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Ask HN: A New Decade. Any Predictions?
815 points by napsterbr on Jan 2, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 1096 comments



Here are mine:

1. Still no level 4/5 autonomous cars anywhere in sight. The promise of being "just around the corner" fizzles down and people just forget the hype.

2. Same with AI. The panacea hype dies down. No AGI at all. No major job losses due to AI automation.

3. Facebook (the SN) still exists but ages along with it's current user base. i.e it's the "old people's" SN. Facebook (the company) is still going strong, with either Instagram or one of it's acquisitions being the current "hip" SN.

4. Google still dominates search and email but losses value and "glory" compared to today.

5. Majority of people still don't care about privacy.

6. But a small yet growing culture of "offliners" becomes mainstream. Being offline is the new "Yoga" and allows bragging rights.

7. Increase in adoption of non-scientific beliefs such as astrology/anti-vaxx/religion/flat-earth as a counterbalance to the increased complexity of everyday life.

8. Web development matures and a "standard" stack is accepted, all in JS.

9. Global carbon emissions are not reduced, mostly because of lack of initiative by China and 3rd world countries.

10. Still no hoverboards.


I think these predictions are way too safe, to the point that they aren't predictions at all. These are all very widely accepted views already (in the tech community / HN atleast) which explains why this comment is top currently.


This comment from the recent thread reflecting on HNers’ predictions from 2010 made me realize how little can change in a decade:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21942143

IMO, OP’s predictions may be safe, but that says more about reality than OP’s lack of imagination.


But note that looking for predictions that worked out leads you to “safe” predictions. I would like to see a list of things that were big that no one predicted. (Uber?)


You shouldn’t make outrageous predictions if you don’t sincerely believe they will become true though.

Otherwise you will get what we see in TV everyday. a bunch of people making outrageous predictions just to sound exciting. Then when the prediction comes true, they will claim all the credit. when it doesn’t, they will say “haha I was just kidding of course”


People should state predictions where their view of the probabilities differs from conventional wisdom. EG, if most people think there's a ~20% chance that level 5 SDCs will be available in 2030 and you think it's a 1% chance then that's a valid prediction, even though it's not that exciting to predict something won't happen. If people think there's a 0% chance of hoverboards and you think it's 10% then that's an interesting prediction, even though you still expect it not to happen.

Any serious prediction should include a probability estimate that differs from conventional probability estimates. Almost not one actually does this, because everyone is doing it wrong.


Thanks for the link, interesting read. Almost all predictions were spectacularly wrong.


>they aren't predictions at all

Sure they are, it's a nice counterpoint to the people who think in 10 years we'll have flying cars and a fully immersive VR matrix and nobody will have a real job since AI and robots will do everything for us.


Hardly a "nice counterpoint", it's the polar opposite and is merely stating that innovation will be near zero and the status quo will continue. It's possible to have an outcome between TOTAL innovation and ZERO innovation.


Innovation is a set of lumpy perturbations on a mostly-smooth status quo. That’s the counterpoint to these outlandish predictions seen in other comments.


The first two, autonomous cars and AI hype are pretty much the opposite of most of HN's opinion.


Vast majority of people here think self driving is over hyped.

The AI not leading to job displacement prediction is just silly, given that it's already leading to job loss.


> The AI not leading to job displacement prediction is just silly, given that it's already leading to job loss.

The prediction was about job loss, not displacement, and you are incorrect about the current state. Job displacement and job loss are two very different things. AI is leading to job displacement (less jobs in certain industries, but not necessarily overall reduction in jobs), it does not seem to be leading, so far, to job loss (less jobs overall). It's harder to tell if it is leading to a greater share of jobs with lower wages, which has similar economic and policy implications to it causing net job loss, because there are lots of confounding factors when looking at the dynamics of wage distribution.

A lot of AI fear is based around net job loss (which has not generally historically been associated with technological advancements), not mere job displacement (which is a common effect of technological advancements).


The fear is that jobs left to humans are those low level ones. Technology divide up the society into elites who control machines and labors who is controlled by machines. And gradually, the elites become less and less until the day we humans are all batteries.


Innovations like that need 15-20 years from a working prototype to mass adoption, so I agree with the prediction that we won't see it in the 20's yet.


It is like the persitence method for weather prediction - you can predict tomorrow's weather is same as today and you would be right a good number of times :P


But they are predictions. The commenter is saying these things will happen by 2030. Just because they’re popular doesn’t mean they’re not predictions or that there’s something wrong with them. If you want to write some crazy predictions you can do that yourself


I agree, the prediction is basically; "the status quo will continue"...


Generally a good prior.


A good part of them would have been great predictions to the past decade :)


> 9. Global carbon emissions are not reduced, mostly because of lack of initiative by China and 3rd world countries.

Per-capita CO emissions [1]:

    United States  17.5
    Australia      16.75
    Canada         14.67
    Russian Fed.   12.18
    South Korea    11.78
    Norway         11.71
    Finland        11.53
    Greenland      11.07
    Netherlands    10.96
    ...
    China          6.18
    Mexico         3.91
    Brazil         2.15
    India          1.64
If lack of initiative is to blame we need to point the right culprits.

[1] https://cotap.org/per-capita-carbon-co2-emissions-by-country...


How did you cherry pick that list? The actual top countries per capita from your source are:

  Qatar 40.1
  Trinidad & Tobago 37.78
  Kuwait 34.24
  Netherlands Antilles 23.55
  Brunei Darussalam 22.96
  United Arab Emirates 22.31
  Aruba 21.59
  Luxembourg 21.34
  ...
But looking at the total, rather than per-capita, carbon emissions makes more sense if we want to actually cut total carbon emissions.

Here is the list of top CO2 emitting countries:

  China 10,877.2
  United States 5,107.4
  India 2,454.8
  Russia 1,764.9
  Japan 1,320.8
  Germany 796.5
  South Korea 673.3
  Iran 671.5
  ...
from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_di... , which cites the source https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/publication/fossil-co2-emissions...


But then why look at total per year. Calculate the cumulative total since the start of the industrial revolution. That number is relevant for the situation we're in today.


It's somewhat useful to know how much we did in the us but you can't go back in time and change what the us did from 1900-2000. I don't get the point. We can all only change what we emit now and into the future.


It would be fair if the ones who did all the pollution (and also got the benefits from it) would clean the mess up now.


I think the idea is that even if all the current top emitters do take initiative, China and India's emissions are expected to grow quickly. The losses will win over the gains.


The way one frames it inevitably biases the resulting opinion.

If you think in terms of net change relative to a given level of emissions at some year... eu bad, US badder, China & India Terrible.

If you think in terms of "every person is entitled to X emissions per year," where X is current or desired average emissions (inc 0-emissions) then... China & India are best, EU & US are bad.

The more nationalistically we think of these things, the more nationalistic they seem and become.


It’ll only grow as fast as the “1st world” keeps consuming and off-shoring to avoid regulation. So where’s their initiative?


> It’ll only grow as fast as the “1st world” keeps consuming and off-shoring to avoid regulation

That's quite outdated; there's a huge internal market in China, India, etc, and plenty of trade between the non-"1st world" countries. In fact, the US did have an initiative to reduce consumption from there (in the form of tariffs) and it didn't impact their economy much.

Just as an example, China now has about as many cars as the US. And the market there keeps growing, whereas the US has mostly plateaued.


If they still manage less CO per capita w/ their exports plus internal market, that weakens the argument that emissions control is primarily a 3rd world responsibility.


That little table is the only place where China looks good with regards to CO2 emissions. If the US had 4x the population, ceteris paribus, we'd have even lower CO2 "per capita" than China. Doesn't change one bit the fact that China emits 40% more CO2 than the next biggest polluter.


China is also the world's factory floor, producing most of what's bought by people in the US and Australia, and in effect taking big part of their responsibility. Considering that, the fact it's only 1.4x of US emissions is a miracle.

If "1st world" were truly worried, they would stop buying or stop off-shoring. Saying "3rd world lacks initiative" as if it's a national issue is a joke.


> Saying "3rd world lacks initiative" as if it's a national issue is a joke.

Yeah, I definitely said that. Continue being mad at me and America.


You had me up until here: 'Web development matures and a "standard" stack is accepted, all in JS.'

The Node ecosystem is a mess and it starts with core being a hodgepodge of deprecated mush. I think it's more likely that wasm picks up steam.

Rails, PHP, Django, etc aren't going anywhere.


I almost feel like there are 2 parallel industries in web development. One based on solving problems and using the right tool for the job, and one based on bullshit, overengineering and including more and more complexity & tooling to make up for huge downsides in the language and to justify their entire careers (can you really advocate against using a tool when your entire career depends on using that tool?)

The former will keep going and keep solving problems, but it'll be relatively quiet in the grand scheme of things just like it is now. The JS ecosystem will continue to thrive in the latter world where there's more VC money, hype & RAM than common sense, so we'll keep hearing about it. As long as there's enough VC money to fuel the fire this situation will keep going (along with NPM's storage expenses growing alarmingly) but the second the VC money dries up and hype-driven startups die off, companies will mostly come back to the first approach and the majority of "React developers" will be out of a job.


There's a lot of people in web development who are full of shit. You can tell who they are when they claim that JS or the DOM is slow unless you use X framework. What they either don't understand or ignore is that frameworks are for the developer, not the computer. If you are a fool, a framework isn't going to stop you from making really bad choices and over-engineering something into oblivion. Years from now, there will be people claiming that React is "too slow" or "too bloated" or "too complicated", and it will be abandoned for the next greatest thing. Some of this also has to do with the fact that there are lots of wild-eyed entrepreneurial types who either want to work for FAANG or have a startup that they believe will compete with FAANG. Thus, they only believe in the latest and greatest thing.

The secret, or perhaps not-so-secret, is that the vast majority of web applications are still CRUD, and the average person doesn't understand the difference between a SPA and a server-rendered app. Most of the engineering effort that goes beyond that is probably a waste of time unless you really plan on doing things beyond CRUD. So the best thing is to actually understand the fundamentals, learn to do a good job at those, and use the tools that make sense for said job. That means that maybe, just maybe, your WebGL game doesn't need to use React.


This. Currently looking for job and it seems that every single company out there is just looking for someone who knows angular, react, node, etc. I always emphasize that I can learn the tools required by the job, but no, they just want someone with n years of experience in just a specific tool, instead of someone who can learn and adapt. Not a whine, just a concerned observation on the industry.


I found that some companies were willing to let you learn tech on the job. Talk to some recruiters. If you're confident, like me, make it clear to a recruiter or company that you have every confidence that you will learn the tech quickly and it won't be a problem.


Right on. Most of my efforts now include fighting complexity, while everyone else around me seems hell-bent on adding more of it.


Hear, hear. We should start some kind of movement. Or at least write a manifesto.


Lets do it this way: The product should be so sinple the customer understands how it works and must do all maintanace on it without help. If they do need help you've failed.


It's no mistake that 7 and 8 and next to each other


But Rails and Django are for midsized websites only. Node is used in big companies for Microservices and serverless. Its impossible to scale Django to say 3000 developers.


Github, Shopify, Airbnb, Hulu and more are built in Rails, so clearly it does scale. You can do microservices with Ruby/Python as well. Ditto serverless. And my own company does this.

But comparing Rails (a framework for complete web dev functionality) to entirely different paradigms and use cases seems kind of silly. These frameworks don’t solve everything, but they make it far easier and cheaper to develop a website with under, say, 500 million users. Once you get that large you can start exploring paying more devs for better efficiency.


Uh... Instagram is a Django app...


> 9. Global carbon emissions are not reduced, mostly because of lack of initiative by China and 3rd world countries.

Ya let's blame it all on other people.


Indeed. Which one country just left the Paris Agreement? Hint: Not China or 3rd world countries.


The big difference between the American attitude and the Chinese attitude towards ecology is this :

The Americans loudly refuse to do anything, loudly deny that there's a problem, and loudly proclaim their hatred of ecology.

The Chinese say yes to everything but they have absolutely no intention of actually doing anything, they just lie.

Check this out : https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/05/23/china-factories-...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/04/china-underrep...


According to Climate Action Tracker, https://climateactiontracker.org/countries/china/current-pol...

> This means that according to our assessment, China will meet its 2020 pledge and its NDC targets, but still be above current emissions levels. China’s chief climate negotiator, Xie Zhenhua, has expressed the opinion that China could meet its 2030 peaking targets early, reflecting the conclusions of other studies (Green and Stern, 2017; Xu, Stanway and Daly, 2018; Gallagher et al., 2019b; Wang et al., 2019). CAT analysis confirms that, based on current GDP projections, China is indeed likely to meet the carbon intensity target of its 2030 pledge early.

So the TL;DR is China is likely to meet its pledges but the pledges themselves are pretty weak — rated “highly insufficient” and only consistent with a 4 degrees warming limit.

That’s inconsistent with your “say yes to everything but ... just lie” assessment. It appears they don’t say yes to everything (hence the weak pledge) but will hit the promised target.

Your links don’t support your point either. The first link doesn’t pinpoint the cause (could be a lapse in enforcement) and the second link is about a revision in official figures; Guardian’s reporting is based on a NYT article with a more neutral tone, but even the Guardian article with its loaded title (surprise surprise) didn’t call it lying.


The leaders of america do that, at least half the people in the country want to do something. And the leader of the us will eventually change and we'll get a new goal. Then we'll be like china though because the republicans/oil industry will sue to block changes.


From result standpoint, it's small difference, not a big one.


The Paris Agreement is just a piece of paper. If we go by the "initiative" measure of GGP, the leadership of most countries doesn't display a sufficient amount of it.


He said "mostly" because of, not totally due to. Furthermore, look at US emissions...they are flat or declining over time, and will continue to slowly decline. So, we're closer to hitting our future Paris goals than China, whose emissions are going to continue to rise quickly due to increased oil use, LNG, and a LOT of coal use for at least 20 years to come.


Also lack of initiative by many 1st world countries, hopefully there will be plenty of new technologies developed in the coming years that reduce or capture carbon.

But with current developments this will be far too little too late and it will be a rough ride forward.


A technology that helps reduce and capture carbon? You mean trees? Because we already have them for a few million years.


> let's blame it all on other people

Unfortunately we can't blame it on ourselves as our carbon emissions, assuming it's even relevant, have decreased massively compared to predictions.


You've got to be kidding...

United States per-capita CO2 emmisions are 17.5 tons per year vs China's 6.18, and that's not even taking into account the fact that China emits a lot of CO2 producing cheap products to sell to the US.

https://cotap.org/per-capita-carbon-co2-emissions-by-country...


I think a relevant point may also be the rate of increase. The numbers I saw show that the US per capita emissions actually trending down and China was still increasing.

I’m not trying to absolve the US here just noting that rate of increase/decrease matters in addition to per capita and absolute values

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EN.ATM.CO2E.PC

https://www.theguardian.com/environment


I’m not arguing against US CO2, but the likelihood of those numbers for China being anywhere near accurate is small.


I don't think the numbers don't come from China, they're measured by satelites.

https://www.livescience.com/49196-nasa-satellite-oco2-carbon...

China shows up very red, but they have 5x the people living in a much smaller area.


Likewise for the US.


Why? They are supported by pretty much every source out there. See e.g. EDGAR ( https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/9d0... ), or this slightly older data set from the World Bank: https://databank.worldbank.org/reports.aspx?source=2&series=... .

I'm not sure why you'd expect it to be otherwise. This is a per-capita figure, and carbon emissions are strongly correlated with income and purchasing power. CO2 emissions aren't driven by consumer goods production alone.

There's an adjusted metric that puts things into an even better perspective: https://ourworldindata.org/co2-and-other-greenhouse-gas-emis... .


So that last link has numbers drastically different from the GP’s data, and it says that it comes simply from fossil fuel combustion and cement — not population. Population is also not a great metric; the types of power plants, typical personal transportation usages, and transport of everyday items like food will vary greatly. These are also all very dynamic.

