Back to the Future Day: 30 predictions for 2045 (aka 30 years from now)

The Future has officially arrived. October 21, 2015: the date Marty McFly and Doc Brown arrive in Back to the Future Part II in order to save Marty’s yet-to-be-born children.

Thanks to the Internet, countless people have kept score of what screenwriter Bob Gale got right about 2015. For example: the Cubs are close to a World Series win (they are currently battling it out in the National League Championship series); the leader of our country is a minority; flat screen TVs are here; video calling is here; Google glass is here; voice controlled TVs are here; 3D movies are here; even hover boards are sort of here. Flying cars, however? I guess we’ll get there one day.

But instead of looking back at what Gale got right (and wrong), let’s look ahead to the real future. What would the world look like if Marty McFly and Doc Brown took off 30 years into the future – to arrive on Oct. 21, 2045?

Luckily for us, scientists have been predicting what the world will look like in 2045 for a few years now, and let’s just say that life as we know it could be almost unrecognizable.

Here are 30 predictions science (and SiriusXM) has for 30 years from today*.

The Global Landscape

  • After a great world war (probably due to diminishing resources), there will be one world government with manufacturing, agricultural and transportation sectors of the economy being almost entirely automated and energy coming from 100% renewable sources. This alleviation of “want” will end hunger, poverty, war, and disease.
  • The population of the world will be around 9 billion people.
  • The non-Hispanic, native-born white population “will become less than 50% before 2040.” Future generation will look more like one giant amalgamated mega-race.
  • Geographical and climate changes will lead to fewer people living on our current coasts – many cities that exist today won’t be around 30 years from now.
  • A large religious movement will encourage people not to upload their minds onto non-biological carriers. Discussions on “immortality” and what that means for the future of the eternal soul will dominate religious debates. This ties into the rise of technophobia and the potential for “off the grid” communities that live outside our virtually connected worlds.

Artificial Intelligence & Virtual Reality

  • Artificial Intelligence in robots will be achieved, and humans will begin to have relationships with automated personalities.
  • These connections between humans and robots will lead to the rise of a “robots rights” movement, where the public debates over what sorts of civil rights and legal protections are afforded machines. The question of what constitutes a “human being” will also be up for discussion now with a larger number of humans having cybernetic implants and other augmented parts.
  • Virtual reality will come in the form of implants rather than wearable technology. These implants will be either permanent or removable and will have a direct interface with computers, communications, and Internet-based application, and they will allow users to record what they experience. Eventually, virtual reality will become indistinguishable from reality.
  • Having implanted technology will lead to discussions over privacy and security. People will be paranoid about having their bodies and minds hacked by tech-savvy criminals.

Health & Nutrition

  • Human beings will become more and more bionic as failing parts of the human body will be replaced by bionic parts. Bionic implants will also treat mental disorders.
  • The more bionic our bodies become, the less physically limited we will be. Imagine flying, swimming under water for long periods of time, and needing very little sleep to function.
  • Sex will be enhanced by virtual reality and will become more and more separated from “reproduction.” Devices that deliver sensations to the skin will be worn to experience “virtual sex,” either with a real partner or a simulated computer partner. This will become the preferred method of sexual release as it is safe and sensually enhanced.
  • Animals will no longer be farmed for meat and will be given more rights.

Communication & Transportation

  • We will be able to speak any language through wearable translation technology. Eventually, we will be able to upload languages into our brains and learn them instantaneously.
  • The majority of interpersonal communication will occur between humans and machines as opposed to human-to-human, even when trying to communicate with other humans.
  • Telepathy will be possible through brain-wave analyzers. So we’re going to have to learn to start being more honest and open.
  • Transportation will be almost completely automated with self-driving and self-repairing cars and planes. Humans will have limited control over transportation systems, and computers will override decision-making on their behalf. This will greatly diminish transportation accidents.
  • Long-distance travel will be extremely feasible, and people will even start traveling in space.

School, Work & Home

  • Classrooms will be completely virtual, and lesson plans will be tailored to individual need and interest. Students will still socialize with other students, but that will also be more virtual. The human teachers will be transformed into counseling and mentor roles rather than instructor roles.
  • Your day will be completely seamless. Your itinerary from the moment you wake until the moment you sleep will be controlled my connected devices that make all up-to-the-minute adjustments – such as pushing back appointments if you’re stuck in traffic and changing dinner reservations.
  • The retail sector will be completely revolutionized by 2045. You will have a consumer profile that allows retailers to target you and suggest items for purchase. It will know your budget, your style, and more. Online and in-store buying will be merged for an optimized shopping experience. Black Friday will no longer exist, and you’ll never have to wait in line again.
  • We will be living in smart homes and working in smart offices, where the windows are virtual reality screens, the walls talk to you, and data is collected to flag for repairs, heating and cooling, etc.
  • All household work will be done by robots, leading to more leisure time and time for innovation.

Entertainment, Art, Fashion & Sports

  • When you go to a restaurant, everything will be automated. You’ll walk in the door, and the restaurant will recognize you from their rewards programs and inform you of the points you have to use, etc. You’ll sit down, and your smart table will welcome you back and give you food recommendations. You’ll order, then the screen will turn into an entertainment system. Once you’re food is ready, you’ll be notified and given a cubbie number where you’ll pick up your food. There will be very few human beings working at these restaurants.
  • There will be a big resurgence is “back to nature” style in fashion, following the resources shortage of earlier years. Homemade clothing made from natural fabrics will be all the rage. New, artificial materials will also be popular. These “smart fabrics” will adjust to your body measurements, temperature, etc. and will allow for the same outfit to change colors, have gif patterns, etc.
  • Brain-controlled headphones will play music based on your mood. You’ll never have to choose a song again.
  • In sports, the idea of doping will have changed. Gene doping – or altering a person’s genetic makeup in order to make them more competitive – will be the world’s anti-doping challenge. Additionally, artificial intelligence will give raise to information-doping. Skin-and-bone athletics will become more novelty than anything else.
  • Robots will join humans in the creation of art, and discussions of authenticity will be a hot topic.
  • Radiohead’s the Bends, Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill, D’Angelo’s Brown Sugar, Oasis’s (What’s The Story) Morning Glory, Shania Twain’s The Woman In Me, and 2 Pac’s Me Against The World are among the albums celebrating their 50th anniversaries in 2045.
  • Also: Blue Ivy will be 33 years old, Kim Kardashian will be 65 years old, Bono will be 85 years old, and a 56-year-old Taylor Swift will probably be wrapping up her comeback tour.

*NOTE: These are just predictions. We have no idea if any of this will really happen. We’ve just looked at what science has predicted and came up with some possible outcomes for 2045. So chill out, nerd!

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