Popular Culture, Science, Technology

Top 8 Cool Things Happening in Our Lifetimes

8. On-demand services. Let’s not forget that only 100 years ago, the concept of quietly asking somebody many miles away for something that neither of you had any part in producing and actually receiving it within a matter of minutes would be well more than insane. Now you can train your smart phone to recognize your specific different fart tones and call the local pizza place with your associated unique order.

7. Increased societal awareness and interconnectedness. Is interconnectedness even a word? Whether or not it is, that whole idea just got shoved into your head by what essentially amounts to a bunch of 0’s and 1’s written by me, some other anonymous internet user. That’s interconnectedness. Totally meta, right? Notice: please don’t hurt yourself by thinking too hard.

6. Automated voice recognition and response systems. Related to the on-demand services mentioned above, but so much more. For better or for worse, we’ve recently learned that the NSA easily could (and probably does) listen to your conversations with that one friend and calling it “green” or “420” don’t even fool the automated technology anymore. Products (or at they services?) like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home don’t even scratch the surface of the current implemented technology in this area.

5. Virtual reality and related technology. Major companies started literally giving away full-functional virtual reality headsets with the purchase of their flagship products over a year ago. Where is your hover-board? Where is your flying car? Where is your robot hooker? They’re all here, just strap on your favorite VR system already!

4. Functional implementation of robotics. Let’s just agree to not get into the whole $15/hour minimum wage thing and safe it for another day. Either way, if the average person owned a fast-food restaurant and had the option of paying $15/hour forever or something more like $1000/year (and decreasing in cost quickly), what do you think they would choose?

3. Commercial/Consumer space travel. Whether you’re a fan of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, chances are anybody with only mildly ridiculous financial resources will be able to shoot themselves into space just for fun. Actually, it’s already happened on a small scale more as proof of concept. The only real question is will it just flake out like our supersonic Concorde friend?

2. Artificial intelligence. If you’re not already familiar with the concept of the Turing Test, you are bad and you should feel bad. Well, maybe not bad, but at least ignorant. Many argue that artificial intelligence is already here in a variety of forms. Others say that the singularity hasn’t arrived yet but it’s coming…and we’ll know when it arrives.

1. The internet. Does this one even require arguing for? If you really feel the need, check out this trash can connected to the internet.

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