The reality is all these data sources will he estimates. Estimates can be severely wrong — they can be produced by local governments with incentives to lie, or estimated by outside observers with poor actual knowledge. China has had a long history of empirical lying in their economic data locally due to internal party targets, for example. I see no reason for them to give accurate numbers to the UN/external world, where as with the US there’s enough decentralization and public data that there’s a better chance of being more accurate (but still probably quite off).


Of course they're estimates, you can't exactly plug a meter on every exhaust pipe in the country and take a reading every couple of days. And of course the methodology varies from one study to another. But modern estimates do account for things like types of power plants, typical personal (and public, and business/industrial) transportation usages etc.. It's not like the whole scientific world waited for us to discuss this on HN before figuring out that maybe 10 people who go to work by bike isn't quite the same as 10 people who drive a jeep to work.

There is less data available for China and therefore the estimates are likely wrong by a higher margin than the estimates for the US. But the figures do very much fit the demographics, economy and geography of China so I doubt that the margin is that high.


If only there were some kind of device we could launch into space, fly over China and see for ourselves.

Wait... https://co2.jpl.nasa.gov/


And what does it show? I just see giant data sets.


Why?

When azinman2 claimed the reported COTAP numbers for China are probably wrong I was saying the same is true for the US for exactly the same reasons - measuring emissions on a national scale is hard, there are good reasons not to believe any self-reported data that business relies on, and frankly America has worse climate emissions policies than China at the moment.

I'm not suggesting that other agencies that independently measure emissions are wrong. It is possible to measure emissions remotely (eg the satellite that SmellyGeekBoy linked to), and that provides proper unbiased data.


> United States per-capita CO2 emmisions are 17.5 tons per year vs China's 6.18

Does this mean we need to multiply China's values by 4.2 (1386 mln Chinese vs 327 mln Americans) to account for all those capitas? ;-)


Per capita is the only metric that makes sense for carbon emissions since the effects are not going to be confined to artificial nation boundaries. So no, no need to multiply anything.


Companies in developed countries have been exporting emissions to developing countries. Those companies are profiting while people like you and I point fingers at each other. Pretty funny. Anyway if you look at the emission metrics per capita it's still developed countries at the top.


... but if developed countries are asking developing countries to reduce their emissions it means they are implicitly asking for a price raise too, no? So, why not do that?


Not everyone can afford the price raise. Firms in developed countries would be hurt if consumption decreases due to the price raise so who’s going to support this policy?


So could this really lead to a global depression? I doubt it.


Not saying it could. I'm just discussing the incentives involved.


I disagree strongly on number 6. Offliners would be as popular as people who still carry flip phones and lecture you about it. You can’t become mainstream without some kind of media. Vegans talk about veganism all the time on social media. That’s why everyone knows about it.


I can easily imagine influencers Instagram-ing about their awesome "offline" lives. You're assuming the offliners are going to be honest about it.

[Edit] Also, I could see being offline becoming a kind of cultural prestige or aspiration, like something only rich people could do by delegating their online presence to hired guns, etc.


> I could see being offline becoming a kind of cultural prestige or aspiration

This reminds me of the 1970s, when being 'ex-directory' - paying to not have your phone number included in the telephone directory - was seen as cultural prestige.


> You can’t become mainstream without some kind of media.

All it takes is a series of stories about offliners from a couple of major news outlets.


There’s power in negative space. People will maintain meatspace connections that won’t be mirrored online, which will create a sense of mystique and intrigue. People who aren’t immediately connected to off lines IRL will seek them out in a kind of pilgrimage.


I have most reason to doubt 8. I think it'll mature, but I doubt a fully "standard" stack will come about.

I suspect WASM will lead to a lot less stuff being done in JS.


I'd rather bet that react/the react ecosystem will be have a >60% share than WASM being extremely common.


There's a bit of a push to get everything that isn't rendering out of the render thread, and if you're going to do a bunch of logic in a web worker I guess it isn't a big jump to do it in Go/Rust/whatever.

I agree with your intuition, though -- I don't think it'll become too widespread. Projects will start in all-js in the front-end, and no language will provide sufficient benefit to motivate rewriting half of the client.

I'm less sure about back-end development trends but I think "less standardised than the front-end" is a gimme. Maybe Node/Express or similar will pick up, but I feel like they've been waning the last few years. Go servers seem trendier.


I’m optimistic about Elm or something like Elm that represents a minimal core of today’s emerging best practices (virtual DOM, static types, functional core & imperative shell) while cutting off the fat (mutability, type coercion) and providing valuable affordances and guarantees (educational compiler messages, no runtime exceptions.)


Why?


WASM does not fix DOM manipulation, so…


You can render using WebGL so you don't need DOM manipulation, any UI library in any language will do. The advantage to this method is that you are no longer limited by browsers slow and inconsistent DOM implementation, you can just make your own.


And create an accessibility nightmare.


Everything is an accessibility nightmare until somebody creates accessibility tools for it


That has yet to hinder web developers.


Like Flash with even less consistency? I hope not.


  > 6. But a small yet growing culture of "offliners" becomes
  > mainstream. Being offline is the new "Yoga" and allows
  > bragging rights.
I also think this. However, where do you brag if you are offline…

  > 8. Web development matures and a "standard" stack is accepted,
  > all in JS.
I kind of hoping for "going back to basics" in regards to the web. Like content sites rediscover they can work with HTML only and it must not necessarily be rendered with JS.


I agree: For my Web site, I wrote no JS at all. Microsoft's ASP.NET wrote a little for me, but it's optional. My largest page sends for just 400,000 bits. The page is exactly 700 pixels wide and has both horizontal and vertical scroll bars and is usable in a window as narrow as 300 pixels. I intend the page to look good on anything with a Web browser up to date as of, say, 10 years ago.


> 8. Web development matures and a "standard" stack is accepted, all in JS.

I'd walk into traffic.


I can see the web being driven into the ground in the next few decades, ever increasing complexity, more extreme hardware requirements for a bit of text on a page, it's already in a silly state, after another decade of this something needs to snap.


It doesn't have to be that way.

HN for example gets by just fine with minimal JS. JS is not even required for functional websites.


Do you know what site works extremely well without js?

Amazon, unironically. I did an entire transaction the other day with noscript on before I realized it. I'd never want to work for them but their tech is impressive.

Only thing that didn't work was the logout button.


I'm reminded of the old adage that "we don't know what the scientific programming language of the future will look like but it will be called FORTRAN."

JavaScript today is much more usable than what came out in 1995. You still can't use the Set type to usefully contain anything but primitives, but there's a Set type!


Right, but because the traffic will all be autonomous vehicles, that will be totally safe.


1 and 2:

Based on something like the Gartner Hype Cycle I will guess that we might be nearing something in 10 year. Or it might be that these things work in a 30-40 year cycle (based on observations of the last time AI was hot).

8:

For better (we can use languages that doesn't have more built in footguns than PHP) and for worse (openness of frontend will disappear) WASM will make Javascript unnecessary in the long run.

I'm kind of seasoned with JS - and a number of other languages - and the only real strength that JS has compared to TypeScript, C# and Java, language wise, is that it is ubiquitous.

Besides: if you get developers tp agree on a single stack in 10 years then you are dangerously good at negotiations and should spend your time in embassies not on HN;-)


Doesn't typescript complile to std js?


It does. But the language is nice enough to be stand alone and in my opinion, in the long run I think there's no reason to involve legacy js and hopefully we could get a wasm compile target :-)


> Being offline is the new "Yoga"

This! But my take is it will be out of sheer necessity.

Killing all my social media presence for the last 3 years or so has been more cathartic than anything else I tried in order to acquire perfect peace. That, plus completely cutting out alcohol. I have near zero anxiety since embarking on this and I highly recommend it.


I think being off social media is very healthy. It's sad that people don't interact in person as much anymore, but maybe we'll get more social media that encourages meeting offline (e.g. meetup.com). Anyone want to make an app? It would be nice of there was an app that would help you identify locals and neighbors with common interests. auto-matching maybe? I can see an app getting really invasive (like checking your search-engine queries), but it doesn't need to be this intense... or maybe that depends on how badly you want to meet people.

... Then again, you could just go knock on your neighbor's door and say hello, but that's too easy, too natural. ;)


> identify locals and neighbors with common interests. auto-matching maybe?

Tinder for friendly neighbors /s

Jokes aside, it does sound good though. I wouldn't mind getting my hands dirty for a few hours on the weekend. As far as mobile apps go, my only competence is in react native. If interested let me know how I can get in touch.


> 9. Global carbon emissions are not reduced, mostly because of lack of initiative by China and 3rd world countries.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_China


China is building more new coal power output than currently exists in the entire EU combined. There's no indication they plan to stop there and that doesn't count the coal plants their companies are building in the rest of Asia.

Adding renewables or nuclear while you massively increase your world-leading emissions output, won't actually improve anything.

"China Is Still Building an Insane Number of New Coal Plants"

https://www.wired.com/story/china-is-still-building-an-insan...

https://www.npr.org/2019/04/29/716347646/why-is-china-placin...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia-pacific/years-afte...


You should have pasted the one of renewable energy in China, they are investing far more than any other country on the planet, as they know first hand the damage it causes from not doing so (pollution, acid rain, etc)


This doesn't look positive:

> However, few plants have commenced construction since 2015, and it is now unlikely that this target will be met.


Probably just a typical short-term hiccup in construction planning. China has much bigger plans for 2030, as the article says.

Also, take a look at the bar-charts on the Wikipedia page.


China just built and started operating their longest coal transporting train 2 months ago:

https://twitter.com/globaltimesnews/status/11535899795340738...

Meanwhile also claiming "China says it has already hit 2020 carbon reduction goal".

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/472224-china-s...

I don't think they can be trusted with anything they say.


> 9. Global carbon emissions are not reduced, mostly because of lack of initiative by China and 3rd world countries.

Per capita, it's not the "3rd" world countries that are polluting, but the "1st" worlds (https://cotap.org/per-capita-carbon-co2-emissions-by-country...). I'm sad to see someone still referring to countries as "1st" and "3rd" world, as that's an incredibly outdated term. Also to refer to China as a "3rd world country" is astonishing. I recommend you read the book Factfulness (https://www.gapminder.org/factfulness-book/) to get a better sense in how the world works.


> Also to refer to China as a "3rd world country" is astonishing

> by China and 3rd world countries

By Mary and the guys (indicating that Mary is not a guy).

> Per capita, it's not the "3rd" world countries that are polluting, but the "1st" worlds

From your own source, the top polluters per capita are Qatar, Trinidad & Tobago and Kuwait. Qatar is wealthy, but probably not "1st world".

> I'm sad to see someone still referring to countries as "1st" and "3rd" world, as that's an incredibly outdated term

The AP standard was updated in 2015. The terms "1st", "2nd" and "3rd" world are still in common parlance even though the AP prefers "Developed" and "Developing".


Show me the AP standard, please, because other sources seem to vehemently disagree with your statement. Unless you are still in the cold war, that is.

I reiterate what I said before, please read Factfulness, and then get back to me.

Also, funnily enough, China was never considered a third-world country, but a second-world one, you know, in Cold war terms.


> Also, funnily enough, China was never considered a third-world country, but a second-world one, you know, in Cold war terms.

Again you're really struggling with the grammar here.

"Mary and the boys".

Is Mary a boy? No, Mary is not a boy. We are indicating Mary is in fact, not part of "the boys". Likewise, "China and 3rd world" indicates China is not 3rd world.

> Show me the AP standard

https://twitter.com/apstylebook/status/631085111220547584?la...

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/01/04/3726844...

> I reiterate what I said before, please read Factfulness, and then get back to me.

Wonderful book, not related to our current disagreement. If we're throwing out recommendations though, then I'd recommend Strunk and White.


China is 2x the emitter that the US is and it's going to get worse. China has more than doubled their per capita emissions in the last 20 years. Many other countries will follow suit.

The US and other more developed economies are plateauing in terms of emissions per capita. While there's ample opportunity to begin to claw back those numbers, it is not where the problem lies moving forward.


China: 6.4 metric tons of CO2 per capita

United States: 16.5 metric tons of CO2 per capita

--

Other developed countries:

Germany: 8.9 metric tons of CO2 per capita

France: 4.6 metric tons of CO2 per capita

UK: 6.5 metric tons of CO2 per capita

Spain: 5 metric tons of CO2 per capita

--

This is 2014 data (for comparability), but in 2018 China still had half (7.95 metric tons per capita) the CO2 per capita than the US


Care to enter into a bet on #1? (Particularly with your phrasing, it seems like Waymo in Phoenix already counts)


I posted something similar and I would bet money on it, if there's a good mechanism to do so.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21942100

I've invested in rideshare companies with the assumption that humans will still largely be behind the wheel in 10 years.

(Because nobody's going back to taxis; rideshare is more backward compatible than public transit buildout; it's harder than you think to start a new rideshare company, etc. Also once something becomes popular, people underestimate how long it sticks. Similar to somebody predicting on the 2010 thread that Facebook would be gone by now.)

Side note: I've made bearish predictions about self-driving on HN for at least 2-3 years if you check my comment history. I'm don't want to be negative, just realistic. I'm bullish on the software industry in general and video in particular.


> if there's a good mechanism to do so.

Have you ever seen longbets.org?

My favorites:

http://longbets.org/362/ http://longbets.org/382/


Yours (that autonomous vehicles won’t have an impact on the average person) is way more likely to hold than “there will be no L4/L5 autonomous vehicles anywhere”. I wanted the free money :).

Would you still do your bet with your “average” restricted to the US? What about major US cities? (By the end of your comment, it seemed you were at “average person in the whole world”, including developing, such that nobody should take your bet within a 10-year timeframe).

I think the biggest risks are regulatory and weather conditions. For the first: will NYC really allow AVs in time for 2030 to have any serious adoption? That looks questionable currently. As for weather conditions, you didn’t explicitly state it, but an autonomous system that only works 50% of the year means people need their current mobility and the AV option, leading to high cost.

The Bay Area and Los Angeles only have rain though, so it’s not too hard to imagine a world where AVs can operate in big California cities successfully, most of the year. I’d make that bet: Californians will have driverless cars with material impact (but perhaps not car replacement for the masses) for the median person in the major metro areas by Jan 1, 2030.

Edit: updated with my own bet and phrasing.


It doesn't sound like our opinions are that far off. Even in the last year it seems like the media and public have adjusted their expectations.

I live in SF and worked at Google so I've been hearing all about self-driving since 2009 (and I remember when co-workers went to the DARPA competitions in 2006).

Look at the top comment on this article from February 2018:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16352467

It’s great to explore this topic. You can have a lot of fun in picking a random industry and imagining the effect that self driving will have

A lot of that is true IF we get to level 5 soon -- but it seems like most people don't believe that anymore (for good reason).

https://a16z.com/2018/02/03/autonomy-ecosystem-frank-chen-su...

One thing’s for sure: We’re at a critical inflection point with this technology, so the shift is going to happen a lot faster than we think

Here's my comment which I think should have been totally uncontroversial since I simply quoted three people who are very close to the problem: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16353541

However I got pushback on that comment, and also when I said similar things in person to people even further away from the problem than I am. I remember a summer 2018 conversation where an engineer was poking fun at the tech-unsophisticated for doubting that self-driving is possible.

----

Take a look at this 2013 nytimes article, which might have been the height of it:

http://archive.is/7ARB6

That city of the future could have narrower streets because parking spots would no longer be necessary. And the air would be cleaner because people would drive less.

I would definitely take a bet against changes in city layout or the the air being cleaner in 2030 because of self-driving. (Both of them will improve in many places for other reasons though.)

I would also take a bet against self-driving impacting your average senior citizen or disabled person, which has been in the marketing of at least a few self-driving companies.

“I could sleep in my driverless car, or have an exercise bike in the back of the car to work out on the way to work,” he said. “My time spent in my car will essentially be very different.”

note: the article does present both sides: I'm picking a few people's opinions. But I heard a lot of that in person over the last 10 years.

-----

So really I'm not predicting anything controversial... it looks like the hype has already died down. I'm more interested in my other predictions on this thread.

But I also won't rule out the possibility of a "black swan": if there's a big innovation in self-driving, it probably won't come from Waymo, Tesla, or any incumbent.


