1. 2020: Mind-Reading Machines Enter Production
Machines that can read your mind may sound like something from a distant sci-fi fantasy, but if scientists meet their planned schedule, we should start to see the first telepathic machines announced in the next 12 months. That’s the deadline set in 2010 by a group of Japanese scientists when they first announced their plan to release machines that could read your mind and turn your thoughts.
Scientists have made some incredible breakthroughs since then. A team of Japanese scientists has already developed technology that can decipher brain activity from people’s thoughts to produce rough images. Elsewhere, Carnegie Mellon University scientists have already created a machine that looks at brain signals and uses them to decipher your mind’s thoughts— and they say 87 percent of the time is correct.
It will probably be several years before mass-market telepathic items are on the local Wal-Mart shelves, but as the researchers working on this technology wrap up next year’s first phase of their work, expect to hear about some exciting breakthroughs that will lead to innovations that will change our lives further down the road.
2. 2021: Mass Production of Self-Driving Cars Begins
Self-driving cars have hit the market already, but they are hardly omnipresent. Currently, owning a car that can take you to work is typically a privilege reserved for the affluent few — but all that will change in 2021.That’s the year that the Chinese company Baidu plans to release a mass-produced fleet of self-driving vehicles to fill Beijing and Shanghai’s streets. And if there is any hint of China’s success with electric cars, we can count on seeing them embracing a whole lot faster than they were in the West.
China has been able to make the buying of electric cars almost a requirement without all that inconvenient democracy and freedom in its way. In China’s largest cities, anybody purchasing a gas-powered car has to pay around $14,000 USD for a license plate, all but requiring citizens to buy electricity — and as a result, about 60 percent of global electric car sales are currently sold in China.
If Baidu gets the support of the Chinese government, we can expect their self-driving car fleet to begin seeing widespread adoption — and with it we will begin to see the first steps towards driverless cities in 2021.
3. 2022: Solar-Powered Commercial Airlines Become Available
Eviation Aircraft plans to release the first full-electric commercial airliner in the world in 2022.This one is no longer even a sci-fi concept. The aircraft of Eviation has already been revealed to the world, and it is not even the first of its kind. The electric aircraft has already been flown by one team of pilots. But we will begin to see zero emissions in 2022, electric aircraft equipped with solar panels becoming a real option for every flight we take.
Norway has already committed to using these electric-powered aircraft by 2023 and is preparing to have the world’s first fully self-sufficient airport for renewable energy sources by 2025. Eviation Aircraft expects its electric aircraft to pay just $8 for sufficient energy to fly 100 miles— compared to the $400 of fuel needed to make the same journey for a gas-guzzling aircraft.
4. 2023: The Global Economy Crashes
We are in the midst of American history’s longest economic expansion, but the good times can not last forever. Sooner or later, another recession will have to occur. And if the Global Business Policy Council is correct, the hardest days will strike us in 2023. They estimated that we will continue to see slow economic growth and that it will not pick up again until after 2023. As this happens, our growing debt will become a greater and greater danger to the global economy, and we will continue to see nations with debt defaults on emerging markets.
Nevertheless, this recession will not only be a global slow-down— it will be a shake-up. East Asia is expected to get through this relatively unscathed one, which could mean we’ll see India, Vietnam, the Philippines, and even China — whom they predict will survive the trade war — booming as the West lags.