What will the world be like in 2064? Will we be living in a radically different post-singularity world, where machines far surpass humans in intelligence or will we continue to co-evolve with and shape our tools, as we have from time immemorial? Will technology advances lead to increased economic inequalities and conflicts, or to major reductions in poverty in a more stable world? Will it be an era of environmental crises and scarce water, food and energy, or will sustainable innovations and worldwide cooperations help us confront global challenges?
These are some of the questions that went through my mind as I read Visit to the World’s Fair of 2014, an article by Isaac Asimov written around the time of the 1964 New York World’s Fair. In the article he imagines what the world in 2014 would be like, 50 years into the future as envisioned in 1964.
Any predictions made by someone like Isaac Asimov have to be taken seriously. He was one of the top science fiction authors of the 20th century, having written classics like the Foundation, Robot and Empire series. He was professor of biochemistry at Boston University and a prolific author of popular science books, including The Intelligent Man’s Guide to Science.