Well here we are, not only another year but another decade. I wonder what the 2020s are going to bring us? Already this year we have had an announcement that an artificial intelligence system is better than doctors at detecting breast cancer from mammograms.
We are going to see a great rise in these types of systems over the next 10 years but artificial intelligence is the wrong name for them, they cannot think for themselves. They are ‘expert systems’ in that they have been supplied with a huge amount of data to use as reference points which is why they can produce answers much faster than humans. True artificial intelligence in which a machine becomes conscious and sentient, is like nuclear fusion still 50 years away, if at all.
I was told when I was at school 50 years ago that we would all have abundant very cheap electricity from nuclear fusion by 2020. Hmmmm, mind you we were also told that we would have run out of oil and that the planet would be too hot to live on by 2020 as well.
In the next 10 years we will see the electric car totally replace the gas guzzler and with the acceptance of them being driverless and the rise of car sharing and super Uber rental apps, car ownership and consequently city congestion will fall sharply. This is naturally going to see a decline in the car manufacturing industry but that’s not something we are going to shed a tear over. Not unless you are an assembly line worker in a car plant, but then you were going to be replaced by robots anyway.
Just imagine how nice it will be to not have to own a car, no HP payments, no maintenance, no insurance, no fuel, no speeding tickets and not having to find and pay for a parking spot. You just open the app on your phone and a car is with you in minutes, takes you to your destination and because there is no human driver to pay, the cost is peanuts.
This is one way in which technology will help reduce carbon emissions, although all the electricity for cars still has to be generated somehow, and while some countries like Scandinavia and Scotland will be producing all their electricity by renewable by 2030 most will still be running coal and gas-powered generating stations.
Over the next 10 years climate change is going to become hysterical and over that same time the massive populations of China and India are going to gradually become more prosperous. Therefore the demand for electricity in these countries is going to rise exponentially. As the cheapest way to produce it is to burn coal or gas then there’s your problem Greta. Go and have a word with them.