Was Isaac Asimov the modern day Nostradamus? In 1964, Asimov wrote a piece for the New York Times called “Visit to the World’s Fair of 2014.” In it, he tried to predict what the world would look like 50 years from the time at which he was writing. And while he wasn’t right about everything he predicted (hovercars, anyone?), he was right about a lot. Let’s take a look at some of Asimov’s eerily accurate predictions.
1. “Communications will become sight-sound and you will see as well as hear the person you telephone. The screen can be used not only to see the people you call but also for studying documents and photographs and reading passages from books.”
Facetime, ebooks, and social media photos all come to mind here. He nailed this one.
2. “Not all the world's population will enjoy the gadgety world of the future to the full. A larger portion than today (1964) will be deprived.”
Right again. Technology development has the first and third worlds more distant from one another than ever.
3. “Gadgetry will continue to relieve mankind of tedious jobs.”
It’s no secret what happened to all of those repetitive factory jobs humans used to hold down.
4. “Robots will neither be common nor very good in 2014, but they will be in existence.”
If by “very good” Asimov means human-like, then he’s right. Certainly robots exist, but they don’t yet possess the human-mimicking body form and artificial intelligence many assumed they would by now.
5. "Mankind will therefore have become largely a race of machine tenders. Schools will have to be oriented in this direction."
Tech maintenance is a huge job sector, and it is only projected to grow moving forward. That is, of course, until we have machines that repair other machines.
Well done Mr. Asimov. Anyone have any 2064 World Fair predictions?