Aren't autonomous vehicles supposed to be a huge boon to rideshare companies?


Yes they would be a huge boon, but I don't think it will happen. And I'm still bullish on rideshare anyway.

That was the story that Uber/Lyft sold to their investors prior to their IPOs. Here's a fantastic (and long) article by Tim O'Reilly that:

https://qz.com/1540608/the-problem-with-silicon-valleys-obse...

Despite that I still think rideshare is valuable and there's no going back. I think Uber and Lyft will raise their prices significantly and people will take them anyway.


True L5 have zero chance of becoming a reality universally in the next several years. I drive a Tesla and continually see edge cases that I have no idea how autopilot should handle. For example, going to ski today at Squaw, they create these temporary lanes with cones, but ask you to ignore the actual lane markings. Further, there is a roundabout in SF that has a mix of Muni, cars, bikes, scooters, pedestrians, regulated by a stop sign. I find it impossible to navigate as a human driver. Not sure how and AI can ever navigate this


Actually I really do. I'm wondering how I could, in terms of investment, without risk of pivoting of specific companies etc.


You'd have to be careful with your definition of level 4. https://www.synopsys.com/automotive/autonomous-driving-level... has Waymo as already being there.


"5. Majority of people still don't care about privacy."

"The majority of people don't draw the privacy line where I draw it, therefore they don't value privacy at all."


> 6. But a small yet growing culture of "offliners" becomes mainstream. Being offline is the new "Yoga" and allows bragging rights.

Huh, I never thought of this before but you are right, seems like rejecting technology is becoming more acceptable in the mainstream with the 5G conspiracy.


It's not just conspiracy theories. The focus of much of tech has focused from providing value to its users to extracting maximum value via behavioral manipulation. (Sorry, "engagement" and "stickiness")

People who can afford to reject the services provided, or can afford to buy them non-sticky elsewhere, will. Same as it ever was - money buys freedom.


> 10. Still no hoverboards

Man! You really know how to drop a bummer for your last one :(


They are testing this right now at CERN. If that antimatter floats UP, there shall be hoverboards for all.

Spoiler: it will float down.


> 9. Global carbon emissions are not reduced, mostly because of lack of initiative by China and 3rd world countries.

Wealthy nations have produced massive emissions during their industrialization, and continue to do so on a per-capita basis. The global north has the responsibility to cut back to a greater extent so poorer countries can develop.


> 4. Google still dominates search and email but losses value and "glory" compared to today.

Isn't that already the case and not a prediction per se?

> 6. But a small yet growing culture of "offliners" becomes mainstream. Being offline is the new "Yoga" and allows bragging rights.

Meh, not going to happen. On the contrary being connected will be more than ever the "new utility" to do just about anything in life.

> 7. Increase in adoption of non-scientific beliefs such as astrology/anti-vaxx/religion/flat-earth as a counterbalance to the increased complexity of everyday life.

That's already the case with most people have a very poor understanding of scientific principles or even basic stats.

> 9. Global carbon emissions are not reduced, mostly because of lack of initiative by China and 3rd world countries.

China is building more nuclear power plants than any other country on Earth.


Not to be glib but these predictions are just: nothing changes. In this regard I'm conflicted, on the one hand I agree with many of your points. But on the other hand I could not have conceived of Uber and AirbnB being as influential as they were in 2010, and they already existed!


I disagree with number 2, but you might quibble about what 'job losses due to automation' really means, what is 'ai automation' vs regular automation. There aren't any travel agents hardly, it didn't take AGI to remove them, it just took making looking through flights and buying them with the web easy.

Similarly, it looks like wall street already has job losses from automating trading. Is that an ai automation? The problem is you could label any job losses due to automating things as not ai, even though actual jobs will continue to be replaced more and more by computers. Have you seen the mcdonald's where you order it yourself instead of using a panel, there must have been fewer people hired to take orders there.


> Facebook (the SN) still exists but ages along with it's current user base. i.e it's the "old people's" SN. Facebook (the company) is still going strong, with either Instagram or one of it's acquisitions being the current "hip" SN.

Which year do you live in?

This happened already, so long ago in fact that even Instagram is already on the way out as the mid-30s social network, and TikTok is taking over with it’s real-life softporn focus.


> Still no level 4/5 autonomous cars anywhere in sight.

> No major job losses due to AI automation

First off, #2 is really 2 predictions. 1) No AGI 2) No major job loss due to AI automation. There can be job loss due to automation without AGI (which I'm EXTREMELY bearish on AGI, bearish for the century actually).

Second, here's a scenario I think we could see job loss due to autonomous vehicles. Trucking. If we get level 3. We're defining level 3 as

> In the right conditions, the car can manage most aspects of driving, including monitoring the environment. The system prompts the driver to intervene when it encounters a scenario it can’t navigate. Driver involvement: The driver must be available to take over at any time.

I see this as near tech and could cause disruption. We already have level 2. If regulations change, then I could see job loss.

Or another scenario. Let's say that trucks are level 4 on highways in clear conditions, level 2 in cities, and level 1 in bad conditions. Regulations could change so that a driver could "drive" for longer hours and even sleep given that trucks are driving in clear conditions, automatically pulling over to the side of the road/sounding an alarm/slowing down when conditions are deemed unsuitable (with a low threshold). Such a situation seems near possible with current tech and have the potential to disrupt the market. Knowing if that's going to create more drivers or less drivers is harder to say.

I'm also bearish on level 4/5 vehicles in the next decade, but I'm not bearish on driving staying the same within the next decade. Especially as we see more cars becoming level 2. I am bullish on disruption here, including regulation. Though I'm not going to try to define what the disruption is, other than increased safety (which is pretty huge).

I'm not bullish on AI causing major job loss, but I am bullish on automation (not necessarily %s/AI/ML/g) creating disruption. In fact, I think we're already seeing this. And I want to be clear, I don't think we need ML to automate things. We've done a lot of automation already without it. I think COTs electronics becoming cheaper is the bigger driving force to that along with consumer preferences of using digital systems (Amazon vs store, self checkout vs cashier, movie ticket touch screens vs box office, etc).


> 10. Still no hoverboards

But they exist right now! Just not for the average consumer. https://m.youtube.com/results?search_query=flying+hoverboard...

Same with jetpacks (Gravity Industries will sell you a jet engine based jetpack for ~400k)


For #8, what does "accepted" and "standard" mean? Do you mean front and back end, or just front end? If you just mean front end, maybe. But if you're including back end for web properties, there's lots of enterprises out there that this will never come close to becoming true.


Interesting predictions. I don't think I'll be surprised if I come back to this thread in 10 years ;)


Feels more like 5 years away to me as many of those points are already progressing/are close to success. If you compare to the last decade (for exampet the rise of Bitcoin, Quantum Computing), we can expect many more unexpected discoveries that will change the way we live.


#6 is spot on.


I couldn't agree more with all of those, despite the fact that 3, 5, 7, 8 and 9 are incredibly frustrating and depressing. 10 is also bumming me out to a certain degree...


6 is an interesting one.

How do you see a culture of offliners developing when they can't organise by social media?


Maybe they're already here...


I find it rather depressing that 5. (privacy) is the point with most consensus so far.


I agree with most of what you said but I'm bullish on AI and hoverboards


7. any explanation why it would be caused by complexity of everyday life?


I like your number 7. It looks like this kind of beliefs come in waves.


2. Wrong, I'm nearly done!


Amazingly, I'm pretty aligned with most of these!


I love #6


All great thoughts, here are my takes: > 1. Still no level 4/5 autonomous cars anywhere in sight. The promise of being "just around the corner" fizzles down and people just forget the hype.

I think this is about 50/50, but will take infrastructure changes to really bring about level 4 -- think smart roads and moving pedestrian walkways above/below street level, or possibly every car as a mag-lev/car hybrid. Leaving mag-lev turns into manual.

> 2. Same with AI. The panacea hype dies down. No AGI at all. No major job losses due to AI automation.

I disagree AI will not die or have a nuclear winter, it'll have tremendous leaps/bounds, but nobody claimed AGI would happen in next 10 years, most estimates put it at 2060 or greater

> 3. Facebook (the SN) still exists but ages along with it's current user base. i.e it's the "old people's" SN. Facebook (the company) is still going strong, with either Instagram or one of it's acquisitions being the current "hip" SN.

This is definitely how I see it playing out, FB will monopolize any social media sphere that looks like it's going to 'explode' and be the next thing through acquisitions until they get a monopoly ruling by the gov't and get split up (if/when I'd say 40% likelihood).

> 4. Google still dominates search and email but losses value and "glory" compared to today.

I think google won't lose too much value, assuming they go all in on cloud. I think GCP is where they'll make the most money. Possibly also Google Business accounts for email/etc.

> 5. Majority of people still don't care about privacy.

Not until the country enacts a social credit system like china, which I'd say is a 60% likelihood but it'll be 'privatized' not state ran, so that makes it better right?

> 6. But a small yet growing culture of "offliners" becomes mainstream. Being offline is the new "Yoga" and allows bragging rights.

I don't think this will happen, except either among extreme hippies (and I'm a progressive) but I mean the live in a van off the grid types or the other side live off the grid but right-wing survivalist types. But there's already folks like this.

> 7. Increase in adoption of non-scientific beliefs such as astrology/anti-vaxx/religion/flat-earth as a counterbalance to the increased complexity of everyday life.

God save us from this future. I hope we can educate the dumb out of people, with some free college and better public school systems. Maybe end home-schooling unless we can make sure this doesn't propagate as a result.

> 8. Web development matures and a "standard" stack is accepted, all in JS. HAHAHAHA HAHAAHA HAHAHA. Wait, are you serious? If anything it'd be probably rust/web assembly for it's speed/benchmarks but I don't see anything in web ever becoming one solid framework or stack. If anything it just keeps splintering. The problem is devs are WAY too opinionated about the 'right' way or 'better' way or 'familiar' way of doing things.

> 9. Global carbon emissions are not reduced, mostly because of lack of initiative by China and 3rd world countries.

This depends on 2020's election. If we see Bernie or Warren win, I think we could lead the world in curbing emissions. We won't win

> 10. Still no hoverboards. Never will be. Nor hover cars (except maybe mag-lev).


> 8. Web development matures and a "standard" stack is accepted, all in JS.

I laughed!

> 9. Global carbon emissions are not reduced, mostly because of lack of initiative by China and 3rd world countries.

I cried.

> 10. Still no hoverboards.

:( I wanted to believe.


#2 : I agree on still no AGI - from even 2 decades from now however job looses I disagree with, just like Industrial Age job losses will happen with more and more automation but at the same time new types of jobs will be created (not as many as the ones lost).


I found it odd that the OP included AGI and job loss in a single point. COTs electronics becoming cheaper is a big driver to automation. ML not required.


OP specifically said 'no job losses from AI automation' - the point was, not only no AGI in some singularity sense, but in general, no AI 'general enough' to take over significant human jobs.


- Automation replaces the need to have a human workforce. North Korea murders 99% of its population and replaces them with robots. Kim still goes around factories pointing at things.

- It becomes possible to literally program humans to do whatever you want them to do. Python is the chosen language but a lack of type safety results in an error that wipes out half of humanity.

- We colonize mars but by choosing only the best and brightest to go, we accidentally create a eugenics program that results in the inevitable conquest of earth by the martians.

- SpaceX is bought by Pornhub as it's discovered that the most effective way to blanket the world in pornography is to do it from space.

- Incels are prescribed virtual girlfriend therapy to provide them company and acclimate them to interactions with the opposite gender. Black market hacks transform them into anime waifus.

- AGI happens and is immediately outlawed as its attempts to solve world peace are inconvenient to the military industrial complex

- Illegal genetic engineering results in actual furries.

- Assassination by drone becomes so effective that no world leaders are seen in the outside from 2025. A vitamin D deficiency kills at least one of them.

- Potemkin jobs abound in a world that doesn't require humans to work to produce anything but needs to keep them busy to stop them complaining about stuff.

- In a last ditch attempt to save the earth from catastrophic climate change, the governments of the world finally join forces to build huge geo-engineering structures to capture carbon from the atmosphere. They're nuked from orbit by the newly formed Garden Kingdom of Siberia.


I know some of these are obviously backed by winks, but I got a smile from this because they're only a hair away from being rather plausible. You should be writing sci-fi!

> Potemkin jobs abound in a world that doesn't require humans to work to produce anything but needs to keep them busy to stop them complaining about stuff.

"There is another theory which states that this has already happened." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullshit_Jobs


> You should be writing sci-fi!

Thanks! A few of these are the premise for sci-fi stories I never got around to writing. I'll send you a link to Amazon if I ever do put pen to digital paper.

> "There is another theory which states that this has already happened." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullshit_Jobs

Haha, true. Also vaguely like the justification for the Matrix being like it is i.e. office jobs rather than utopia.


The recent video game Death Stranding touched on this theme, but regrettably didn’t go too deep into it. I would be really interested in fiction revolving around giving people work for work’s sake.


Mike Judge, Matt Stone, and Trey Parker are jealous of this list.


Mike Judge, Matt Stone, and Trey Parker are furiously taking notes.


Several of these would be great satire films. :)


The whole list reminded me of the film Idiocracy. Any/all of these would fit perfectly into that movie.


> - Incels are prescribed virtual girlfriend therapy to provide them company and acclimate them to interactions with the opposite gender. Black market hacks transform them into anime waifus.

hahaha this is a good one #startupideas


These sound more like predictions for the century than predictions for the decade.


This legit sounds like a proposal for a Gundam plot


Bold predictions


well that sounds reasonable. where should i invest my money?


I have a plot of land in the soon to be Garden Kingdom of Siberia to sell...


Do you accept bitcoin credit from the Bank of Pirates of Pluto?


- Ads are no longer presented or indicated as such. All advertisement besides public space billboards are paid product placements, advertorials, and sponsored dialogue in TV shows.

- The trend toward "authenticity" still ramping up in 2020 hits full swing, and commercial entities follow suit. Any announced commercial speech is viewed with distrust, while meme tweets are celebrated as "real." Corporate messaging becomes indistinguishable from random chatter on social networks.

- Advances in ML/text bots automate this process, and the random chatter on social sites like Reddit and Tumblr becomes a wasteland of pretty-good bots trying to steer conversations in a sponsored direction.

- Platforms are created for managing brand campaigns across even larger numbers of ever-smaller influencers. Anyone with more than 1k followers on Insta or Snap can sign up to be micro-compensated for brand mentions both online and in person at parties and such. Smartphones are used to track who is where with who and who is saying what, in order to measure these mentions.

- Influencing becomes an accepted career path, and classes appear in higher education on managing your personal brand, identifying which major brands fit with your personal brand, and building a portfolio of commercial brands that identify you like a unique fingerprint. This is blended with graphic design study to create your personal visual fingerprint/brand identity including logo, color scheme, and accessory items like a particular type of flower. It will be called "Personal Marketing" or something and hundreds of thousands of students will flock to the courses. Every public space, whether park, footpath, flower garden, or grocery store, will be filled with hundreds, possibly thousands of young people simultaneously recording selfie videos for their followers or class projects.

- The line between commercially sponsored speech and original speech becomes almost fully blurred.

- The line between brand preference and personal identity disappears. By 2030 the average consumer's daily life is centered around brand experience.


This all ties in rather nicely with the other predictions of "offlining" becoming a thing. In fact it seems mighty tempting based on your predictions.


Influencers: I think we'll start to see fully AI-generated "influencer" profiles start to overtake actual human beings soon - assuming there aren't some already out there.

It will become increasingly hard for actual people to compete with these profiles for attention.



Though this reads like a dystopian science fiction, this may very well be path we are set on right now. If not in 10 years, then surely in 15-20 years.


This is horrifying.


This is the worst timeline.

Some of this is, most assuredly, going to happen - at least to some extent.


I think the educated elites predilection for 'high' culture will stop this. There'll be a sort of Waldenesque rebellion against it.

Agreed that it's horrifying though!


