Kurds will no longer be regarded as one of necessity, the US will not abandon them entirely. Instead, the US will give greater priority to healing its relationship with Turkey. As such, the US will make limited concessions to Turkish operations in Syria. 

 

-Turkey will increasingly be drawn into Northern Syria to secure its southern border. Where Turkish forces venture they will, for the most part, be there to stay. The Turkish military will be growing stronger. However, financial difficulties, as well as the risk of coming into direct conflict with Iran and Russia, will limit its ability to go very far, at least for the time being. Nevertheless, such moves will be important steps in the long process of Turkey emerging as a major regional power.

 

-The US and the Taliban will reach a deal, and remaining American forces will begin the process of withdrawing from Afghanistan by the end of the year. 



#9
SkittleBlu

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Russia and its Periphery

 

-Russia’s economic problems will worsen. Russian president Vladimir Putin will pursue economic reforms as the country becomes increasingly tight on money. Some of these reforms, including increases to the value-added tax, new duties on some consumer products and pension changes, will hurt many Russians. There will be a general decline in living standards. As a result, social unrest will increase, especially in those poorer regions distant from Moscow. However, unrest will not seriously threaten the Russian government this year. Pressures will indeed mount, possibly enough for Russia to make compromises on some of its reforms, but not enough to bring about regime change.

 

-Ukraine and Belarus will be sites of increasing competition between the US and Russia. Ukraine in particular will be vulnerable from outside influence. Attempts by Russia to solidify its control of Crimea and assert its naval presence in the Black Sea, along with the completion of the Nordstrom 2 and Turkstream pipelines that will bypass Ukrainian territory, will be sources of agitation and garner much attention from the West. Most concerning, outside powers will be trying to influence the outcome of the Ukrainian presidential elections set for March. With no clear front runner, the election will have the potential to spark a political crisis. As Ukraine gets pulled into different directions, Kiev will find it increasingly difficult to maintain its hold over the country. Although still improbable, a genuine breakup of the Ukrainian state this year can’t be ruled out.


#10
SkittleBlu

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East Asia

 

-Even if the two sides agree to some sort of deal, the underlying trade tensions between the US and China will continue through the year. Neither side will have legitimate reasons to completely back down. The US will want to redefine its trading relationship with China. To that end, the US will poke at the Chinese economy while it’s at its most vulnerable, enable to demand what it wants out of the trade relationship. But it will also use the trade war as part of its larger overall strategy to contain China. As China attempts to flaunt its power abroad, some minds in Washington will no doubt feel as if China represents a threat to American global interests. For its part, China will have no choice but to assert itself. Backing down would mean giving in to American demands, being embarrassed after having tried so hard to portray itself as a great power, and risking growing illegitimacy with its populace. These are things China will not want to allow. Despite this, the US won’t be hurt nearly as much as China in the trade war. That’s due in part because China is more economically dependent on the US than the US is on China.

 

 -The Chinese government will try to contain the fallout of the trade war while continuing to pursue an ambitious series of reforms meant to address some of the deep, structural problems facing its economy. Being too forceful in its endeavors, however, runs the risk of spooking foreign investors and triggering capital outflows. Whatever it does to help one sector of the economy will inevitably hurt another. China will not afford to abandon reforms meant to address structural problems such as debt, but it will also not be able to let the economy grind to a halt. So it will again have to rely on modest fiscal stimulus to sustain growth, which could recreate some of the problems the reforms were meant to solve in the first place. It will be a difficult year for the Chinese government. The trade war will only give it a smaller margin for error.

 

-Chinese president Xi Jinping will expand his dictatorship and take ruthless measures to quash any signs of dissent. The Communist Party will clamp down even harder on Chinese society, and brute force will be necessary to suppress any social unrest that could spiral out of control. Although unrest will indeed be increasing, it will mostly be an expression of local frustration rather than a united front against the government. As a result, no one person or group will be strong enough to pose an immediate threat to Xi’s position this year. The PLA will not openly oppose the top leadership. Nevertheless, Xi and the Communist Party will, with a greater sense of urgency, do everything they possibly can to maintain their grip on power. 
 
