General, Research, Technology

In 1983, Isaac Asimov predicted what 2019 will be like. We tell you what the great science fiction writer guessed (and not)

In 1983, the Toronto Star newspaper askedscience fiction writer Isaac Asimov predict what the world will be like in 2019. Isaac Asimov is one of the most famous and talented science fiction writers in the world. His authorship belongs to the famous novels "I, Robot", "Foundation", the story "The Coming of Night" and a total of more than 500 books written or edited by him. Interestingly, many of the great writer's works contained predictions about the future of human society and the development of technology. Some of his predictions have come true, such as our ability to use what Asimov calls visual-sound communication to speak to someone on Earth. But a machine that can turn yeast, algae and water into food, such as a "turkey dummy", never appeared.

Asimov's predictions highlight how difficult it is to predict the future of technology.

Content

  • 1 Isaac Asimov - more than a writer
  • 2 How did Azimov see 2019?
    • 2.1 Computerization
    • 2.2 Space exploration

Isaac Asimov - more than a writer

Space travel, robots, galacticempires fill the pages of Isaac Asimov's books. Their appeal lies in the incredibly successful combination of literary talent and scientific knowledge (Azimov was a professor of biochemistry), capable of perfectly describing imaginary worlds that would become reality thanks to technological progress. It was Azimov who invented the word "robotics" and created three well-known laws, which still remain the starting point for the ethical definition of the rules for using artificial intelligence: when we talk about the interaction of man and machine, we use the category invented by Azimov.

In fact, in hindsight, determineAsimov as a science fiction writer would be too easy. Along with his narrative work, Asimov produced an impressive number of publications that remain to this day a model for the dissemination of scientific knowledge: each explanation is as convincing and captivating as a novel, but completely thorough and reliable.

Isaac Asimov, 1983

Astronomer Carl Sagan considered him “the best scientificpopularizer of our time "and wrote the following about him:" it will never be known how many practicing scientists today, in how many countries, owe their initial inspiration to a book, article or story by Isaac Asimov. "

Isaac Asimov advocated knowledge versus superstition,tolerance versus bigotry, kindness versus cruelty - above all, peace versus war, ”wrote his colleague Arthur Clarke, author of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

How did Azimov see 2019?

In 1983, the Toronto Star newspaper suggestedAzimov to predict the answer to a specific question: "What will the world look like in 2019?" The editors of the newspaper decided that the time was right to raise this question, since 1983 marked exactly 35 years since George Orwell wrote the dystopia "1984".

Asimov's predictions about computerization were mostly accurate, although some of his predictions about education and space exploration were overly optimistic.

Azimov wrote that it makes no sense to imaginethe future of society if the United States and the Soviet Union enter a nuclear war, so he assumed that this would not happen. He then divided his predictions into two main topics: computerization and space exploration.

Computerization

Asimov was more or less correct in many of his predictions about the future of computerization, despite the fact that some of his predictions were somewhat obvious, including the following:

  • "Computerization will undoubtedly continue."
  • "A mobile computerized object will enter the house."
  • "The growing complexity of society will make life impossible without computer technology."
  • "Robotics will destroy" routine office and assembly work. "
  • Society needs "a huge change in the nature of education, and the entire population must become" computer literate "and must be able to handle the" high-tech world. "

We didn't even notice how computers became an integral part of our daily life.

Nevertheless, Azimov was wrong, or at leastat least slightly wrong in some predictions about the future of computerization. For example, he predicted that technology would revolutionize education (right), but that traditional schooling would become obsolete as children could learn everything they need from computers at home. This is technically possible, but it also assumes that kids will be constantly playing, for example, Fortnite.

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In the meantime, there is no need to worry about it. ”

Space exploration

"We will go into space to stay," saidAsimov in his essay. And he was basically right: people have been living and working on the International Space Station for over 18 years. But Azimov was optimistic about the space development of the future society, predicting that people "will return to the moon" for mining, build factories "using the special properties of space", observatories and even solar power plants that will emit microwaves back to Earth ... Azimov also thought that in 2019 we would be on track to establish the first settlements on the moon.

"By 2019, the drawings of the first spacesettlements must be ready; perhaps it will actually be built, ”he wrote. "This would be the first of many worlds in which people could live in tens of thousands and in which they could build small societies of all kinds, giving humanity even more diversity."

Azimov believed in the cosmic future of our civilization

It is noteworthy that NASA really plansto send astronauts to the moon in about ten years, Russia and China have also announced their intentions regarding an Earth satellite. Read more about what the cosmic future of mankind can be in our material.