Targeting ads by tracking users will be banned in the EU, but micro-targeting will be possible (just pick the right influencer(s)) or might even become unnecessary.


Black Mirror writers: please turn this into an episode.


number 3 may already be happening


1. Electric cars become the norm. All cars are fully autonomous on highways. A driverless highway transport service will go mainstream in some states. (California)

2. China will undergo a major recession, as manufacturing moves to Africa and US maintains its trade war with China across Govts.

3. The best performing stock will be a meat substitute company

4. VR will take off big time. Concerns about VR porn being too realistic will be raised in serious circles.

5. Intel will continue its downfall, and a new Chinese SOC company will rise to prominence

6. Water desalination will become a major industry

7. Towards the end of the decade, Nuclear power will begin picking up again

8. Canadian economy will start flourishing with improvement in weather, massive skilled immigration and the establishment of new Arctic ports. Also, Toronto/Montreal will become the Silicon valley of Canada, as skilled immigrants move to the Canada knowing they will never get greencards in the US.

9. Messi will move to the MLS at 36, and usher in an era of Soccer to the US, slowly eating into college football's popularity.

10. Cargo pants will become popular again.


> Also, Toronto/Montreal will become the Silicon valley of Canada, as skilled immigrants move to the Canada knowing they will never get greencards in the US.

As a (US citizen) programmer living in Toronto, I have seen this first hand: people moving from the bay, or moving directly to Canada because of a) the US having enormous lines for green cards and b) Canada aggressively courting skilled workers (you can get an invitation to apply for permanent residency online, before even coming to Canada[0]). In particular, you see many people coming from places experiencing political unrest (I'm no exception), especially Brazil in the last couple years.

I would question whether Montreal should be included in this hypothetical "canadian silicon valley," only because of Quebec's cultural protectionism, which borders on hostility to outsiders[1]. That said, rent is astronomically higher in Toronto and Montreal has massive cultural capital as a sort of old-world city in North America, so I could be wrong!

In any event Canada is definitely coming up (though to see it as "rivaling" the US would be misguided).

0: https://movnorth.com/process/

1: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/frontburner/quebec-begins-controver... I'm not saying this exact measure is necessarily "hostile" but stuff like this definitely contributes to the perception that newcomers may not be as welcome in Quebec.


Maybe Montreal for french and spanish speakers


> Electric cars become the norm. All cars are fully autonomous on highways.

I don't believe this (not to pick on you specifically). A lot of people forget about the rest of the USA, in towns with a population of <20k people. I hadn't seen a Tesla on the road in my town until this year. I have never seen a self-driving car. We didn't have a consistent stream of Uber drivers until maybe last year.

I think that your prediction is certainly applicable to major urban centers. But for the rest of the USA, it will probably be longer than a decade before that stuff starts becoming the norm.


10 is by far the most implausible. Cargo pants will continue to be awful. But pocket-less pants will take off


I don't see electric cars becoming the norm on the roads, but definitely for new cars, yes.

It will take some time though to replace the majority of existing cars working with fuel.


> and US maintains its trade war with China across Govts.

Bzzzt! This prediction won't even make it until November of this year. Trade war will wrap up just in time for elections...

Magic!

> VR will take off big time.

Is this a prediction from 1999?


> Is this a prediction from 1999?

The VR prediction is the one I believe most strongly. I am absolutely confident VR will take off big time.

It is a shame Valve is a private company and Oculus is a fraction of FB's stock portfolio (doesn't help that it is already overvalued at 2 billion). I would have invested in Valve eyes closed.

Hope a competent new VR studio or VR only public company shows up. I want to invest.

______________

The way I see it, technical advances in 2D gaming have maxxed out. The only way to out do your competitor on graphics will be to move to VR, AR or legitimate gesture controls. The way I see it any of these picking up will inadvertently lead to the others gaining popularity too.


I'm going to agree with this. After playing with an Oculus Quest this holiday, I'm confident it's taking off. Pretending to be Neo in SuperHot, Beat Saber being the new Guitar Hero, the lack of cables... VR is here. And with the 2.0+ versions it's only going to get clearer, more powerful, and even more fun.


> Concerns about VR porn being too realistic will be raised in serious circles.

Too realistic? Probably quite the opposite?


Oof.

Yeah, that is going to be a weird one.


I agree with the last part about 9. But I think Messi will move back to Argentina. He is too much of a family man.


Part of it is wishful thinking. But, how wild would that be ?


You had me till cargo pants...


Y'never know.


1. Deep learning will enter its next wave with increased biomimicry end efficiency. Ai will continue to evolve linearly. AGI will still be decades off.

2. Psychidelics will again enter the public sphere and we will see phychidelic therapy in the UK/US. They will also lead the development of a new theory of the mind and consiousness that enter the mainstream.

3. Plant/fungus based food will continue to expand while meat consumption drops. Lab grown meat will prove possible.

4. Ai in healthcare will allow for decentralised expertise. The role and power of nurses will expand.

5. Analog computing with neuromorphic chips along with reinforcement learning will be used in robotic control.

6. Drones will be a common site in city airspace.

7. Apple will enter healthcare in a big way. Medical functionality will enter consumer electronics and continue to push data driven preventative heathcare foreward.

8. Antibiotic resistance will be a huge problem. We will continue to see the return of illnesses we thought we would never see again.

9. Robots will allow smaller plots of land to be productive and agriculture will move away from mega farms. Local farmers markets will become more popular and accessable.

10. Ai agents will continue to compete against and dominate humans but will inhabit a physical shell to even the input playing ground.

11. Cannabis will be legalised federally in the US and UK. Most medical benefits will prove to be hype.

12. Joe Rogan will host a presidential debate.


> 7. Apple will enter healthcare in a big way. Medical functionality will enter consumer electronics and continue to push data driven preventative heathcare foreward.

This one I believe most. Will be very surprised if it does not turn out to be true.

> 12. Joe Rogan will host a presidential debate.

Make This Happen !


"12. Joe Rogan will host a presidential debate."

Won't be surprised if he ends up securing an official interview with Trump.


This could happen in the next year.


or a presidential candidacy


> 4. Ai in healthcare will allow for decentralised expertise. The role and power of nurses will expand.

Can you expand on this?


Tele-medicine could be a part of this - I have seen a rise in online services where patients can receive a diagnosis and some prescriptions by text/video chat with a doctor or nurse. I think this will likely continue expanding, perhaps even including decentralized, robotic surgery (see Intuitive Surgical), though I doubt this will ever be fully automated.


not op, but i think nurses will be able to subsitute doctors in many cases where the diagnosis comes from a fully-automated AI system. E.g. a CT scanner or blood test that prints out full diagnosis, prescription and procedure etc at the press of a button.


One rationale (well before/without AI) is that medicine operates at 2 levels of hierarchy (doctor, nurse) whereas most fields operate at 3 levels (say exec, mgmt/expert, worker/employee), typically mapped to 2-3, 4-5, and 7+ years degrees in most countries.

It's been argued in many countries that medicine could get cheaper if only 10% of doctors-only gestures and decisions could be delegated to some 4-5 years intermediary medical degree, above nurse and below doctor. In reality it's more like 50% of doctors' work could be offloaded. Which also has the benefit of mechanically addressing the general lack of medical doctors in rich countries with aging populations.


> Cannabis will be legalised federally in the [...] UK

Are you implying that the UK will rejoin the EU, which by then has become a superstate, or that it will have become a territory of the US?


Interestingly, while the UK is not a federal state, it has some features of one. It’s credible that cannabis could be legalised in NI or Scotland without being legalised in EnglandWales, say.


1. At least one major US city will be substantially destroyed due to climate change. Probably Miami, Galveston, or New Orleans. It will not be fully rebuilt. (Much like Puerto Rico and Key West).

2. Self-driving cars will arrive, but as a niche product for senior communities. (Like Google's slow bubble car.)

3. Amazon will finally get robotic picking working, and their warehouse employment will start to drop.

4. Somebody will build a 3nm fab, but it won't be a mainstream technology due to cost.

5. Big recession in US. House prices drop. San Francisco empties out again, like 2001 and 2008.

6. No major breakthrough in battery technology, but battery cost drops at least 50% due to volume increases.

7. New space probes to Luna and Mars, maybe Venus and Europa, but no manned activity beyond low earth orbit.

8. Artificial meat takes off in a big way, especially in China.

9. Parts of India become too hot to be inhabitable. Deaths in the hundreds of thousands. Fires in Australasia become a huge problem. California spends enough money to deal with its fires.

10. VC funds as a class lose money over the decade.


> 3. Amazon will finally get robotic picking working, and their warehouse employment will start to drop.

And we will see articles from the same tech journalists currently complaining about terrible working conditions in Amazon warehouses, complaining about Amazon firing warehouse staff.


Do you mean to imply that would be hypocrisy in some sense?


Yeah, seen a story that rising sea levels are threatening Miami but they are going on like normal and still building new condos and skyscrapers. Looks like a nice city though to visit or move too, I'd love to not have to wear my jacket and wear shorts more.


They just need to rebrand the city as "New Venice" and people will think it's quaint to live there.


Accurate considering Venice has been experiencing the worst flooding in recorded history.

Not sure how many Americans are aware of this.


It was a fairly big headline, similar to the australian fires although that coverage has been more as of late. Anyone who follows news at all would be aware of this, Americans or otherwise.


>4. Somebody will build a 3nm fab, but it won't be a mainstream technology due to cost.

We will find out soon enough. That is 2024. And I am betting it will be very much mainstream.


I agree with all but 4, 7, and 9. I expect at least another moon landing by someone and I do think Starship will fly, though maybe only to LEO or translunar flyby by 2030. 3nm will be successful but may be the last conventional node. India etc. will get hotter but they will build nuclear reactors and air conditioners, though the poor will suffer more. Overall the poor and failed states will suffer the most from climate change.


I think you're already wrong about battery tech.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2228681-a-new-battery-c...

I think we will see much more crazy developments in that area.


>no manned activity beyond low earth orbit

We may actually see humans on the Moon in the next decade.


> 9. [...] Fires in Australasia become a huge problem. [...]

Well, Australia maybe. I think it's unlikely we'll see the same level of problem in New Zealand (or New Guinea or Pacific islands, which are sometimes counted as in Australasia).


Seems that any new fires in Australia couldn't be much of a problem, if they've cleared-out most-to-all of their flammable brushland this year :|


Which parts of India will become too hot?

I think flooding is going to be a bigger problem in the near term, especially since the state isn't really capable of dealing with heavy rain or floods.


Flooding and drought are both problems in India. Water table below the reach of submersible pumps is likely to become a huge issue as millions who depend on farming will lose their livelihoods (on top of the debt that many are already under).


In the spirit of the future is here just not evenly distributed:

1. Electric cars will go from niche for the rich to something for everyone.

2. Genetic testing will become even more commonplace and even more useful.

3. ipv6 will become dominant, but there may be holdouts.

4. Freezing your sperm / eggs / stem cells will become something everyone does.

5. Using a non-memory-safe language for servers will be seen as building SQL queries with string concatenation.

6. Self driving cars are currently only very narrowly available: I think it's like 1-3 cities with good climate (https://www.theverge.com/2019/12/9/21000085/waymo-fully-driv...) They will be more available than they are now, and it will have effects on the economy.

7. Containerization is adopted by companies that are a bit behind the curve.

8. Parallelism will keep becoming more important.

Other predictions, less certain:

1. Political polarization increases in the west.

2. There will be startups taking a crack at the real estate market. They will attack cost of construction by using robots and standardized components. They will attack land cost by artificially engineering the network effects that gives land value.

3. Use of force in the form of sanctions against countries that release too much CO2

4. A significant minority skewing intelligent leave facestagram and twitter for decentralized platforms, but the majority of users stay on centralized platforms.


>Use of force in the form of sanctions against countries that release too much CO2

Don't know about this one since the countries with the clout to impose sanctions are also by far the biggest CO2 emitters


Since when have the Powers That Be allowed trifles like hypocrisy or illogical hyperbole nullify plans for armed conflict and initiation of violence?


I'm really interested in what's considered "a bit behind the curve" as I'm pretty skeptical that slow monoliths like traditional banking, education, healthcare, and hard engineering (civil, electrical, mechanical, etc) spaces will move towards containerization ever.

If we're looking at laggards in the software delivery space around small to midsized, bootstrapped companies I would agree; but in general the spaces where serverless or containerization make sense are already doing it or are moving in that direction.

Unless you count IoT devises as a 'container' approach to hardware/firmware, then I guess some hard engineering spaces may adopt a version of it.

#2 in less certain predictions is just odd; but if it happens it would also lead to a destabilization of the housing market, essentially through attempts at price fixing on land value.

#4 in less certain predictions just seems like self-agrandizing drivel... "The smart people will leave major SNs, but most people are dumb; I'm not dumb because I am are predicting this." Reminds me of the old cartoon "I am Weasel."


'7. Containerization is adopted by companies that are a bit behind the curve.'

I think there will be plenty of legacy stacks to look after, but I wonder if 'Serverless' products won't just kill off containerisation by 2025.


> Genetic testing will become even more commonplace and even more useful.

Heh. There's a history of a pretty horrific genetic disease in my family, in fact it recently claimed a close family member. I'd dearly love to be tested for it myself but I just don't trust any of the genetic testing companies with the data.

Will have the explore getting it done through the NHS, but I'd like to test for a wide range of things as well as this specific condition and I'm not sure that's an option.


Have you looked into Nebula Genomics? I already bit the bullet and went with 23andme before I heard of it so I haven't done crazy amounts of research, but the guy running it is generally seen as high-minded by the biohacking community.


> Political polarization increases in the west

...But only because it's already about as polarized as you can get everywhere else


5. This is already true and was one of the motivations behind languages like Go and Rust.


It's really not. Just to give a simple example, nginx is written in C.


This is about predictions not personal dreams.


Even today Cost of construction is not a big factor in real estate price. Proximity to Central business district is one of the major components. Transport might have a impact.

Agree on colonial mindset on CO2 emissions.


but automated manufacturing techniques are not widely used except for mobile homes....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modular_building


1. Renewables are dominant source of energy. Every new house is energy positive. Wind and solar are primary for industrial sources.

2. ICE vehicles are quaint. New electric vehicles sold overtakes ICE vehicles sometime around 2027 - 2029.

3. Autonomous vehicles L4/L5 are still 'just around the corner'

4. Ubiquitous Gigabit wifi/cellular/sat data across most of the world.

5. Masses still don't care about privacy.

6. Not much change in top tech companies - FAANG still around and maintain their leadership in tech domains as of now for the most part.

7. Android has been replaced with Fuchsia with Fuchsia being able to run APKs built for android. Phone apps are mostly a combination of WASM apps with native UI. Most non-tech people are unaware as usual.

8. Atleast a couple of cities in the world come to the brink of disaster/or become unlivable due to climate change (most likely in India/China). At least one major war due to climate change.

9. Workloads are all massively parallelized; low end desktop cpu parts start with 32 cores.

10. WASM adoption skyrockets. In 2030, OS is almost immaterial since most of the core functionality is provided by WASM payloads; OS is only used to paint native UIs (for which there still isn't a good cross platform solution)

11. Deepfakes are ubiquitous; Audio/Video evidence is no longer accepted; A lot of companies pour money into creating verfiably unmodified video/audio - but it isn't solved yet.


> 2. ICE vehicles are quaint. New electric vehicles sold overtakes ICE vehicles sometime around 2027 - 2029.

There will be a long lag between majority of sales are electric and majority of cars on the road are electric. ICE will still be majority on the road by the end of 2029. For this reason, ICE will not be quaint.


> 7. Android has been replaced with Fuchsia with Fuchsia being able to run APKs built for android. Phone apps are mostly a combination of WASM apps with native UI. Most non-tech people are unaware as usual.

Can you expand on this? I know Google has Fuchsia as a backup plan but they're pretty hard to predict with "replacement" tech.

I'm mostly interested in your take on WASM though. I agree WASM probably goes heavy into the mainstream in 3-4 years and then becomes ubiquitous before 2030. But it also seems that Google and Apple would both want to prevent people from being able to escape their walled gardens on Android and iOS. Doesn't WASM disrupt that notion? Wouldn't they be more likely to use their power of monopoly to prevent this from happening on their platforms?


