35 years ago, Isaac Asimov was asked by the Star to predict the world of 2019. Here is what he wrote

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lf we look into the world as it may be at the end of another generation, let’s say 2019 — that’s 35 years from now, the same number of years since 1949 when George Orwell’s 1984was first published — three considerations must dominate our thoughts:

In 1983, American writer Isaac Asimov wrote that by 2019, “It is quite likely that society, then, will have entered a phase that may be more or less permanently improved over the situation as it now exists.”
In 1983, American writer Isaac Asimov wrote that by 2019, “It is quite likely that society, then, will have entered a phase that may be more or less permanently improved over the situation as it now exists.”  (MONDADORI PORTFOLIO)

1. Nuclear war. 2. Computerization. 3. Space utilization.

If the United States and the Soviet Union flail away at each other at any time between now and 2019, there is absolutely no use to discussing what life will be like in that year. Too few of us, or of our children and grand· children, will be alive then for there to be any point in describing the precise condition of global misery at that time.

Let us, therefore, assume there will be no nuclear war — not necessarily a safe assumption — and carry on from there.

Computerization will undoubtedly continue onward inevitably. Computers have already made themselves essential to the governments of the industrial nations, and to world industry: and it is now beginning to make itself comfortable in the home.

An essential side product, the mobile computerized object, or robot, is already flooding into industry and will, in the course of the next generation, penetrate the home.

There is bound to be resistance to the march of the computers, but barring a successful Luddite revolution, which does not seem in the cards, the march will continue.

The growing complexity of society will make it impossible to do without them, except by courting chaos; and those parts of the world that fall behind in this respect will suffer so obviously as a result that their ruling bodies will clamour for computerization as they now clamour for weapons.

 

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