We are reaching a tipping-point and moving with rapid pace toward technological singularity. According to futurist, Ray Kurzweil, we are only some twenty years away, and I personally am a strong believer of just this; there are many reasons and arguments supporting this theory.

We are again underestimating two core things that have always occurred throughout history: a) the law of acceleration and b) the skills and knowledge / opportunities of the next generation. As the cycles of history have repeated themselves time and time again, these two core elements are always present. With our last giant leap, some two million years ago, we invented the spoken language as our form of communicating, being a huge differentiator from other species. This time, however, the changes are far more revolutionary than they are evolutionary, and we can really talk about a paradigm shift taking place in our world.

One example that comes easy, since I am a Norwegian originating from a small country believing „we invented the oil“, is our energy consumption. We have consumed oil for decades as though there is an endless supply. We, now, need to understand that we are reaching the end of fossil-fuel (oil). The primary reason, however, is not because – as we thought in the 80s, – that we will run out of it. Rather, the primary reason is that, we do not need it anymore. It, will no longer be competitive to green/renewable energy (solar).

We have many revolutionary events ahead of us. Most significantly, we will witness more frequent instances in which we as humans will be replaced and overtaken by our own technology.

With this thought or idea in mind, I would like to share with you some major predictions for the (near) future. I feel they are important to reflect upon as they are likely representations of future occurrences of more „revolutionary“ than „evolutionary“ events .

8 Predictions for the 21st Century (next decades):

  1. Short-term: we will solve problems around terrorism as technology evolves. The downside is that your every move will be more closely observed. No one will be able to hide even at the most far-away smallest hideouts on our planet.
  2. The price of oil will NOT go back up as oil will not be competitive to other energy sources. It will go down to 30 USD and stay there, until eventually (Renewable-) Solar-Energy will take over everything as costs come down, due to the law of accelerating returns. We are already at 2%, usage which means only another 6 doubles and we will be at 100% usage of solar energy. Predictions are (as we are doubling every two years) that all energy will come from solar within 15-20 years. Do we have enough sun power to support this prediction? – Yes, we do. The fact is that we only use 1/10.000 of the sun`s capacity, and even more, it´s free to use the endless supply of sun energy. Does this mean we will also replace all cars? – Yes, it does. As the cost of energy goes down, production inevitably will speed up, it would take approx. 10 years to replace all cars based on current capacitates of production (we are moving towards 1,3 billion vehicles and production capacities of 100 million+).
  3. The next generation will be conscious and take action on saving the planet as they a) have all the new technology b) are not prisoners to history – anyone born after the emergence of the internet will be living this change. We can mark this paradigm shift it in history as “before and after the internet”, or maybe have our „checkpoints“ set with the birth of Google, or Facebook? Maybe Google`s latest strategic move to alphabet is the platform on which we will be building our source and core around. Whichever way it will be, the next generation will ONLY use re-newable, only water and only solar energy.
  4. We will reach technical singularity. We will create computers and technologies that are far more compelling than the human brain even with its 300 million patterns. The future capacity of computers and technologies exceeds our imagination. Just like in the film “ex-machina” we are getting really close to understanding how this will be. Because of our curiosity, we will keep pushing the boundaries despite some of the real consequences – just as was seen at the end of the move „ex-machina“ once the „AI is released”.Will it really happen? Will we reach technical singularity? – Yes. It`s inevitable because the speed of technological advances will continue to increase, exponentially. After reverse-engineering our brain within the next 20 years, the age of empathic and spiritual machines will be right in front of us.Are we ready? This remains to be seen. At least from a moral standpoint we still need a compass, some guidance and some values to learn how to live in this „new world“ that we a creating as we keep pushing the boundaries and speed increases, even if Moore`s law eventually will come to an end.
  5. Any physical object will have cost of production of 1$. The significant lowered cost of production will lead to solving of major world problems such as poverty and the distribution of valuable resources (life-sustaining resources) to a larger mass of people (all people). On our journey to this state, the wars fought will not be about oil but about water, but new emerging technology such as the usage of nano-technology, 3D Printing and new shrining technologies will enable all physical objects to be accessible to everyone.
  6. Currency, Capital and Capitalism will continue to change. Money as we know it will increasingly serve people instead of people serving money. Money will be seen more as a tool for individuals to exploit on „wild knowledge“ and new ideas and currencies will become digital and consolidated. We will all become producers now.
  7. We will tap into totally new ways of using technology to move, whether through dimensions or through emerging technologies (in terms of speed). This will eventually lead us to exploiting other planets in search of life and alternative places to live. Chances are though; we will not find any green men or evolved civilization. We, nevertheless – while not a necessity unless we continue down a road of wiping our resources (natural resources) on our planet – will vigorously pursue new places to live with the hope of further building our society.
  8. Reverse-engineering our biological bodies and structures will lead to coming up with ways to live forever. Current immortality predictions are that, in only 20 years, we will add one year of life expectancy every single year. This, once again, is rapid acceleration. We will be moving to other bodies. The hybrid thinking is already in place. We already carry the connected wisdom in the palm of our hands and we are only a decade or two away from merging this into our brains.

The core elements of: a) the law of accelerating returns; and b) the skills and knowledge/opportunities of the next generation are ever present. This is why it is inevitable that the greatest achievements of mankind are yet to come. Personally I am planning to stick around until we at least get 5 out of 8.