-The South China Sea will not be an area of conflict in the coming year. China has more urgent matters closer to home to deal with, and though it will posture, it will not be able to take any meaningful military action. American military influence in the area, though still substantial, is nevertheless waning, and it won’t have the power to drastically alter the situation there. Instead, countries on the periphery that are increasingly wary of China, particularly India, Japan and Australia, will take the lead to try to block Chinese expansion within the larger region. In doing so, the three countries will be increasing their military collaboration, and asserting military power in their respective regions.
 
-Japan will continue to modernize and build up its military. It will purchase large sums of new military equipment as well as developing some of its own. Japan will also be conducting military exercises with other armed forces in the region. Despite these developments, Japan will continue to claim that its military is used only for “self-defense”. The structure of its political system, as well as the nature of the current phase of its culture, will restrict Japan from making sudden revisions to what has largely been regarded as a most pacifist constitution. Japanese society will not yet be ready to absorb a drastic change in reinterpretation of its fighting force.
 
-There will not be a war on the Korean Peninsula. The Kim regime will refrain from testing any intercontinental ballistic missiles but will not make any substantial moves to dismantle its nuclear program. For its part, the US will not conduct any major military drills with the South. Instead, the US will engage in a policy of containment to try to limit its development of new weapons and control its behavior. South Korea will continue to distance itself from the US amid a gradual thawing of relations with the North. 


#11
SkittleBlu

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Conclusion

 

The coming year will be one that is part of a transition of eras. The reassertion of nationalism around the world is ushering in a restructuring of the global economy, away from a reliance on free trade and multilateralism. Of course, that doesn’t mean these kinds of trade relationships will never again develop. But those that will develop will tend to only be ones that will be geared to serve in each of its members best interests. 

 

As we approach the end of an era, we are also in the midst of a rotation of powers. Those countries heavily dependent on the global structure in place during the era of internationalism (particularly Russia, China and Germany), are undergoing severe, irreversible declines, and may possibly even fragment. On the other hand, those countries more able to adapt and take advantage of their geographic positions are emerging as major powers. These are the countries that are still seen by many as both obscure and not yet globally significant. 
 
The US, being the sole global power, is in the process of coming to terms with the reality of its strengths, as well as its limits, and it’s learning to manage its newfound position on the world stage. For some, that appears to signal American decline, and of the US retreating from the world. In reality, it’s merely a symptom of the American empire growing up, as it approaches adulthood. 
 
Of course, not all of these things will transpire in the coming year. This is all part of a much longer process. As in any transition period, there is a yearning of the past, and a great reluctance to see the changes that are ushering in the future. In that regard, this year will be no different. Many will continue to see the world through a lens that broke long ago, and will have a hard time believing the changes that are happening right in front of them. But that won’t make the changes any less real. There will be much anxiety about what lies ahead. As in all times, many will be fixated on the daily melodrama that characterizes the moment, on things that will largely be forgotten further down the road. As such, many of the real (though subtle) everlasting changes to the global system will slip under the radar of most observers.
 
The coming year will merely be a snapshot of a much longer process.  It will not be a year that, in the moment, will stand out as particularly exceptional on a global scale. It will only be in hindsight, perhaps decades from now, that the true importance of the coming year on the long road of history will reveal itself.  

  • caltrek, Alislaws, rennerpetey and 1 other like this

#12
wjfox

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My own predictions:

 
  • 5G officially begins, with 5G networks starting out in various cities in Europe, East Asia, and North America. Dubai and Singapore will also likely adopt it.
  • 5G connectivity is promised to finally bring about the long-hyped Internet of Things
  • 5G connectivity also theorized to boost potential of wireless VR
  • Virtual reality market slumps, but stabilizes, mostly due to the novelty beginning to wear off right as VR capabilities start increasing
  • Next generation of VR headsets from Oculus, Vive, and Samsung are unveiled throughout the year
  • Apple unveils either VR or AR headset
  • Microsoft unveils VR headset prototype, though it will not release this year
  • Commercial robotics market suffers major slump due to perceived lack of utility. Robots such as Roomba, Knightscope, and Pepper will survive.
  • Boston Dynamics formally releases SpotMini in limited numbers as a tool for R&D and entertainment. SpotMini will almost certainly cost more than a luxury vehicle, but the price is promised to eventually come down
  • DeepMind's AI defeats human experts at Starcraft II
  • AlphaZero taught to play more games than just go, chess, and shogi
  • IMPALA-based AI shown to master Atari games
  • Quantum supremacy is achieved
  • Destructive brain scan technology (the basis for new BCIs) are formally released and early feedback from the brain already allows for extreme gains in deep learning
  • BCIs are also paired with augmented reality in experiments
  • CG graphics achieve near-total photorealism in a tech demo
  • AI generates photorealistic CGI
  • AI generates speech indistinguishable from a human, including subtleties in cadence and intonation
  • AI generates a more complex cartoon, perhaps 10 seconds long, based on textual input
  • Personalized content creation teases the mainstream due to some sort of generative AI becoming a short-lived meme
  • Next-gen consoles are formally teased, but not unveiled
  • AI funding undergoes a major slump as hype begins to face reality
  • There is a steep economic downturn in major industrialized countries. GDP growth falls to stagnation-levels in otherwise strong economies and enters prolonged decline in weaker ones
  • The UK goes through with a No-Deal Brexit, triggering a major geopolitical crisis and potentially leading to talks of Scottish and Welsh independence
  • China begins ensnaring Africa in debt traps and uses this to take over land and territory. 
  • As property values fall and businesses declare bankruptcy, Chinese investors buy up property all across North America and Europe
  • Russia and China pursue closer relations with Venezuela, Cuba, and Mexico, with China spearheading this outreach
  • China's economy flatlines, leading to a political crisis and total consolidation of power by Xi Jinping (effectively turning China into a full-fledged totalitarian state)
  • Oil prices fall back to 2016 lows
  • Marijuana legalization continues to spread
  • Psilocybin is decriminalized or legalized in a US state
  • Embryonic genetic engineering occurs again in China, forcing Western scientists to accelerate ethical research while continuing to condemn China for allowing rogue researchers to defy the scientific process
  • Prosthetic hand created that has very high levels of fluidity and precision gripping
  • Texting-by-thinking first demonstrated with the new generation of BCI
  • Number of electric cars on the road passes 6 million
  • Level 3 AVs see wider commercialization, with at least a half dozen models being released or announced by year's end
  • Level 4 AV tech teased by Waymo, Uber, and others, but remains in the prototype stage
  • Autonomous vehicle services expand
  • Passenger drones begin testing for commercialization
  • SpaceX formally announces lunar orbit mission date, most likely some time in 2020
  • Automation begins stinging the job market, though in relatively light ways due to the limitations of AI
  • Room-temperature superconductor formally found, though only at extremely high pressures
  • Generative AI/machine learning used to create a stylistic editor, able to allow one to write closer to another person's style.
  • Solar power capacity reaches well over 600 GW by year's end, with most growth in China and India
  • Indian air quality deteriorates as the country continues to industrialize and urbanize
  • Voice recognition technology becomes widely used thanks to smart speakers
  • Smart speakers become a more common and widespread aspect of hotels
  • SSDs begin overtaking hard drive sales as their price collapses, perhaps by as much as 50%
  • The first terabyte SD card is released
  • Self-flying drone tech spreads as more affordable drones adopt the capability
  • Boston Dynamics unveils massively improved version of Atlas and/or Handle
  • Next generation of gene tools beyond CRISPR are developed, but not formally released
  • Gene editing used to tackle sickle cell disease
  • New smartphones are announced that are explicitly designed to take advantage of 5G and deep learning
  • Cultured meat goes on sale for at least a test at commercialization
  • There is growing agreement that tech companies need to be regulated and broken up, and Europe spearheads this. America drags its feet.
  • Railgun, directed energy tech accelerates due to a growing arms race between the US, China, and Russia
  • Russia begins investing exponentially more into AI, alarming the West and stoking fears of weaponized autonomous weapons
  • Israel also begins investing heavily into making more autonomous weapons
  • Another AI company besides DeepMind develops an AI capable of doing more than one task
  • Service robots begin spreading into retail after failing in the home
  • Another animal is made de-extinct

 

 

Some very interesting predictions there, and I'm sure you'll be right (or nearly right) on many of them.

