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What will happen to us before 2025?

Mankind Future 2025

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    Master of Time Travel

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“One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don't throw it away.”


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Too optimistic.




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There are some things in there that seem realistic, and others (like flying cars) that don't, by 2025.
One thing I've learned about future forecasting over the past couple years is just how unpredictable the path from 
technically feasible / prototype --> actual consumer product
happens to be.
A case study I gave in a previous post:

Virtual assistants are a good case-study: some company has a good idea about how to build one, and gets developers on-board. Then, a big company like Google, Apple, or Samsung buys them out for several hundred million dollars. And they take a working plan, and try to expand to a monstrous degree, serving every kind of language, while not doing something offensive to the brand, and not interfering with other products of the company or that it works with; and this causes delays. And then there're inter-company fights. And then the CEO decides they don't need to build it, because they have a kind of "understanding" with competitors, the effect of which is to slow it all down and proceed more conservatively. Eventually, the original CEO of the startup that was bought out leaves the company, disillusioned.

Another case study is drone delivery: I don't think the technical limitations are the main thing slowing them down:


A third one might be home robots. There do seem to be some pretty heavy technical limitations at the moment; but, probably, a reasonably capable home robot that can, for example, de-clutter a floor, is pretty close to reality (basically, the next step up from a Roomba). And robots that can fetch things from the fridge safely and with high generality (for different types of kitchens and fridges) is probably also close to reality. But going from there to an actual home robot has all kinds of other restrictions -- e.g. funding to support the project, fear of edge cases (like what if the robot accidentally kills the family dog? Or accidentally sets fire to a house by not noticing the stove was left on?), manufacturing costs and market size, and so on.

This is why it makes sense to be more careful and just say when a "research prototype" will be available.


Most of what is in that video is technically possible. It's just that it might not be possible due to all the messy human and real-world issues around actually making it into a consumer product.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Mankind, Future, 2025

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