> 2. electric vehicles sold overtakes ICE vehicles sometime around 2027 - 2029. I think the tipping point is much earlier. Fast chargers station are becoming normal in the UK. I think the tipping point is 2025.

Alas I have not found a share/bet/option were I can back this tipping point and put my money where my mouth is.


Agree on electric vehicles and gigabit everywhere.

Bigger impact of this would be on Arab countries, China and India.


> 2. ICE vehicles are quaint. New electric vehicles sold overtakes ICE vehicles sometime around 2027 - 2029.

Maybe USA and Europe. South America definitely not.


Politically:

* Rise of the EU as global superpower with European army taking over all functions of NATO except strategic defense (nuclear/space). All European countries except ex-USSR and England but including Scotland are members of EU.

* Rise of Africa as a big consumer market. Green belt finished, major improvements in agriculture and infrastructure help to combat famine. Ethiopia replaces South Africa as economic leader on the continent.

* Green wave in India: environmental topics in the spotlight of political life, but no significant change yet. Pollution will continue killing millions every year.

* Political stagnation in USA, green new deal won’t happen, but coastal states will drive the progress.

* Environmental standards are mentioned in all trade deals, but not yet enforced with sanctions.

Technology:

* Digital is no longer the field where most of the interesting things will happen. No quantum computing on mass-market, heavy regulation of the Internet everywhere with prohibitive costs for new startups.

* Proteins from plants, bacteria and insects will see same growth as solar and wind in 2010s. Agriculture and diets is the new IT.

* Solar and wind are big but not dominant, hidden costs become visible. There will be no nuclear renaissance. No breakthrough in fusion. Energy becomes hard again, focus shifts from generation and storage to transmission.

* Self-driving cars won’t be on the roads yet, but there will be almost no cars in European and Chinese cities. AI will run public transportation grid.

* Significant progress in recycling and cleaning the oceans from plastic. Europe, USA and China will remove more plastic from water than put there.

* Steady progress in space technology but no sci-fi level achievements. SpaceX will see some competition in reusable rockets. People will return to the Moon.


> * Digital is no longer the field where most of the interesting things will happen. No quantum computing on mass-market, heavy regulation of the Internet everywhere with prohibitive costs for new startups.

Every country seems to be trying out kill-switch for the internet.


1. The EU needs at-least a decade to finish transforming form an economic block that explicitly wasn't supposed to have the power it does into a true federal system. Lots of cracks are starting to show like Belgium suspending the Spanish arrest warrant for Catalonia separatists elected to parliament. No one except France and Germany, who both make weapons, wants to spend the money on an EU army. I actually predict the EU will loose at-least one current member nation, after the UK, but may finish the decade with more than it starts with.

2. 10 years it too short of a timeframe. Africa will largely be in the same place overall with several select countries clawing their way out of poverty.

3. Unlikely basic sanitation is too lacking for something much more abstract to take the focus yet maybe at the end of the decade if they make major progress on other issue we might see the start of a focus on it.

4. I could see this

5. In the vaguest of terms.

6. I agree between California's new laws and rhetoric of the Democratic candidates leads me to believe they will be pushing very hard for more and more regulation.

7. I can see a spike and a very slow tail growth but nothing close to a quick transition.

8. California has already been forced to pay other states to take their power on sunny/windy days we are already starting to see the issues with them.

9. Europe yes the've been on this trend for a while now but China no way it too much of a status symbol right now.

10. Agree

11. Agree


>Significant progress in recycling and cleaning the oceans from plastic.

Bold. Hope that materialises


Nigeria perhaps rather than Ethiopia? And I hope someone makes it to Mars.


Nigeria is Africa’s India, the land of unfulfilled hopes. There’s no enough political momentum to boost the economy.


Why do you think there will be "almost no cars in European and Chinese cities"?

They're both entirely different cultures and markets.


Because car-free city is the future and of 3 technology leaders only USA will fail to develop sufficiently good public transport in the next decade. It is the only culture so deeply attached to cars and individual houses that it will be always behind others in urbanization.


It may well be, but do you realistically believe this will happen in 10-years and be wild spread across Europe?

Many people in Europe depend in cars to commute.

I was surprised by your previous comment as I frankly would never see it happening.

Having said that, I did read just yesterday about Barcelona planning something similar, with a pilot in one part of the city. All cars are forbidden and artefacts are put on the street to encourage play for kids etc. Even there, members of the local community are against it ...


I run a bike and scooter sharing company in Europe. We see that plans like this are in the making in most big european cities. Regulation on air quality is a huge driver, as officials may be personally held responsible if nothing is done.

The example you mention in Barcelona is called the SuperBlock. The first one was Poblenou. Although it's true it was first met with fierce opposition, it is now a massive success, and local communities are not against it at all:

Here is a relevant quote for the guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/sep/10/barcelonas-ca...

When the first superblock was introduced in 2017 in Poblenou, in the north of the city, it was met with opposition by car owners and also those who claimed it would be ruinous to local business.

However, opposition has faded as residents have begun to enjoy the benefits of a traffic-free neighbourhood. There are also 30% more local businesses than previously and the area has seen a significant increase in the numbers of people making journeys on foot or cycling.


It’s already happening everywhere in Europe. In Berlin where I live district authorities are already experimenting with car-free zones and I can hardly remember a situation where personal or rented car would be necessary. The main reason for it is the air pollution, which will continue to drive this change until early 2030s, when the share of electric cars will be big enough.


I wish I could put my finger on it, but there is a huge disconnect between economic reality and the current financial situation across most of the world. It seems to me, perhaps simplistically, that every central bank is simply issuing money to generate growth and this can't be sustainable. Our biggest industry would appear to be buying, renting and selling assets to each other.

My apartment overlooks a city of 1 million people in the UK - I estimate generously that 50,000 of them are economically productive in the sense of producing something of value that can be 'exported' from this city. The other 950,000 must live off that value - it doesn't make sense. All factories are flattened to make way for apartments. Any industrial development is of distribution centres for breaking down pallets of imported tat.

I don't know what this will lead to - perhaps it's the collapse of the Euro, the rise of some stable currency that isn't playing this game, or an opportunity for a new currency (crypto or something that we don't have yet).

Just as the LIBOR scandal revealed that commercial banks were just making up numbers, so I believe that central banks are doing the same with each other and trust will need to be removed from the system.


I’d be interested to know what city you’re talking about. Are you limiting ‘something of value’ to manufacturing? A great deal of the UK economy is service based. I’d be amazed if only 5% of the city’s population were producing goods or services used by those outside the city.


I think the only city around that population in the UK is Birmingham. It is notoriously a pretty rubbish place.


Ha! I’m sure many a proud Brummie would disagree. Glasgow also has roughly 1m.


I live in Glasgow - isn't it closer to 600k?


The area belonging to Glasgow city council is 600k, the Glasgow urban area, also known as Greater Glasgow[0], which I live in, is 1.2m.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Glasgow


>I estimate generously that 50,000 of them are economically productive in the sense of producing something of value that can be 'exported' from this city.

I'm confused, are you saying that services don't have value? It feels like an artificial distinction to me, for example watching a movie at a theater vs buying/renting a movie both provide me similar value. Also, in a world of increasing automation and globalization # of people is perhaps not a great metric.

I'm not really sure if the economy is in as good of shape as it seems. At least here in the USA we're hitting an unprecedented period of economic growth; the Keynesian in me believes that policy has prevented at least one recession in the 2010s and led to real growth in the economy, but it's very possible we're just in for a bigger fall in the 2020s because of it.


It's 2030. Hacker news is still in thrall to rentiers.


I reckon the percentage of people contributing to true economic production is probably higher than any point in history. Think about how much of human history is subsistence and survival.


You're ignoring domestic demand. When you buy something at the supermarket the biggest chunk of money goes to the local workers meanwhile farmers only get the wholesale price.


there's probably another layer of disconnect about the actual health of finance corporations.


- Wave of antitrust legislation takes hold and some large tech companies are broken up or forced to sell, making their owners even richer.

- traditional higher ed becomes increasingly irrelevant. A degree is still prized, especially as a way out of blue collar work, but it will be even more disconnected from one’s actual job.

- The higher ed space sees interesting new experiments with new models of tenure, teaching and delivery.

- Amazon figures out how to make online shopping suck significantly less

- samples collected from the mars 2020 mission will be definitively negative for ancient life forms

- whole brain emulation is achieved with an insect brain

- politicians on both sides use disruptions from tech and climate change to push ever more extreme positions, and run on platforms that promise easy solutions. Whether or not such disruptions are actually disruptive, the increasingly hyperbolic media will help make it sound that way as it scrambles for relevance in a hyper competitive space.

- China starts a eugenics breeding program with modified germ lines to create smarter citizens.

- GI problems continue to plague developed nations

- daily life will seem to be more complicated than ever

- the long peace continues for another decade

- we look back fondly on this post in 10 years and at what a simpler time 2020 was


I think the China eugenics prediction is possible. If one major country does it others will follow, and of course the rich will want this to no matter where they are.


1. I believe people will get tired of the daily Twitter war over politics and social issues. I don't think we will solve many or any of these issues, but just the temperature will lower a little bit. Can't wait to laugh ruefully at this one in 10 years.

2. Displaced people, possibly due to climate, will be a major problem and we will be judged by future generations on our response.

3. We are approaching a period where we will start creating new institutions rather than reforming old ones, similar to the wave of land grant colleges or the "alphabet soup" of the Great Depression in the US.

4. I think self-driving cars will be dependent on new infrastructure, and primarily used for freight/mass transportation if they become widely adopted. China, Japan, Korea, and the EU will be leaders on this. I don't believe my car will drive itself down the dirt road to the cabin I visited last summer.

5. I am not convinced the software development profession will go away or fundamentally change (though surface level changes will be endless). Problem solving with code is still going to be a path to a middle class lifestyle.

6. Blockchain/crypto will be a niche thing, but will be interesting in that niche.

I wish all of you good health and happiness over the coming decade! There really is a chance to make it a good one.


> Displaced people, [...] will be a major problem and we will be judged by future generations on our response.

Same could be said of the 10s.


Very true.


1. LEO satellites will provide Internet access worldwide. About 90% of the world's population will be online by 2030.

2. Drastic climate engineering will become a mainstream research area and popular controversial talking point.

3. Many more people will get blood tests regularly, for early disease detection and fitness monitoring. Both a Theranos-like fingerprick device and a tampon-based screening company will IPO.

4. AI will be a crucial component in discovering multiple clinical trial-stage drugs.

5. A fully AI musician will go on tour, perhaps with its own lyrics and deepfaked vocals. It will be particularly good at improvisation.

6. To combat deepfakes, public ledger-based verification of photos and videos will become common but not ubiquitous. May or may not be on blockchain.

7. Cryptocurrency-based financial instruments will become a minor part of the global financial system, widely accepted and taken seriously by traditional investors.

8. Metal 3D-printers will start to seriously compete with CNC machining and expendable casting, they will be relatively common in machine shops and factories. Consumer 3D-printing will remain a niche hobby.

9. Flying cars won't really take off.


> 6. To combat deepfakes, public ledger-based verification of photos and videos will become common but not ubiquitous. May or may not be on blockchain.

Even if you somehow managed to implement this all the way to the camera level, all this does is add more trust to already-reputable journalists. Deep-fakes may become good enough to trick even those journalists, but fact-checking will still eliminate most accidental false reporting for this purpose.

Fake news funded by various shady entities already does and will continue to misinform the public wherever it is profitable for them to do so. No doubt they will latch on to deep-fakes at every opportunity for the outrage clicks.

The movement to regulate tech may solve this, but it has little momentum. It's a common talking point for democratic candidates currently but only because it's becoming popular among their younger base. "Big-idea" solutions such as breaking up Facebook, regulating political online advertising similarly to TV, etc. may become popular, and even implemented. But I doubt they will actually work properly due to compromises and insane levels of nuance surrounding the technical implementations of these regulations.

Maybe "fake news" gets addressed in 2040, but I believe it will get much worse before it gets better.


If the fully AI musician is actually originally programmed as an Emergency Medical Hologram I agree.


thats a good band name


I hope he sings more than just opera.


AI languishes and self-driving cars remain highway-only, but self-checkout stations and simple cleaning/stocking bots become more common.

Oil companies begin rebranding as energy companies and pour assets into solar and wind. Climate change continues to worsen, with deniers still prevalent.

Craigslist gets bought by Facebook. Google tries to get into online shopping, fails.

Desktops still on x64. Phones still on ARM, with a few alternatives here and there.

Programming language design is stagnant with type theory dead-ending with too much complexity. Most new languages/features designed around convenience. Someone reinvents Make. Someone reinvents C++. A new VM becomes popular, potentially backed by LLVM project. Software continues to get slower, but "high performance computing" takes off as a hiring fad.

Marriage rates drop and people realize the damage Tindr is causing. Popular new sites are created with the intent to "fix" dating.

Environmental factor of IBS discovered.

A professional athlete will die while playing, leading to news about how sports need to be safer.

China has money troubles but powers through a long recession. China attempts to "fix" taiwan. Chinese people become even more nationalistic.


> Marriage rates drop and people realize the damage Tindr is causing. Popular new sites are created with the intent to "fix" dating.

This has already been going on for a few years. Both Bumble and Hinge make claims to "fix" online dating to be less toxic and result in fewer false positives. Bumble uses the "girls-talk-first" model and Hinge uses the "designed-to-be-deleted" model. I agree though, there's a lot more to be done here.

Also, as someone in my early 30s with zero desire to get married, it does kind of tick me off when people suggest it's "causing damage" for others when you don't get married early/at all due to dying cultural norms. But that's a separate conversation.


> Oil companies begin rebranding as energy companies and pour assets into solar and wind.

This is already the case. All the oil majors are now "energy companies".


> A professional athlete will die while playing, leading to news about how sports need to be safer.

This has happened many times during professional bike races. It leads to exactly what you say, people insisting that it get safer, but doing nothing about it.


> Programming language design is stagnant with type theory dead-ending with too much complexity

Interesting. Maybe this will be the case for languages with bad legacy like C++, but the whole design of new type systems? What sources this prediction is based on?


What sources this prediction is based on?

Arguably the present. There are hardly any innovations in mainstream PL design, the last one was probably linear typing in Rust. The most successful recent languages are all pretty conservative, in the case of Go extremely so.


> Desktops still on x64.

Perhaps in the same way that the Apple II is still on the 6502


- AI based systems will start to replace humans in the more mechanical parts of the legal system. Judging traffic court cases could be one example.

- One country will invade another country using computer/information attacks as the deciding strike, perhaps Russia invading one of the Eastern Bloc countries. People's mobile phones will simply tell them that there is some kind of natural disaster happening and that they should go home and seek shelter, while the invading country's forces quickly seize all key infrastructure. This will be a wakeup call to the world that if you can control the screens, you can control society.

- No real political progress will be made on solving/mitigating climate change. The worlds political systems will simply not be equipped to make the necessary decisions to reduce carbon emissions by enough to matter. People will become numb to the unfolding disaster and as such it won't lead to clicks/pageviews, so the media will stop covering it. The major disasters (large fires, storms, etc) that happen will receive coverage but be quickly forgotten, much like mass shootings today.

- New York and California will diminish in influence & power in the US. Wealthy people moving to other states will cause a fiscal death spiral as the state governments have to raise taxes to fund widening deficits. Austin will be regarded as a tier 1 city. Other inland states like Colorado & Arizona will also gain population and power.

- Another major hurricane will hit the northeastern US, it will be far worse than Hurricane Sandy.

- Steady improvements will be made in technological mitigations to climate change like carbon capture, and more efficient manufacturing and farming processes. It won't be enough to solve the problem but will provide some hope to eventually stop making the problem worse in the 2030s.

- Extremist political factions on the left and right in the US will continue to gain influence and power.

- Either SpaceX or Blue Origin will conduct a private, manned mission to the moon.


