Predictions for 2045

Given that 26 years ago, Back to the Future II predicted the world of 2015 as imagined by people in the 1980s, I thought it would be a good exercise to make concise predictions about the world of 2045 as imagined by us now.

Join in!

Pete (an engineer)

  • Engineering gets bigger, liberal arts go away
  • Some middle ground between socialism and capitalism
  • We will never be done with oil
  • There will be no such thing as car/hotel/house keys

Me (an excitable type)

  • We will be permanently connected to the Internet, possibly through contact lenses or implants
  • College will be fundamentally different: it will be SLACs, Ivys, and MOOCs, not much else.
  • We will be able to buy designs online and print them at home with a 3D printer (DRM will be huge, Open Source will be huge, and artisans will command great salaries)
  • Journalists will be crowdfunded
  • We will eat meat grown in labs and have organ transplants grown specifically for us
  • Letter delivery will be done by drone or by special couriers if needed

Kenny (a curly-haired engineer)

  • The wallet will be obsolete

Bre (a BFF)

  • News will be completely separated – reality will seem politically motivated
  • There will be less cow’s milk
  • There will be some actual miracle pill for weight loss.

Tina (a Wellesley alum)

  • More virtual reality
  • Robots will give you massages
  • More drones
  • EEG-thought texting/control for media with mind
  • Winter clothes will store your energy somehow
  • Biocomputers or programmable cells.
  • Fast food will be completely automated
  • We will be able to grow food in our homes
  • We will be able to fix spinal cord injuries, possibly have exoskeletons

Young May (a doctor or Asian-type person)

  • Kids will have engineerable, maleable playrooms with a combination of LCDs and 3D printing and Minority Report style movements
  • Self-driving cars become self-driving pods/public transportation
  • We will be able to fix eyes biologically by growing new parts
  • Media will self-moderate. News will have ‘seals of approval/circle of trust’
  • There will be safe, easy chloroform for pets
  • We will be able to keep food fresh longer
  • Some alcohol will be hangover proof
  • More immersive media

Lars (a hipster)

  • Undergrad and grad school become conceptually distinct
  • 3D printing

Caleb (a guy)

  • Air travel changes
  • Credit cards will change with every purchase

Daniel (a murse)

  • Organ transplants will be in-and-out procedures. They will be dissolved and grown inside your own body.
  • Daniel would be useless (with the skills he has now)
  • The United States will no longer exist.
  • No media will be owned; we will only have the rights to various media

Gordon (living abroad)

  • There will be a radical new theory to explain dark matter
  • A brain implant will be able to do everything, like an iPhone
  • All cosmetic surgery will be banned by the world dictator
  • World dictator will probably kill everyone over 50

Update (January 21)

I’ll keep updating this post periodically until December 31. The Singularity Hub had a similar thought. Here are their predictions:


  • Changes to our biology. Babies get genetic repair at birth for predictable bad genes and disease susceptibility. DNA-level manipulation may become regular.
  • Implantable “improvements” (e.g. bionic muscle, bone strength, telescopic eyes, breast implants that function as stereo speakers with disco lights)


  • Heavy emphasis on VR
  • Robots will be everywhere, doing manual work, flying, dangerous jobs, service, etc.
  • AI will also be prominent in non-robotic applications. We’ll all have assistants and they will all be connected to each other.
  • More creative power. TV will be completely dead and replaced with YouTube aggregators.
  • Maybe some weather control?

Piotr B?bik

  • VR goes mainstream
  • End of silicon electronics; takeover by its graphene equivalent. Abundance of cheap and powerful consumer electronics
  • Fusion power.
  • No real AI, but many more changes in robotics, machine learning, etc.

Craig Harrison

  • Education radically changed
  • Public transport prices people out of traveling so many people will work closer to home, resulting towns becoming cities.
  • Moon hotels and military bases on Mars
  • Robot doctors
  • Technological telepathy
  • More countries, many capital cities will separate from their country
  • Carbon Nanotube buildings
  • Information will be continuously downloaded in to our brains, dream based gaming, artificial eyes, automatic thought upload, dream blogs. Downside would include body hacking, technological to biological viruses, occasional slow speeds resulting in slower mental functions (too much heavy reliance)
  • Artificial eyes (with animal settings)
  • Technology built into the body will allow people to change hair color, nail length, etc with a touch of a button and daily pill.
  • Clothing to recycle sweat into power
  • Better software to allow us to imagine what stuff will look like in the future?


  • We are kept in a youthful state in perpetuity such as those proposed by the SENS foundation.
  • SKYtran halbach array maglev pods will replace cars for a lot of commuting in cities, eliminating congestion, increasing travel speeds, and resulting in cities sprawling over a larger area. A counteracting trend will be much higher skyscrapers enabled by prefab construction and z axis maglev escalators.


  • Artificial general intelligence (Singularity)
  • molecular manufacturing (nano tech) becomes practical
  • We can grow new bodies, change our genetics and grow from tissue or bacteria everything we currently rely on plants and animals for.
  • Our consciousness might not reside in flesh and blood bodies anymore (if we don’t want it to).
  • We might be able to change substrate, merge and separate parts of our personality or intelligence
    By 2045 we could decide that we want to move a copy of our consciousness to Mars (via quantum communication…if that’s possible)… a copy to an artificial reality to play games…and a copy to work on our meditation with a plan to merge them all into our trunk consciousness at the end of the year.


  • We will understand the evolution of the Universe and the origin of the physical reality.
  • We will able to give value to almost everything in Our universe with binary codes.
  • We will live in symbiosis with technologically supported Advance General Intelligence.
  • We will experience Advanced Human Intelligence.
  • We will be able to understand the physical zero state and the true meaning of the binary code.

Juan Enriquez, Keynote at #NRF15, adds:

  • Network workforces overwhelm corporations
  • 3d printing+robots = decentralized manufacturing + design
  • very fast build/redesign
  • everything is $2 per kg
  • US/EU low cost manufacturing

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