The world’s population is expected to surpass 9 billion by the year 2040 with an escalating number of older people to over 1 billion. The geopolitical map will involve major shifts away from Europe and the U.S. as the power axis and towards Asia and the Middle East as the emerging powers; further globalization, however, partly mitigates the influence of any potential superpower. Major terrorist attacks will continue but less in the form of traditional weapons of mass destruction as security measures in the form of drones and sensors with artificial intelligence constantly thwart these attempts but more in the newer modality of cyber warfare.
Our environment and climate change is an issue that will continue to be critical in the coming decades. Cities will be designed to have zero emissions and houses will be smart with temperature and sunlight microsensors that will self-adjust based on the ambient environment. Despite the green measures, global warming will lead to flooding of large coastal cities in certain parts of the world. Some food will be grown in natural habitats vertically as well as produced synthetically via biological printing devices. Clean water will be plentiful from new nanotechnology that concomitantly desalinate and purify water.
Our daily lives will be made easier by the emergence of technological advances. Daily household tasks will be performed by personal robots with dexterity and autonomy. Obligate travel is facilitated by autonomous electric vehicles fully equipped with sensors under satellite control while leisure travel will involve transcontinental flights that will only be a few hours as well as routine space travel to the moon and nearby planets. Virtual vacations also enable the average person to travel in the form of an avatar to myriad of time periods.
There will be less people going to a work location as virtual work environments increase. Knowledge workers rapidly replacing those with manual skills as robots proliferate. All levels of education will be virtual and widespread and shifting away from the traditional campus paradigm. Knowledge is easily acquired with the use of software agents that gather data and information. Books and even laptops/desktop computers will be replaced by multimedia clips that are readily available in the form of augmented reality via a visual device.
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