Socialization is in our DNA so it will be a significant part of our activities 100 years from now and beyond. I have alluded to socializing using the Holodeck in Part 2: Technology, eating out in Part 5: Food, and entertainment in Part 7: Housing. Remote socialization will become far more common in the future due to technology such as the Holodeck and other communications tools. Remote socialization is nothing new. It started with passing messages by word of mouth thousands of years ago to letters for the last 3,000 years to the telegraph in the last 200 years to the wired telephone and radio in the last 150 years to the wireless telephone, video chats and social media in the last 10 years. Such social media technology is growing at and exponential rate.
It is very hard to predict how far technology and social media will change the way we communicate with one another in the future. It is evolving so fast with Twitter, Facebook and Google competing for market share. It is quite possible that we will be able to communicate with people worldwide easier with remote technology than if we were face-to-face in real life. Perhaps implanted electrodes will allow us to simply think a thought that is then transmitted thousands of miles away. It is quite possible to never have met your best friend in real life even not that distant into the future. People today may say how impersonal the world would be if you did not socialized face-to-face but that is exactly what is happening today especially among the younger generation who use their smart phone to text or post on Twitter.
In 100 years we may even socialize with a smart computer-like machine instead of a real person. Experiments show people socializing with a machine that looks and moves their head like a person but responds with very neutral comments without understanding what is said. In the future such robots or virtual images will sometimes be our companion but will really understand us and even our emotional needs. I am not saying that people will only communicate with robots or virtual image but I believe such social machines will be part of our lives 100 years from now. It will certainly be a very different world.
Robots or droids will most certainly be part of our world. They will serve us as described in Part 8 – Jobs and Economics and interact with us such as when we want them to provide a service or something we need including companionship. We will probably talk to them normally and they will respond and may even give helpful suggestions or advice. That happens to a certain degree with our GPS systems in our cars today. There are so many aspects of technology today serving us by verbal commands such as our smart phones when we can simply ask it a question and Google or Ask comes up with an answer. Imagine how much smarter friendly human interface devices will be in 100 years.
Smart robots may look like a comforting figure from a cartoon character and take care of our children and even teach them instead of them going to school. They may totally take care of our seniors including having conversations with senior looking for companionship if there is an aging population. They are infinitely patient and will put up with the worst of us. In some ways technology can be made to socialize with humans more effectively than other humans 100 years from now.
I am not saying that there will be no human interactions in 100 years, but I am saying that we will be interfacing and socializing with technology far more than we are today. Again this is an intellectual extrapolation based upon what is happening today. It is not necessarily what I want but rather what I foresee.
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