Its taken 10 years (and counting) just to get drivers to be replaced by AI - I would guess it will take at least twice as long for things like judges to be replaced by AI


>be quickly forgotten, much like mass shootings today

Mass shootings have historically been responsible for deaths totalling in the teens per year, or less. Today, with increaded gun control, death totals from mass shootings are their highest ever at hundreds per year. Still, I hope it is possible for you to understand just how tiny this number is compared to those killed by the War on Drugs, the opioid crisis, by suicide, by preventable accidents, by smoking, etc. Inner city gang and Black on Black crime kills over an order of magnitude more people by shooting. Your idea that mass shootings are somehow underreprensented in our conciousness completely insane.


I got goosebumps reading the second one, because it's so close to what could actually happen. I live in a small eastern European country in a frozen conflict with Russia. Both cell carriers in my country have a way to send messages to its users en masse, which is at the moment used to spam people with ads and political messages (given that the commissioner pays enough per message).

Russian hackers hijacking both cell companies to send a string of messages to citizens seems like a very plausible scenario. Our software companies are notorious for their terrible security measures (which are often nonexistent). Just a few months ago, a few major hosting companies were hacked by possibly Ukranian or Russian actors to have every site hosted on them be replaced with a single image of our past megalomaniacal president holing our flag with subtitles saying "I'll be back". It could have just been a test run to see how we'd handle it or respond to it. I had access to one of the websites and skimmed through its directories. The directory which contained static content for serving had multiple child directories following a naming pattern: `name`, `name_`, `name__` ... I think the virus would recursively add an underscore to the directory it was creating if a directory with the same name already existed. Seems like the attacks happened multiple times and were automated, so it probably didn't require great effort from the attacker. Maybe the multiple names were due to different ways of attacking and it's saddening to see that 3+ different ways to hack our hosting services worked.

Russia has been slowly creeping the border towards our capital city. If Russia wanted, it could easily just annex the entire country and nobody outside would give a damn. We'd just have to comply because we're in a total mess. EU would wag their fingers and "condemn" what Russia did and that would be the end of it. I think Russia has bigger plans. Just taking us over has less value compared to the alternative: to test out its cyber-attacking power on a small challenge such as our country before moving onto bigger targets, such as Ukraine.

Where do you suggest I move? Finland and Canada are looking great, their immigration policies seem lax :-)


> - AI based systems will start to replace humans in the more mechanical parts of the legal system. Judging traffic court cases could be one example.

If AI based sentencing recommendations counts, we're already here--- though it looks fairly dystopian so far.

> - One country will invade another country using computer/information attacks as the deciding strike,

Reportedly during Desert Storm, US forces used a combination of human assets, computer system/network attacks, and physical attacks to disable air defenses.


>- AI based systems will start to replace humans in the more mechanical parts of the legal system. Judging traffic court cases could be one example.

This won't happen not because it can't be done. But it won't happen because someone wants to keep his job. Sort of like how the F-35 was created just to keep some jobs.


Yeah. AI will continue to develop at a predictable pace, but hysteria surrounding AI will increase to hinder it. Emotional arguments like "the founding fathers would never approve of non-human judges" will be co-opted by politicians who need those votes. I can see anti-AI movements becoming very large by 2029.

Maybe in the 30's automation becomes disruptive enough to the existing system that something akin to a revolution occurs on a global scale by the 40's.


> This will be a wakeup call to the world that if you can control the screens, you can control society.

Have you realised it just now? It has been like that for a decade.


Here's to looking silly in 2030:

- very few desktop applications will exist, they will have moved to web assembly powered browser applications

- way more people will work from home and most "work" software will attempt to support this through real-time collaboration powered by CRDT/MRDTs.

- the dat:// protocol, ipfs, and other attempts at creating a decentralized internet will not take off, but the concepts will have a resurgence in the later decade (or possibly in the 2040s) due to interplanetary or otherwise far-distance space internet.

- way more folks will support nuclear as climate change forces the issue

- quantum computers won't fundamentally change the way normal people think about encryption, but instead some sites/apps will be considered "insecure" in the same way not using https is today.

- private car ownership will be on it's last legs, ride shares via self-driving cars plus revamped public transit will be the way the majority of folks get around. New developments will be built as "car free" without garages and with restricted car usage like many city centers.

- people will eat significantly less meat

- deno + Typescript wins

- Typescript (or a TS variant) will be compiled directly to WASM on the browser

- way more people order food rather than cook for themselves

- Many subscription consumer apps will die as many more folks enter into the field, driving up cost-of-acquisition

- Stripe becomes one of the most valuable companies in the world


I think car ownership might change to subscription service model vs. outright buying a car, but still mostly private vehicle "ownership" in 2030 outside of dense urban areas.

Maybe the avg. car ownership per household will drop dramatically, from ~2 to 1 or less, with the rise of ridesharing/public transit.


> might change to subscription service model vs. outright buying a car

This is what I mean. Car ownership will be a hold-over from folks who still own a car from a long while ago.

Most people will just subscribe to a subscription rideshare service.


I'm skeptical about this. This past year we've seen two major car sharing services take a huge hit. ReachNow was suddenly shut down and Car2Go pulled out of the US. If you end up being right, the car sharing companies will have to go back to the drawing board to create a new business model.


> the car sharing companies will have to go back to the drawing board to create a new business model.

I'll bet on this. Either self-driving cars dramatically lowers the cost of operations. Or startups like Nomad Rides change the business model entirely. Micro-mobility via scooters / bikes might also be a valid reason here.

But the consumer desire for ride-share is there and it's unlikely to go anywhere.


> Micro-mobility via scooters / bikes might also be a valid reason here.

I think this is the winner for dense cities with mild winters.

During rush hour in many cities you're about as fast walking as you are driving. People barely walk though and cycling requires physical effort which makes it inconvenient enough for many people to prefer cars. Scooters fix these problems and get you there really fast, except they suck in winter, except again in a few years winters may not be that bad anymore. The only (practical, non-luxury) reason you might want a car then is transporting a lot of stuff. For those few situations, carsharing might be an acceptable solution.


It's not far from that now, at least in the UK I think 80% of people get their cars on some kind of personal contract plan.


> very few desktop applications will exist

Probably true for Windows and Mac. Meanwhile, Linux and BSD people will still be arguing GTK vs. Qt.


> Meanwhile, Linux and BSD people will still be arguing GTK vs. Qt.

100%. I doubt *nix apps will change much. But you DAWs, photoshops, and microsoft words will no longer exist on the desktop.


Re: DAWs .... rendering a physically modelled synthetic orchestra, let's say, 50 players, would probably tax even my current Threadripper system. It has a cooling system the size of ... let's be polite and say two very large coffee mugs.

Remind me again how you're going to do this on something other than "the desktop"?

Oh, and don't think about offloading it to the cloud. It's going to be on the order of 100GB of data when finished.

Oh, and did I mention that in 2020, I'm going to be conducting this thing in realtime (or some ML-based agent will be) ...


My guess is either one of two scenarios, possibly both:

1. WASM develops into a security model that's much closer to native hardware, more like a container that's shipped with a browser. It's probably more accurate to say that your desktop might still be important in this model, but from a user perspective, the app will "live" inside your browser.

2. Apps become more like consoles that stream the output of what you're running rather than the entirety of your data. The computing will happen on cloud-compute, but you could interact with the final product in your browser. Similar to Stadia.


> very few desktop applications will exist, they will have moved to web assembly powered browser applications

Oh, I hope you're wrong about this one. That would render computers largely worthless to me due to a lack of software.


He's off on this one. There's still stuff life video editors or video games or 3D apps that will always make more sense to run locally.

Just the trivial apps will be moving to the cloud.


> That would render computers largely worthless to me due to a lack of software.

Curious, why?


Because PWAs are not acceptable for my use. They involve far too much risk and exposure, and they almost always provide an inferior experience.


What, no 'true AI' (yet)?


Assuming you mean GAI, I think very convincing, powerful AI already exists inside organizations with the resources to build it (google/microsoft), and they're trying to figure out how to commercialize it without doing anything risky. Models have already been publicly demonstrated which can leave some with eerie impressions until you understand how it works, and even if you do, the results are continuing to gain complexity and intricacy.


If Google, Microsoft, Amazon or Apple have GAI, how do you explain the fact that Siri, Cortana, Google assistant and Alexa are all so very, very, very far from that?


* Moore's law stays dead. Having a lightweight laptop that does nothing more than provide a portal to more powerful machines enters the consumer field (Stadia already exists, but other uses will appear). Probably offered by an existing cloud provider first.

* Recession happens this decade.

* Someone becomes the US democratic nominee with a UBI platform.

* The US gets single payer healthcare.

* Zoning laws become an even hotter political issue. We don't solve them.

* Netflix produces VR content.

* Humans will not land on Mars.

* Disney joins FAANG.

* We don't fix copyright and we don't have any exciting antitrust wins.

* Mesh networks become more popular.

* The internet becomes less open source.

* The US becomes more politically polarized. There will be hate crimes against democrats / republicans just for their political affiliation.


> Recession happens this decade.

After any other decade, nobody would bother to say that, because of course there would be a recession (if not more) in the next decade. It is amazing that the 2010s didn't have one. But, as you say, amazing usually doesn't continue forever...


I think that this type of behavior is actually delaying the next recession. When you are aware that something bad will happen in the future you will be more careful and try your best to avoid it.


I do wonder if the more we try and delay it the worse it will be when it does inevitably arrive. We might be in for a big one.


Why do you seem to think that bull markets have to have an expiration date? It seems entirely plausible that with the right "management" (think the right people at the Fed and being the President) the bull market can continue forever with only minor corrections (on the order of the end-of-2018 correction).


Every bull run there are people saying this time it will last (forever). Most notable (for me) was the 2000 one where I had friends putting millions of euros in stocks even as it was unraveling fast because "this is a glitch, it cannot die". And then it all falls down. I know plenty of people who, 20 years later, never recovered from that 'optimism'. Same before 2008, but made less of an impact in my circles as people did learn from 2000. Maybe theoretically it can, but practically it won't. And I don't think decade; I think it will be this year.


I don't know enough to speak intelligently about this, but my gut says that people predicting a recession simply because we are 'do' is short-sighted.

I wonder if High-Frequency/Algol trading has anything to do with our current bull run. Maybe removing some of the human response from the equation has stabilized the market to some extent.

That being said, I'd be VERY surprised if a recession does not occur within the next few years.


What are you trying to say? That people that had "millions" went homeless? The stocks recovered in less than two years. If they didn't sell in panic they still had millions after a brief period.


Homeless you don't get in the Netherlands, but yeah, I know people who put all their money (2-3 million at least 2 of them) in WorldOnline[0] and lost it. Having to start all over at an age when they would normally almost retire. You won't end up on the streets in NL anyway, but mentally they were never the same because of that. Greed + weird optimism and then panic selling. But billions were lost in this fraud company and the signs were clear; people just thought it would go on forever and that's what everyone said in the bar. Hence the dumb buying.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Online

Edit: you say 2 years... But people bought this one as well by the millions in those days; https://www.google.com/search?q=kpn+koers&oq=kpn+koers&aqs=c...

That never recovered. While 'everyone' agreed that could never happen as this time there was no roof. And for a brief moment almost everyone believed that.

As a less localized thing; in the tech community, stocks of for instance Borland/Inprise were talked about in the same way. I don't think (but cannot find info fast) they ever recovered.


Astronomical valuations, and aggressive stock buy-backs makes this largely artificial. So when it comes, it really comes.


Recessions happen roughly once a decade so it’s a pretty safe prediction.


I thought it was considerably shorter - once every four or five years.


Me too, hence I kept most of my money in a savings account during the last six years


"Having a lightweight laptop that does nothing more than provide a portal to more powerful machines enters the consumer field"

Ah, the return of the X Terminal, dinosaur of the 1980s and early-mid 1990s. If that, because it barely even lived.


Sounds like a Chromebook. However there is Linux App support now inside of a container... So you could run VSCode, Node and Yarn on a Chromebook now or install GIMP.


You can already run those in a chroot environment, but most Chromebooks are too underpowered for them to work well under any real load.


> Disney joins FAANG

What do you mean by that? FAANG was an acronym from Wall Street to refer to new big tech companies. It’s not a formal group.



> Moore's law stays dead

It is not dead yet. Maybe you meant Dennard Scaling?

> Having a lightweight laptop that does nothing more than provide a portal to more powerful machines enters the consumer field

Chromebooks already exist for a while.


> Having a lightweight laptop that does nothing more than provide a portal to more powerful machines

You just described a Chromebook or iPad


What does Disney joining FAANG mean? It's acquired?


I would interpret that to mean disney starts being considered a peer of the FAANG companies by investors and job applicants. i.e. FAANG becomes FAANGD


While we still can decide on that let's call it FADANG instead?


If only there was a big name L. GANDALF


Lyft?


Licrosoft?


World War 3 starts.

Personal data stored in banks/ISPs/FB/Google etc are taken at gun point and used for population scale psychological warfare.

Kissinger(World Order)/Niall Ferguson(Square and the Tower)/Graham Allison(Thucydides Trap)/Moises Naim(End of Power) say networks of power are more and more unstable similar to 1914.

To maintain stability they(irrespective of ideology) keep pandering to their fan clubs and therefore get more and more inflexible.

Small triggers turn into national and then international conflict between major powers.

Kissenger's reasons - 1 The international economic system has become global the political structure of the world has remained based on the nation-state. 2. Acquiescing in the proliferation of nuclear weapons far beyond the Cold War club, so multiplying the possibilities of nuclear confrontation. 3. The new realm of cyberspace, in which asymmetry and a kind of congenital world disorder are built into relations between powers

The last time it took 30 years 1914-1945, after about 100 years of peace between the world powers, for everyone to take a breath and reboot to happen.

This time around the reboot should be much quicker. The nukes will get dropped faster, because thanks to tech all the major powers can do serious damage to each other very fast as soon as things escalate beyond control.


WWII gets all the press, but a WWI scenario seems much more likely and tragic.

WWII had an active aggressor.

WWI was just a chain reaction of alliances acting out their obligations. I had a nightmare about trench warfare and the futility of it all just the other day.


This, totally this.

A weird situation though is that socially we're closer to the 1920's-30's, whereas geopolitically it's much more like the 1900's-10's. Weird how history repeats itself, never quite the same, and I won't fall for numerology, and yet. Here we are.


Here's some

1. Civil war in China

2. A new, significant non iOS/Android OS in mobile

3. Uber/Lyft will gradually shift to a unionized, national taxi company

4. Nothing significant will be done about Climate Change, and it won't matter. Some new environmental issue will be talked about instead.

5. A third political party will become significant in the US

6. There will be a major Christian missionary movement from the global south to Europe

7. VR gaming won't be much of a thing (ie like 3d movies)

8. Tesla will go out of business

9. Commonplace purchases will increasingly be made with point-of-sale loans and/or monthly leases. This will increase economic disparity (rich people will buy stuff / get better rates, poor people will rent things / can never get ahead)

10. Software development will still be a relatively specialized, niche field, with most people not knowing much about it. It won't be more "diverse"

11. Health insurance, higher education, housing and tax preparation will all still be crazy complex and expensive in the US

12. You'll finally be able to pump your own gas in New Jersey

13. Most churches will lose their tax exempt status

14. Texas will have more people than California


>9. Commonplace purchases will increasingly be made with point-of-sale loans and/or monthly leases. This will increase economic disparity (rich people will buy stuff / get better rates, poor people will rent things / can never get ahead)

Oh man. I didn't even think about it, but I think you hit the nail on the head with this one. Between more and more online retailers offering "Affirm" monthly payments for everyday items and true ownership of goods being less common with subscription services, your rediction is a natural and scary evolution for everyday purchases.


I seen an ad in my feed on Facebook where you could finance a toothbrush. Like the company was offering their own loan. However I think putting a toothbrush on a credit card you already use and pay off would be normal since more people are cashless, but a separate loan just for a toothbrush sounded insane to me. But maybe that's the future...


