How close are we to different groundbreaking technologies?

Johnny Cashflow's picture
Rank: Gorilla | 669

What are your thoughts on how close society is to the next generation of revolutionary technologies?

For example,

  • Mars colonization
  • Civilian space exploration
  • Fully autonomous ride hailing
  • Consumer transport drones
  • Surgeons being replaced by robots

Plus any other technologies that you think are in the close or distant future.

Comments (12)

Dec 3, 2019

https://patents.justia.com/inventor/salvatore-ceza...
Probably pretty close. The military is decades ahead of what we're currently using and the soft disclosures have already started - creation of the Space Force, the Navy coming out and confirming many sightings/filming of UFO's (High ranking Navy pilots confirming that the physics of the spacecraft they witnessed doesn't coincide with what we currently understand to be possible) , making area 51 into a meme, etc. etc. All of this is done with intention and is no coincidence. Either it's gas lighting or preparation for what's to come.

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Dec 3, 2019

AI is an obvious one. Give it 10 years.

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Dec 4, 2019

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Dec 4, 2019

What bureaucratic red-tape? Are you talking about laws protecting privacy making it harder to gather big buckets of data?

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Dec 3, 2019

Mars colonization: Mars colonization is less of a technology issue, and more of an investment/engineering/political one. Throw enough money at it, and we can solve it with more or less modern tech. The biggest hurdle will be engineering a landing system big enough for crew carrying cargoes to safely land on Mars. The broader question of whether or not its even legal to set up extra-terrestrial colonies is still up in the air, and how to organize one that wouldn't collapse is gonna be difficult as well.

The big outstanding question for long term Mars colonization is whether or not humans can actually gestate, give birth to, and raise healthy offspring to adulthood in Martian gravity. If the answer to this is no, then tech solutions will be needed, either some form of human genetic engineering, artificial wombs, or the ability to artificially increase gravity (strapping someone into a centrifuge for 9 months likely isn't practical).

Civilian space exploration: Again, this isn't a tech question. The tech exists, if someone is wealthy enough and willing to pay to use it for private space exploration.

Fully autonomous ride hailing: In some places, this exists already. https://techcrunch.com/2019/11/01/hailing-a-driver...
Consumer transport drones: The tech is largely here, but significant regulatory hurdles remain, and profitability is a question that will need to be resolved. https://www.theverge.com/2019/11/1/20943407/ehang-...
Surgeons being replaced by robots: Some parts of their jobs are already being replaced by automation, but fully replacing surgeons is likely not something that will happen for quite some time.

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Dec 3, 2019
  1. Mars colonization is achievable now we just don't want to put the money to it atleast not yet.
  2. Civilian Space Exploration will probably be a thing within the next decade.
  3. Fully Autonomous vehicles I feel are again about a decade or more off
  4. Consumer transport drones, are we talking about delivering packages? If so that's a thing now on a small scale
  5. Robotic surgeons are quite a way off. Robots lack the ability to make true decisions and think on their feet like people. Until we are able to make a robot that can think faster or react as fast as the human brain or faster than I don't see this happening.
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Dec 4, 2019

Closest one on your list is autonomous vehicles. I was very bullish on AVs since, I don't know, 2010. I've become less sanguine recently. It seems as though the last 2% is extraordinarily difficult. Then you've got the incredibly poor thinkers who will freak out over 1 robot death while we see human-driven traffic deaths increase annually into the 40,000 range. Then you've got the public transport nuts who will try to block progress with regulation. I think we're unfortunately looking at 20+ years for any kind of wide-ranging acceptance of AVs.

Mars colonization is just a scientifically stupid idea. We can't even colonize in any real way the less extreme but extreme climates on Earth where there is oxygen and Earth gravity. Colonizing the atmosphere of Venus makes so much more sense and is technologically feasible with today's technology. It's also much closer and has gravity similar to Earth's. Oh yeah, and all kinds of resources for sustaining a Venus colony can be extracted from the atmosphere. Humans colonizing Mars (not necessarily walking on it) is 100+ years away.

Most Helpful
Dec 4, 2019

mars - never. the planet isn't dying, that's fear mongering. cost benefit analysis doesn't check out

civilian space travel - 5 years

fully autonomous ride hailing - assuming you mean autonomous that's safe? 40 years. semi autonomous for specific purposes (buses at airports taking you to parking lot, city buses going up and down one avenue, etc.), 5 years.

consumer transport drones - I don't think people will agree to it, so never

surgeons - fully replaced? maybe never, but mostly replaced within 10 years. it's already taking over pathology/radiology and lots of applications in difficult surgery

artificial intelligence - for rote stuff? easy, it's kinda already here. I don't ever think we'll have general AI until we have a full understanding of the human brain, which currently escapes science. not saying it's impossible, just saying I don't think you can program a fake brain until you understand fully the real one, and we don't have that yet

5G (in the US) - 10 years, technology could be there sooner, regulatory stuff won't be

entertainment industry - this is here now and will only continue to grow. algos can make music that youngins like, people will pay to see a concert of dead musicians in holographic form, etc. doesn't have much impact on people on WSO, but it will certainly change that industry

travel - I think AR travel is going to be a booming field. imagine being able to take your wheelchair bound grandma into the pyramids of egypt, the ruins of machu picchu, or atop mount everest. sure, it might be a niche play, but there are some places in this world I'd love to see but getting there is a major PITA

also, I'll say the classic bill gates quote about how we overestimate what's right around the corner (the guardian said by 2020 we'll be permanent backseat drivers, meaning fully autonomous) and underestimate what's a long time away (plenty of examples, like western union doubting the future popularity of the phone)

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Dec 4, 2019
thebrofessor:

also, I'll say the classic bill gates quote about how we overestimate what's right around the corner (the guardian said by 2020 we'll be permanent backseat drivers, meaning fully autonomous) and underestimate what's a long time away (plenty of examples, like western union doubting the future popularity of the phone)

Arguably, everything you're saying here is debatable, but this is right on. Look at Back to the Future. We don't have flying cars but we do have access to all of human knowledge in our pocket.

Dec 4, 2019

"Canrig subsidiary deployed the first new generation CanrigSigma top drive. This revolutionary new and simplified design, delivers 50% more capability with higher reliability, and lower cost of ownership. We believe these features make it the most cost-effective solution worldwide for the increasing number of difficult and complex wells."

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/nabors-announces-th...

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Dec 5, 2019

Thorium nuclear reactors, hopefully

Gun rights activist
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Dec 5, 2019
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