Fifty years ago, well-known science-fiction author Isaac Asimov wrote an article for The New York Times detailing his predictions for what society would be like in 2014. Asimov’s central belief was that “men will continue to withdraw from nature in order to create an environment that will suit them better.” Most of his predictions focused on the advancement of technology, specifically with regards to power, population, and communication. Now that we have arrived, the accuracy of his vision seems uncanny.
Asimov predicted the advancement of technology in all facets of human life. He references “computers, much miniaturized,” that “can be used not only to see the people you call but also for studying documents and photographs and reading passages from books,” cars with “‘robot-brains’…that can be set for particular destinations and that will then proceed there without interference,“ “high-school students…taught the fundamentals of computer technology,” and “satellite” and “sight-sound” telephone communication.
With his reference to miniaturized computers, Asimov foresaw the coming of laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Cars with ‘robot-brains’ resemble Google self-driving cars that have logged over 700,000 accident-free miles. Computer technology classes are indeed integral aspects of school curriculum, along with the addition of computer science degrees and job opportunities. Sight-sound telephone communication accurately describes FaceTime and Skype. Asimov made all of these predictions when none of this technology existed, and yet picture perfect examples exist 50 years later.
Asimov even theorized that “there is every likelihood that … the population of the United States will be 350,000,000.” In reality, the United States population is around 316 million. His guess was incredibly close, considering that the US population in 1964 was under 200 million. He proposed “appliances…(with) no electric cords,… powered by long- lived batteries running on radioisotopes.” Asimov even predicted that batteries would need to be “disposed of only through authorized agents of the manufacturer.” He had an inexplicable and remarkable insight into where the world was headed over the next 50 years.
He did propose some ideas that we have not had the pleasure of experiencing as of now, including cars that levitate and can drive over water, thanks to compressed air jets. Unfortunately, these do not currently exist. Asimov also spoke of both underground and underwater cities, which also have failed to exist. However, despite a few miscalculations, Asimov was for the most part incredibly accurate with his predictions.
Asimov accurately predicted that communications would transform itself drastically. His vision of widespread communications foreshadowed the rise of cellular communications. His representation of satellite technology is also startlingly accurate. Today, cellular and satellite technologies allow machines to communicate. Asimov envisioned a world where things, even simple household items, came to life. The automation and communication between things is now a reality, and countless “things” have begun to have a mind of their own. This concept, often referred to as the Internet of Things, embodies what Asimov predicted. The ability to connect an infinite amount of intelligent and highly productive machines opens up an endless amount of possibilities for individuals and businesses alike. This technology is utilized by Aeris Communications, a leader and pioneer in driving innovation and standards in machine-to-machine (M2M) communications.
The solutions offered by Aeris combine the most advanced technology with supreme customer support to ensure that customers take full advantage of the technology that is available. Isaac Asimov predicted the most influential changes in technology fifty years ago, and today we at Aeris are ensuring that utilizing this e technology is easy and beneficial.