The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) forecasted what life on Earth will be like in the year 2045. In a video series entitled "Forward to the Future," researchers shared how DARPA's upcoming technologies could change the world in 30 years.
Forward to the Future: Visions of 2045 - Pam Melroy
Former astronaut Pam Melroy shared how today's technology is only a sneak peek of how humans could soon communicate with machines in 2045. Melroy is an aerospace engineer and DARPA's deputy director for Tactical Technologies Office.
"I think in 2045, we're [going] to find that we have a very different relationship with the machines around us," said Melroy.
DARPA is pushing for a world where humans can communicate with machines as partners. This prophesied way of communicating with machines will allow humans to control more than one aircraft in partnership with artificial technology (AI). Melroy predicted that in the future, humans can simply talk to AI to complete a specific task.
The technology could give birth to ships with the ability to recognize other ships, while avoiding collisions and following the rules practiced in high seas. Melroy also foresaw a time when pilots can simply say "prepare for landing" and the aircraft's AI would automatically engage in a precisely-timed sequence of events.
As for future military drones, they seem to be heading towards an increasing terrifying path. DARPA is producing "vampire drones" that turn invisible when in direct sunlight. The so-called vampire drones leave no trace of their activities and could completely change future warfare.
Forward to the Future: Visions of 2045 - Stefanie Tompkins
According to geologist Stefanie Tompkins, DARPA's Defense Sciences Office director, nanotechnology will rule the world by 2045. Nanotechnology promises the creation of futuristic materials only possible through the manipulation of matter at a microscopic level.
"So in 30 years, I imagine a world where we don't even recognize the materials that make up the things that surround us," said Tompkins.
Humans have, historically, studied how to make use of the materials readily available. However, humans have always been limited by the boundaries set by nature.
For years, humans showed the ability to create incredibly strong structures with relatively light materials such as the Eiffel Tower. Tompkins predicted that applying the same principle at an atomic level will be the trend in 2045. The future will be a time when extremely strong but light materials will make up the things we see now such as buildings, houses and cars.
Another technology in development is DARPA's empathetic system, which will allow battlefield robots to analyze humans' physical and emotional states. The AI's real-time analysis will allow robots to provide a current need without the need to vocalize it.
Forward to the Future: Visions of 2045 - Justin Sanchez
DARPA's neuroscientist Justin Sanchez, one of the DARPA's Biological Technologies Office project managers, predicted that 2045 will see more though-powered technology in action. Thought-controlled smart car prototypes and prosthetic limbs are already in existence.
"Imagine a world where you can just use your thoughts to control your environment," said Sanchez. DARPA is currently developing neurotechnology that enables a paralyzed patient to communicate with the world around him using neural activity.
In 2045, these neurotechnology-based advances can allow people to "talk" to their homes' electronic architecture to complete tasks such as opening lights or controlling the heater. These advances could make future houses totally different from the ones we live in today.