Stephen Hawking is at it again, saying it’s a “near certainty” that a self-inflicted disaster will befall humanity within the next thousand years or so. It’s not the first time the world’s most famous physicist has raised the alarm on the apocalypse, and he’s starting to become a real downer. Here are some of the…
There seems to be two occasions when people most enjoy making predictions: anniversaries (think the American Bicentennial, New Year’s, etc) and dates that include round numbers (any year ending in zero). Such was the case in 1950 when many people halfway through the 20th century enjoyed predicting what life would be…
Brave New World used to be one of the most terrifying stories about a false utopia. It gave us the concept of “test tube babies,” and its name became synonymous with technological progress run wild. But many of the things Aldous Huxley predicted are coming true, and it turns out they’re not so scary.
In 1993, sci-fi author Bruce Sterling testified in front of a House subcommittee about the future of the internet — specifically, what “the Net” would look like in 2015.
Recent headlines are warning that the Earth will enter into a “mini ice age” in about 20 years because the sun is heading towards a period of very low output. Here’s why this scenario is extremely unlikely.
Family is a moving target. Our ideas about what constitutes a “normal” family have changed a lot since the 1960s, and there’s no reason to believe they’ll stop changing. How weird could things get? Here are nine different ideas about the future of the family.
Given the vastness of space, it may only be a matter of time before we make contact with intelligent extraterrestrials. But how might an alien civilization react to such a monumental meet-and-greet, and can we possibly know their intentions? Here’s what we might expect.
In Part I of Kurz Gesagt’s animated explainer of the Fermi Paradox we learned about the vexing problem that is the Great Silence. This follow-up video presents some intriguing solutions that may explain the disturbing absence of intelligent alien life.
Recently, we did an experiment: We took an outdated issue of a respected popular science magazine, Scientific American, and researched exactly what happened to the highly-touted breakthroughs of the era that would supposedly change everything. What we discovered is just how terrible we are at predicting the long arc…
The fields of biotechnology and medicine are rapidly evolving, and with them their associated employment opportunities. Here are nine biomedical professions to look for in the coming decades.
The UK's National Risk Register for Civil Emergencies is warning that a widespread outbreak of an antibiotic-resistant blood infection could affect upwards of 200,000 Britons, resulting in the deaths of around 80,000. It's a dire warning at the dawn of the post-antibiotic era.
Randall Munroe has really outdone himself with today's xkcd. The infographic shows when a certain story was published and then compares that date to the length of time — either in the future or past — to when the story actually took or will take place.
Vintage interviews of Arthur C. Clarke predicting the future of computing continue to surface. Here's one from 1976, just released by the AT&T Tech Channel, which contains even more spot-on description of what communications will look like in the future. As in, today. As in, internet and smartphones and maybe even…
Many of us, owing to an intuitive sense of where technological and social progress are taking us, have a preconceived notion of what the future will look like. But as history has continually shown, the future doesn't always go according to plan. Here are 11 ways the world of tomorrow may not unfold the way we expect.
Bloomberg News asked foreign policy analysts, military experts and economists to identify the possible worst-case scenarios in 2015. Potential future crises include armed conflict in the South China Sea, the collapse of Nigeria and political upheaval in Saudi Arabia prompted by the death of 90-year-old King Abdullah.
Today, humans suffer from a wide range of diseases and disorders that didn't exist in the past, a trend that will likely continue well into the future. Here are 10 unexpected and wholly unpleasant diseases we'll eventually have to contend with.
Futurists and science fiction authors often give us overly grim visions of the future, especially when it comes to the Singularity and the risks of artificial superintelligence. Scifi novelist David Brin talked to us about why these dire predictions are often simplistic and unreasonable.
Attempting to predict the future is always a roll of the dice — even if we manage to correctly foretell where the winds will shift us, it is impossible to know what unexpected events will detour us on the way there. But what makes the technology of the future so particularly difficult to imagine?
Kids are often some of the most interesting futurists. Their ideas about what tomorrow might bring usually include the most optimistic and far-out predictions of the culture. But they're also shaded by the fears and neuroses of their parents. The first grade class of 1988 was no exception.
As history has repeatedly shown, political systems come and go. Given our rapid technological and social advances, it's a trend we can expect to continue. Here are 12 extraordinary — and even frightening — ways our governments could be run in the future.