One more:

1. The advent of an artificial womb will toss a wrench in the abortion debate


That'll be so interesting to see. It'll certainly put even more pressure on anti-abortionists to be honest about whether they care about the well-being of humans or whether they care about controlling women...


They'll just insist that the woman pay for the incredibly expensive artificial womb. It's a potentially amazing liberation technology, but only if the health economics are sorted out.


I like this idea. Here’s hoping you’re right!


> 12. You'll finally be able to pump your own gas in New Jersey

Some people will, but most will own super-charge electric, service stations will pivot into being food-first. Avocado and toast will be available on the freeways along R66.

Interesting prediction about Tesla and one that I share because I think we will see leaps in progress by most traditional automotive companies as they finally catch up. Tesla could then be acquired, after changing the automotive landscape for good. Mission accomplished.


6. What led you to this belief?

7. I thought the same until I tried the latest gen htc vive pro. Now I predict that half life will be the breakthrough game that makes 2020 the year vr becomes the mainstream, even de facto, platform.


7. Please, PLEASE, PLEEEEAAAAASE be right.

We early millenials (1982-84) were promised both utopia and dystopia and I've yet to see the flying cars so I'll settle for good enough VR.


>>Civil war in China

It takes a lot of hunger to create a civil war. Just saying.


Any rationale for 8 ?


Plausible scenario, with VW, Toyota and Honda taking their head out of ass and go full hog on Electric.


VW already seem to be betting the company on electric, they have been investing vast amounts of money in it.


I think there's a lot of hype around Tesla and that it's not a particularly well run company. Eventually the hype dissipates and fundamental issues show themselves.

I kinda think any other car company could make the cars Tesla does more efficiently.

But then again who knows :).


But if they could, why don't they, then?

I mean, would you willingly put a subpar product to market if you could do better?

I'm all for laziness, ignorance and greed explaining the decision-making of most people and companies (that much isn't even up for debate IMHO, and I include myself very much on average), but when presented with a choice I don't think most people avoid better decisions. In psychological studies, we always seem to try to reach the best outcome based on information available at the time — it's not even 'serious', it's because the human brain like to play, and consequently win, whatever the game / stakes. Like avoiding lava when walking on tiles in the street.


Things I believe will stay the same:

* Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple will have roughly the same dominant positions.

* Bitcoin will play roughly the same role it plays today (store of value, more like gold than money, similar mkt cap) * Machine learning continues to grow in usage and capability, but there will be no "revolution" in AI.

* Nobody on Mars

* No serious alternatives to advertisements will emerge for industries where ads have traditionally driven profits.

* Climate change is not adequately addressed, but by the end of the decade it is widely recognized as an existential threat (not just amongst wealthy people as is the case today).

* Vim + tmux + make is still the best "IDE" ;)

Things I believe will change:

* There will a tech company worth >$100B delivering new, completely bogus healthcare through a smartphone.

* Huge advances in astronomy, physical chemistry, biotech, and computational physics driven by better data processing software. No big advances in any theoretical field.

* Tech illiteracy of young people becomes an economic problem, with political debates and movements centered around fixing the "tech education gap" between people born after 2000 and everyone else.

* Cryptocurrency goes mainstream in super boring ways. Banks probably use it for transfers and various apps use it for payments, especially in China.


>* Vim + tmux + make is still the best "IDE" ;)

I don't like this misuse of the word IDE. The entire point of the word is in the I. Combining multiple independent tools is the opposite of an integrated development environment. It's just a regular development environment.


I think he's just mocking certain people who claim that setup to be the best 'IDE'.


> Tech illiteracy of young people

How do you mean? Do you mean as in they're all end-users rather than able to create things?


I don't have a concrete prediction, but I can see it being a problem that lots of young people use locked down phones rather than an open-ended device (which usually has a keyboard and mouse/touchpad).

Maybe in 10 years laptops will have transformed into tablets, with the same locked down app stores, and a keyboard and mouse will seem like an ancient relic. (I'm not sure if another input device will come along in 10 years, the way touch did with the iPhone).

That seems too negative though. I think there could just as likely be a big new platform that means more young people are creating software than ever.

Here's a concrete prediction: the tech stack may be stratified by age. That is, Gen X-ers will know C, C++, and Python; millenials will know JS, Python, and perhaps Rust; and millenial's children will be creative with something even higher up the stack.


People not able to type on a regular keyboard, because all they know is swiping.


Everyone types in school though.. and takes notes on laptops.. no?


I'm just relaying what my gf that teaches young people told me.

Some even told her that they'd prefer "typing" essays on a mobile phone, because their ability to use real keyboard is low. To me it's baffling, but I didn't grow up with a smartphone.


1. As a result of worsening urban/rural political divide, the inhabitants of cities will start to believe they have more in common with fellow urbanites from different nations than with ruralites from their own nation. Major cities will begin to engage in diplomacy with each other directly and, probing the limits of their sovereignty, engage in informal treaties and lightweight alliances (of an economic and social sort, rather than militarily). A small number of vocal denizens will begin to associate with an emergent trans-national urban cultural identity and distance themselves from the traditional cultural identity of their broader country.

2. The career of software development/programming will be soundly commoditized. In 2020 dollars, expected salaries across the industry in 2030 will be $40k for entry-level, $65k for mid-level, $90k for senior; pure tech companies will offer slightly more, say 30%. Programmers making $150k+, though far from unheard of, will be rare and have extremely specialized skillsets. No new career will have emerged as "the next software development" in the sense of providing the same kind of wide-ranging economic opportunity.

3. Partly as a result of #2, class mobility in the United States will stagnate, leading to increasing political unrest over wealth inequality. Absolute levels of wealth inequality will have worsened relative to 2020, with an even smaller percentage of the population controlling even more of the total wealth.

4. By 2030, no major government will have yet implemented anything other than token attempts at curbing greenhouse emissions. Civil unrest will begin to take on an ecological bent, both peaceful and violent, and by 2030 we will not be strangers to the phrase "domestic eco-terrorism".

Dear me from ten years from now: here's to hoping that some of this pessimism was unwarranted...

EDIT: Before my edit window closes for the decade, I'd like to think of at least something positive to predict... how about this: open source computing hardware will exist and be publicly available, although by no means ubiquitous or even common outside of techie circles. It will be relatively expensive and much lower in performance than even the commodity hardware of 2020, but its deliberately simpler design will make it easier to verify for correctness (in the has-the-NSA-compromised-this sense) and possible for small scale fabs to reasonably produce. Oh, one more thing: satellite internet will be readily available, and have horrible latency, but will otherwise be really cool.


I strongly disagree with #2, and here is why.

First, I remember this exact same argument during the post .com collapse circa 2001/2002: "Everything is getting offshored to India, and all good developer salaries with it!" Software developer salaries have only accelerated since that time.

Second, I think that in 2020 the following things will still be true about software that are true today, and are a major reason for such high salaries:

1. Software productivity will still be essentially un-measurable: https://martinfowler.com/bliki/CannotMeasureProductivity.htm....

2. Despite #1, there will still be an order of magnitude or more difference between the best and average programmers.

3. The "winner take all" nature of markets will only increase.

If #1, #2 and #3 remain true, it means that capital will still be willing to make large bets to try to be on the "winning horse" because the returns will be so outsized, which means many businesses will be willing to overpay for programmers because everyone wants the best programmers but it will still be difficult to know exactly who those "best" programmers are.


Number 1 is a pretty interesting prediction. The indicator are definitely there, but it would be a huge change to global culture and doesn't seem doable in 10 years.

Regarding 2, I have a couple of questions. First, what would cause the strong positive trend in Software salaries to sharply reverse in a period of a decade? That would be a dramatic collapse, I suspect unlike anything seen in an industry previous. Secondly, what happens in a companies like Google, FB, Netflix, and Hot Unicorns, where senior engineers are making in the region of $300-600K USD? Will Google grads all of a sudden be getting `($40k * 1.30)`?

Regarding 3, GINI Co-efficient is a pretty standard measure of inequality and it has been getting worse for decades in the USA. A number of other studies show Economic/Class mobility has also been getting worse for decades in the USA[1, 2, 3, 4]. So 3 is confused because it seems you think mobility has generally increase in recent decades.

On 4 I basically agree. By eco-terrorism do you mean sabotage of fossil-fuel infra? If so, I'd say Eco-Fascism and military protection of corporate fossil-fuel infra is more likely.

1. https://www.minneapolisfed.org/institute/working-papers/17-2... 2. http://jhr.uwpress.org/content/43/1/139.refs 3. https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/11/21/1905094116 4. https://www.nber.org/papers/w23733


> So 3 is confused because it seems you think mobility has generally increase in recent decades.

I couldn't find any worthwhile resource in ten seconds worth of searching (and I didn't remember the phrase "GINI coefficient"), so rather than risk having people accuse me of irrepressible fatalism I just wrote "stagnates" rather than suggesting any sort of more precipitous fall. :P

> By eco-terrorism do you mean sabotage of fossil-fuel infra?

Although sabotaging oil pipelines sure sounds both more effective and more plausible, I admit that in my mind I was more picturing roving teenage bicycle gangs riding around slashing car tires and breaking windshields (oh, and there was also that story today about criminal gangs in China extorting pig farmers via drones with swine-fever-laced payloads... it's easy to imagine that being repurposed to deliberately decimate industrial meat production).


> Number 1 is a pretty interesting prediction. The indicator are definitely there, but it would be a huge change to global culture and doesn't seem doable in 10 years.

When Ken Livingstone was mayor of London, he did a deal with Venezuela to get cheap fuel for buses in return for consulting:

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/oil-deal-means-half-price-bu...


Thanks for the example. That's interesting.


People who predict #2 ("sharp reversal of software developer salaries") are modeling software development jobs as an "inelastic" commodity.

Oil is the quintessential inelastic commodity, so I can break that one down as an analogy and that may make it easier to discuss whether it's appropriate to view "software development" as crude oil, or any similarly inelastic commodity.

A -- Everyone who currently consumes oil, needs oil, it's absolutely non-negotiable for their existence. (Is this true of software development?)

B -- When oil (gasoline/petrol) prices are high, people will complain loudly about it, but they will still pay whatever the asking price is. People almost never "figure out how to commute fewer miles" to save gas when oil prices are high. (A tiny bit maybe, but it's quite negligible).

C -- Oil is fungible. (This is admittedly not very true for software developers, which is why sub-specialties do get paid differently).

The A, B, C are true, then it follows that whenever there is even a VERY SLIGHT [actual] shortage of oil (0.5-1% less supply than demand at any price), then the price of oil has to rise very, very, very high to knock the 0.5%-1% of lowest-value use out of the bidding market. Maybe prices have to double just to get 1% lower use. Don't evaluate this statement for "software development", evaluate statements A, B, C, and D instead. If they are true, then this result necessarily follows.

D -- Most of the cost of supplying oil is in the form of capital expense, not marginal expense. The first barrel of oil from a well costs $200 million (SD: student loan/time) to get out. The second and all other barrels costs $20.00-70.00 to get out (SD: rent, food, gas, daycare).

E -- When oil prices are low, that does not induce additional demand. No one says "oh hey, gas prices are so low that I can move my home 30 miles farther from work later this month". (a tiny bit maybe for things like cheaper plane tickets, but I argue this is also fairly negligible against total market oil consumption)

F -- There is competition in the marketplace. No single buyer or seller can swing the price of the market. (Note: OPEC used to be able to double prices by adjusting their supply by a few percentage points - they would lose 2% of volume, but gain 50-100% in price. OPEC can no longer do this due to huge supply of american shale oil/fracking, so now OPEC can still double prices but it would require them to reduce volume MORE than 50% so they can't come out ahead on net revenue).

If D, E and F are true, then when there is an OVERSUPPLY of oil, the price drops to the highest marginal production price. There's always a desperate oil producer who spent $1 Billion drilling 5 wells and needs to pay to keep the lights on, debt payments going, etc. Now, instead of buyers bidding for oil barrels, each barrel is bidding for a buyer: "Please buy me, please buy me". The 0.5%-1% of oil barrels which CANNOT be priced lower than their competitors will not find a buyer - this can be a problem for companies/individuals who are desperately RELYING on this income (Venezuela needs it for all government spending, wildcatters/startups need it to keep the lights on, Chevron miiiight be a little more flexible)

Oil has a more efficient market than software development does, so the speed of change will be much faster. However, the effects should eventually be the same for any inelastic commodity.

I would personally argue that the supply of software engineering is fairly inelastic over 5-10 years. Even if every buyer was willing to pay $500,000 for a fresh graduate ML engineer, it wouldn't make more of them pop out of the woodwork THIS YEAR. It takes 5-10 years for the supply to adjust to the price.

If you believe that the demand for software engineering is also inelastic (If webdev engineers got paid $40,000/year, would a lot more companies actually be using them?) Then maybe the price won't fall as far as GP argues it will. However, if you think that everyone who WOULD hire software developers at bottom-barrel prices are just like the people who buy gasoline - while they complain loudly about high prices, but they are already paying whatever the asking price is -- then you believe that software engineering truly is inelastic.

In that case, salaries could fall to whatever salary makes 5-15% of the engineers leave the job market and go do something else.

However, that applies separately to each category of engineer. Whereas most barrels of oil are reasonably similar enough (location, composition) -- software engineers are not nearly as fungible for SOME uses. So instead of "one" market, there are multiple software engineer markets which may each have their own price forces. The highest-tier software engineers may see very little change in their price, while commodity engineers may feel lots of pain.


> it follows that whenever there is even a VERY SLIGHT [actual] shortage of oil (0.5-1% less supply than demand at any price), then the price of oil has to rise very, very, very high to knock the 0.5%-1% of lowest-value use out of the bidding market. Maybe prices have to double just to get 1% lower use.

The price elasticity of demand for crude oil is somewhere between 0.2 and 0.3, meaning a price increase of 1% reduces the quantity demanded by about 0.2% to 0.3%. To get 1% lower use, prices need to only go up by a few percent, certainly not "double".


Great correction. That still describes a "relatively inelastic commodity" (PED = 0 < x < 1) so I think it does make a decent example but readers may need to change the magnitude of some of the numbers. In case anyone is interested, here's an analysis of the elasticity of crude oil:

>Six studies estimate the short-run price elasticity of oil supply: Half of them estimate a supply elasticity of about 0.25, two of them found elasticities near zero, and one study estimates a negative supply elasticity. By contrast, thirty studies estimate the short-run price elasticity of demand. Estimates of the demand elasticity range from −0.9 to −0.03, with the bulk of estimates between −0.3 and −0.1.

https://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/ifdp/2016/files/i...


Thanks for posting 2. I see software as the new legal profession. We will be the next victims of automation we are writing. Already, I bet a solid 75% of enterprise developers could be made redundant with managed services. There is diminishing need for startups. I have never been less optimistic about the field. This is just after waves and waves of CS graduates are entering the market and most indicators are pointing toward recession (cfo surveys, yield curve, gdp / corporate profit growth, pmi).


The future is in integration of all those managed services and dealing with legacy decisions...

I'm still optimistic, but we'll see.


#2 would only happen if entrepreneurial opportunities in tech dried up completely, which is a much more significant (implied) prediction.


Just because the average goes down doesn't mean that existing tech hubs will have lower salaries. There are probably lots of 40k USD jobs that are not being filled because of a lack of supply in fly over country.


Hasn't #1 been the case for most of European and American high society for quite a while?


This should be fun!

1. Gaming consoles are essentially coming to an end. Die-hard gamers still buy dedicated systems but for the most part everything is available to stream.

2. 5G turned out to be a bust. The low latency, fastest version will still have a relatively small amount of coverage compared to the size of the United States

3. Multiple companies will provide internet via low orbit satellites, some of which will have a low enough latency that some phones will use them as a sort of "global phone" or will be their dedicated ISP.

4. Disney buys PlayStation, EA and at least one more, large studio.

5. Microsoft buys Activision

6. A lot of hype around general AIs but most experts still think they're truly far away. Several will exist by 2030 but they won't be true general AI but will be good enough that companies will get away with calling them that.

