Friday, January 03, 2014

Asimov Mostly Wrong in 1964

The Huffington Post has declared Isaac Asimov's 1964 predictions "Eerily Accurate". Which, I suppose, will generate more page views than "Mostly Wrong."

Suburban underground houses "fairly common"? No.

Preprogrammed toasters and bacon grills? No. Because if you're grilling a product composed mostly of  delicious but flammable grease in the night when the hu-mans are asleep, what could possibly go wrong? A lot, Mr. Asimov.

Common use of ground transport riding on compressed air? No.

Moving sidewalks downtown? No.

Lunar colonies? No.

Algae based "mock turkey" and" pseudo-steak" ? No.

Colonization of the continental shelves? No.

"The world of A.D. 2014 will have few routine jobs that cannot be done better by some machine than by any human being. Mankind will therefore have become largely a race of machine tenders. Schools will have to be oriented in this direction." No, a thousand times no.  Robobarbers are beyond the reach of current technology. Roombas can vacuum, but nothing more. LOLcats are as yet unmastered by AI. But then, how much of what humans do is actually routine?

Prediction is hard, especially about the future.

1 comment:

The European Historical Combat Guild said...

Time scale can be the thing though as well... and as an author when you put a date on it if you you set a date too far in the future it can make it feel... disconnected...

and we are at least in the "developed" world completely dependent on computers and plugged in to them almost 24/7... and am reading and writing this at 9 am in bad having just woken... than before we get on to "smart" phones... hey ho