 

However, I tend to find your economic predictions, both here and elsewhere, are overly pessimistic. I think the economy is more resilient and adaptable.

 

Also, no-deal Brexit seems less likely now. If May's deal fails to pass, then Parliament has the power to delay Article 50.



#13
Yuli Ban

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It shouldn't be likely at all.

As long as there's still a sizable chance, I'll stay pessimistic.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#14
Erowind

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Haven't read all the predictions yet. I might add more later but here's my only one for now.

The U.S economy might enter recession, if not it will by 2020 and this will be very clear by years end.

The recession will be less catastrophic than the great recession and the crisis of capitalism will be mitigated once again through the influence of the federal reserve. This same process will be observable throughout the global economy with central banks holding guns to the heads of governments demanding more privatization in return for some policy that saves their Nation's economies.

Instability is stability over a long period of time. We live in an era of managed crisis overseen by central banks. Trump's slight neoprotectionist policies won't be tolerated forever, he, nor his administration were ever actually in control.

There will be no collapse, sovereign debt is more stable over the long term than people give it credit for. It appears precarious, but that's the point. This feeling that everything is unstable encourages more conservative business practices and in turn creates more mild recessions and a more stable economy. Whereas long booms like the roaring 20s give false confidence and lead to depression and panic.

Alongside this prediction I offer an auxillery political prediction. Radical politics both in the form of the reactionary far right and the broader socialist and anarchist left will continue to grow in response to increasing economic preassure on average people. If the crisis of capitalism ever actually comes it will not be economic (at least in the short to medium term) but political in nature. Overall the right will outperform the left for now though. Sadly, there is a major paradox in socialist thought when socialists try to organize that no one has been able to reconcile yet.

Socialism as a political program undermines the current political system before a new system can be built. This leaves more room for reactionaries to gain followers as socialists struggle to offer clear answers as the reactionaries promise a "return to normal." I'm not referring to social democrats like Bernie here, he may well get elected if he runs. I mean the overthrow the bourgeoisie down with capitalism true socialism socialists. Socialism as a prospect is extremely appealing to working class people, but the people are fickle, they don't always have patience for theory when they want clear solutions to solve their daily struggles now.
  • rennerpetey likes this

Current status: slaving away for the math gods of Pythagoras VII.


#15
TranscendingGod

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My only prediction is a greater than "expected" increase in life expectancy in almost all countries with a reversal in the decline currently happening in the United States. As humans are nowhere near their natural maximum life expectancy this increase is usually attributed to a reduction in mortality rates for the things that most frequently kill young people. As a reduction in the deaths that kill 80 year old people would have a minimal impact when they would still be quite likely to die soon thereafter due to the aging process itself. 

 

The true revolutionary increase in life expectancy will not occur until we've at least ameliorated the deleterious process of aging.  


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The growth of computation is doubly exponential growth. 


#16
Bubbles

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^^^ Could this be more of a long-term prediction?



#17
funkervogt

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A machine will win the 2019 Dota 2 world championship.
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#18
TranscendingGod

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^^^ Could this be more of a long-term prediction?

You're right it did turn out to be more of a long-term prediction. The former half was in regards to this year though. 


The growth of computation is doubly exponential growth. 


#19
Casey

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Thanks for the very long reply, Skittle. I'll make sure to read that later.

 

 

 

  • SSDs begin overtaking hard drive sales as their price collapses, perhaps by as much as 50%

 

Begin overtaking? Do you mean that SSDs might sell more than HDDs this year?



#20
Alislaws

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A machine will win the 2019 Dota 2 world championship.

I'd agree we have a good chance to have a machine capable of beating the winning team of the 2019 Dota 2 World championship.

 

But surely they won't let AIs play in the championship itself? Or have they announced anything like that? (I would definitely watch if they did! And I'm a LoL fan!)


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