7. C++ has a working package dependency system that works as well as npm does for JavaScript. Almost every library is available this way. C++ starts to gain market share due to this and further improvements to standard libraries.

8. Native UI solutions that work kinda like React are more widely available. Think C++, Rust and GO with UIs that are as easy to build as they were in JavaScript.

9. Domain names are starting to go away in favor of a sort of distributed search that works well like Google search but isn't under any single company's direct control.

10. Apple will build more macOS like features into iPad so you can do more with it (such as develop software directly on it). They will also, finally, add touch to their Laptop screens.


1. Google Stadia was as disappointing as OnLive. Nothing has changed in the last 10 years in that regard.

7. C++ has multiple of those but expecting standardization is a pipe dream.

8. I personally am tired of "cross platform" apps that are based on electron but don't support Linux. To add insult to injury: running them with wine doesn't work 99% of the time.

9. Most FQDNs are not user facing.


1. I gotta say I couldn't disagree more. Sure, there might be some bias in my opinion but the landscape, the technology and the direction the industry is going has changed so much over the past decade I'm not really sure where to start.

Also, have you tried Stadia? If you have a good enough connection it's quite incredible.

7. Not expecting standardization but I'd argue C++ has zero of those. Vcpkg is _not bad_ but _no where near as easy_ as npm. Conan is better, IMO, but again it's so far off from being as simple as npm is for JavaScript.

Modules were approved. I'm convinced someone will be able to take modules, once they're implemented in a consistent manner across compilers, and implement an npm like service. Until then I think a general solution is just not practical.


Wait, you think AGI is out of reach, but a working package manager for C++ is possible?


Hahaha, good point


This is fun. Here are some of my predictions:

By 2030:

1. Google shuts down at least one of Pixel Phones, Gmail, Google Cloud. Even after a decade, Google is not able to make a successful social-network or messaging application.

2. Stock market: Microsoft and Amazon at-least doubles in MarketCap. AMD will be at-least 4 times what it is now. Tesla will be 5 times by the end of the decade. FB stays about the same!

3. Facebook.com usage goes down considerably (at least by half)

4. Climate change causes mass migrations and wars. Corporations start buying/acquiring massive amounts of land. At least one private company tries to "buy a country". Major wars will be fought over immigration.

5. Bitcoin adoption increases due improvements in usability. Still used only for niche use-cases though.

6. Electric cars will go above 50% share of new car sales. Tesla will be the leader. Self driving cars will be common. Car ownership in general will reduce.


I'd put money on Tesla being bought by another manufacturer, possibly Ford or FIAT.


That'd be one HELUVA leveraged buy-out ... especially because Tesla owns (or partially owns) SolarCity and other aspects of Musk's empire


> 4. Climate change causes mass migrations and wars. Corporations start buying/acquiring massive amounts of land. At least one private company tries to "buy a country". Major wars will be fought over immigration.

Wow! never thought of this.


Dude, Google is putting the Cloud on life support in 2023. It won't last this decade.


Facebook will continue to grow in the next 20 years that's pretty safe bet


Facebook the company will. I don't believe Facebook the social network will. The company will continue to provide seamless transitions to alternatives that it either develops or acquires as they've already done with WhatsApp and Instagram.

I can foresee an (unlikely) scenario where tech outside of Facebook's established market allows for a disrupting network to compete with FAANG without being acquired. It won't be a VR social network, because Facebook is entrenched there already. Probably requires breaking up of Facebook with antitrust law to happen.


There will be _the_ data leak.

It's impossible to remotely validate who anyone is regardless of provided name, age, birth location, mothers maiden name, social security, previous address, contacts, fingerprints, retina scan, DNA profile ...

This will end the privacy debate because all personally identifiable data will be public knowledge. All private information (stored in the cloud) will be easily leaked due to _the_ data leak. Blackmail will be rampant.

It'll be common to have credit cards and loans taken out in your name. Companies will be inundated with bots and trolls creating accounts. Fintech and government will scramble to prop up the system of trust with government issued ID, which will then be leaked, collapsing the system completely.

The sheer amount of fraud causes a contraction in the availability of credit with impact on the scale of the credit crunch of 08.


>The sheer amount of fraud causes a contraction in the availability of credit with impact on the scale of the credit crunch of 08

You had me until this. You're basically describing a world where anyone can impersonate anyone else, and you think this would only cause a financial impact "on the scale of 08"?


It'll be shy of apocalyptic. There'll be 3-5 years of chaos in loans, credit cards, insurance etc.

Mortgages and business loans will be less affected because real people actually go out and inspect those things. I think we'll have to get used to speaking face to face with real people again when we want any kind of long term financial product.


Wouldn't this be the type of environment where crypto would thrive?


I think companies would fall back to OTPs to fix this situation


- Nuclear power is more popular, especially small-scale, and climate change isn't really talked about any more in 2030

- Human genetic editing becomes mainstream; treating genetic diseases will become a cheap standard procedure; genetic enhancement is also becoming popular in China and South Korea and will be a hot political topic

- Human lifespan can be increased by at least 20% with treatment

- Most traditional car manufacturers go bust or lose business significantly; taken by Tesla and Chinese start-ups

- Permanent bases on the moon and Mars; first asteroid mining companies start operating

- Apple's VR glasses will change how we use computers; large desktop displays will start to disappear; remote meetings and working with teams in VR will be common; as a result more people will not live close to a city and won't own a car

- Bitcoin's value will hit $1M; paying with cryptocurrency becomes common

- No flying cars (on Earth, maybe on the moon and Mars)

- Something will come that replaces traditional banks entirely; either banking will be centralized in the hands of large tech companies or there'll be a new global banking startup; bank will be just an app; cryptocurrencies may play a role here

- Starlink provides uncensored Internet globally; remote regions will gain economic boost; terrorism starts to subsidy

- AI assistants become mainstream in the workplace; there'll be assistant for almost any expert job which drives down required skills and cost of employment; education will lose value


- Large scale nuclear power continues to grow outside the US but does not grow as a percentage. Climate change is talked about the same amount.

- Human gene editing stays in the realm of the "near future"

- Average lifespan decreases due to preventable health causes but medical care continues to innovate overall.

- No near permanently manned (e.g. ISS) bases are established on other bodies. Asteroid mining stays in "near future" but with realistic plans at the end of the decade.

- VR continues to improve but still can't compete with the improvements in "traditional" technologies to displace them.

- BTC continues it's booms and busts but never becomes anything serious. Officially backed (large company/government) cryptocurrencies that aren't fully decentralized are made but most money is still transferred around as digital fiat currency.

- No flying cars common anywhere.

- Big banks remain the big banks, the largest banks pass 10T in assets.

- Multiple services provide relatively cheap high speed global internet coverage, despite this over 1 billion still don't have regular access to the internet.

- AI assistants continue to grow but don't displace expert job positions by the end of the decade.

Now to wait for 10 years and see!


I agree with you about flying cars, but would happily take the other side of a bet on any of the others. Thank you for making some bold predictions!


Of nuclear plants where ground is broken from 2020-2025, I predict that less than 10 percent will be in operation by 2030.


I'm interested to know why you think climate change won't really be talked about in 2030. I take it you're optimistic the problem will be solved?


It will still be an issue, but it's solved to an extent that it isn't discussed. The solution is pretty much in the economics of nuclear and solar power which become much cheaper than burning coal or oil.


https://en-roads.climateinteractive.org/scenario.html?p210=1...

Even if you shut down all coal/oil/gas/biofuel powerplants by the end of the decade, add in a 3rd "new technology" (e.g. fusion) ready in 1 year, find and deploy perfectly efficient battery technologies for rewables, decrease the cost of renewables by 50%, electrify cars and buildings (i.e. move off gas) at the maximum rate while finding huge increases in their efficiences as well all while taxing carbon emissions like crazy...

Global warming still ends up being a problem and the temperature continues to rise. Please don't think "we just need to wait for <x> to be solved in the next 10 years and the problem will go away!", we need <a> through <z> to happen not have enormous climate change impact by 2100.


1. Rust will hit the top 5 languages and become a mainstay of robust computing.

2. Blockchain won't replace anything. CryptoCurrency won't appreciably become more significant.

3. AI will get linearly better, but nothing paradigm-shifting. Its hype will begin to fade.

4. There will be a massive privacy leak/security event that will cause us, as a society, to re-evaluate the legal landscape of data collection and monitoring.

5. Google will lose significant market share.

6. Petrol cars will decline in manufacturing rates 1 if not 2 orders of magnitude.

7. A human-trip to Mars will be scheduled, if not completed.

8. The mobile market will be significantly disrupted by some new product, but I have no idea what it will be.


the only way for 4 to happen would be if it is cause of #5, i.e Gmail itself is hacked and millions of peoples raw unencrypted emails are leaked in a massive breach...

We have already had tons of massive PII breaches and no one cares.... So it would not be another SSN, Credit Card, etc breach. If the breach of a Credit Reporting service that leaked nearly every American's financial data did not cause society to re-evaluate things I am not really sure what will


* Facebook, Amazon, MS will still be around and be bigger than now.

* There will be a recession that will ripple for longer than the last one

* Waymo will finally launch but have minimal impact in the US and will end up licensing the tech/partnering with car manufacturers to stay relevant.

* Apple will enter a tangential but highly profitable market most people won't see coming (think general mobility or communication device)

* Google will see a drop in Ad revenue and have a do-or-die moment about their longterm existence (they'll still be healthy tho)

* AI won't displace many jobs and we'll come up with another new term for fancy data science

* "AI" will be massively rolled out with poor oversight and lead to very bad outcomes on a large scale. People will revolt but not much will change.

* Global warming will be alive and well and people will still bicker about whether it is real.

* Africa will begin to make huge economic waves in partnership with China and the western world will panic/intervene

* We will still trade privacy for convenience amd FB will buy/launch a new product that crosses 1 billion users again

* We'll lose 1 of the GAFAM leaders to health/tragic occurence

* We won't be on Mars, but Elon Musk will pull of 2 new industry-moving changes

* China/Russia some other non-western superpower will undergo a significant political change. Won't quite be democracy but it will be different and effective

* Cars and many appliances will now be sold always connected ( 5G?) and there will be several privacy and security issues with no meaningful change.

* Snap will get bought


I agree with most of this. I think we could make it to mars by then but no permanent presence.

Really hope China undergoes a change towards democracy. A little skeptical in ten years though.


1. This will be the decade of compact hospital-grade health and bio-Informatics devices being brought into the home and personal life. Think Startrek tricorder capability but in a (likely) larger package.

2. Deep fakes will precipitate the need for digitally signed media. This likely means further reliance on root-of-trust systems like x509 certificates or some new international body designed to issue a new form of lightweight signing mechanism that works at low resolutions/low bandwidth.

3. Continued climate change will result in at-least one major U.S. city losing population due to feasibility/costs of providing either clean water or breathable air.<br><br> 4. China and Russia will split their version of the internet entirely apart from the traditional internet and will sell products and services to other countries to do the same (I.e. Iran).

5. The era of horizontal drilling and fracking for ultra-cheap gas and oil will slowly wind down and energy costs will increase to 2000’s era costs.

6. Most ominously: this might be the first decade where we see large scale orchestrated micro-drone attacks (death by a thousand paper cuts) and autonomous vehicles being used for delivery of some kind of malicious purpose (I.e. explosive delivery).

7. Massive inflation globally during 2010/early 2020’s will result in stagflation in the U.S. and other countries.


Regarding 1., what do you think will be the selling point of this transition? There is very little that hospital monitoring devices can offer to the average person (do you need a daily ECG / EKG?)


[Not parent poster] You are correct based upon current technology. However we are seeing AI better predicting cancer https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-50857759

So this tricorder could scan you/ take vital and then diagnose anything much better. Making a trip to a "Doctor" zero cost.

Imagine a free trip to a Doctor every morning. Not something I would like, but very very profitable to sell a device.


Some mutually-exclusive points here, but I'm not expecting 100% accuracy anyway :P

* The top 100 entertainment, tech, and consumable brands are all subsidiaries of Disney, Alphabet, or Nestle respectively

* Owning things becomes a niche; rental / X-as-a-service becomes the default for everything from toothbrushes to pets. Kids born in 2030 might live to be 100 and never own anything.

* 25% unemployment due to automation - not due to strong AI, just steady incremental changes (eg how McD's has already replaced human till operators with "select your meal from a tablet then swipe your payment card")

* Either we make a conscious effort as a species to reduce inequality (high taxes and UBI); OR inequality spirals out of control and we get a bloody civil war between the haves and the have-nots.

* "WASM blob rendering to HTML Canvas" becomes the #1 desktop app deployment method, accessibility and ad-blocking suffer (Everyone has forgotten the lessons learned from Flash)

* Eventually all desktop / mobile use-cases replaced with stadia-like remote apps; accessibility and ad-blocking suffer

* I'd LIKE it if ad-blocking became so widespread and effective that we're collectively forced to build an effective micropayment system, and people go back to paying for goods and services with money instead of personal information, but I'll predict that that doesn't happen. If ad-blocking does still exist in any effective form, then ads will merge with content (product placement etc)

* AI-based ad-blocking to blank-out company logos wherever they appear, in whatever context

* Global temperatures don't just continue rising, they accelerate

* Poor security on IoT devices directly leads to deaths (eg overloading cheap electronics enough to start a fire)

* Lennart Poettering invents a filesystem. It is buggy as hell, but has such useful features that everyone adopts it and the community makes it stable


I'll disagree with you on this one:

    25% unemployment due to automation - not due to strong AI, just steady incremental changes (eg how McD's has already replaced human till operators with "select your meal from a tablet then swipe your payment card")
I'll predict the exact opposite. The decade will include one recession that will be called a "X bubble" and take ~3 years to recover from where X is something everybody uses (housing, tech, etc.). Rich people and corporations will be blamed, but no meaningful economic reforms will be passed. Despite continually dire predictions from left-leaning politicans and internet economists about unemployment and UBI, recession unemployment will sit at 11% and non-recession unemployment will sit around 5% (as measured by the U3 in the United States). Unemployment will never exceed 15% for the duration of the decade. Though the labor force participation rate will drop (as boomers continue to retire) the rate of drop will begin to level out towards the end of the decade. This drop will lead to the first sustained real (inflated adjusted) increase in wages since the 90s.

See you in 2030 :)

Edit: also, UBI will not be passed into law in any state or federally.


>people go back to paying for goods and services with money instead of personal information,

Downside of this potential knowledge gap between the haves and have nots


1. Religious affiliations will increase due to folks feeling more and more disconnected from other people

2. US football will be on the decline as more parents pull their kids out of the sport.

3. Electric cars will be mainstream and taxes on electricity or miles driven will be applied

4. Meat consumption in the developed world will be reduced significantly per capita, though aggregate consumption will go up.

5. Global temps will rise, more natural disasters due to climate change and as we get near 2030 we’ll see the US signing onto international agreements with teeth.

6. A major recession in there which is either caused or will be a trigger for an armed conflict

7. The next iteration of Al Qaeda/ISIS will rise, likely targeting moderates

8. Backlash against some of the addictive qualities of smartphones and their apps. Limiting screen time will become more important especially for young kids.

9. Electricity goes even further in renewables and nuclear. Planning to remove dams will pick up though likely won’t be done until the 2030’s

10. A public option for health insurance in the US


I predict Apple/Google/Amazon/Facebook are only going to get more valuable and bigger. The previous idea that there are limits to growth that have already been reached... don't apply anymore.

Not because they're any smarter than anyone else, but they're able to continuing buying and absorbing any and all competitive threats. And that the "moat" of initial costs to compete with them in existing areas is too high. (E.g. try building your own search engine.)

And regulation and antitrust law isn't going to make a dent because any potential legal principles against it won't be convincing enough to the average citizen, so there won't be any particularly convincing legislative proposals for support in Congress to coalesce around. (It's easy to say "break up Facebook!" It's really, really hard to come up with a reasonable generic law that results in breaking up the "too big" companies without harming the "good" companies, and breaking them up in reasonable ways.)

I don't think they're going to get any more "evil". They're just going to keep expanding into more and more valuable products/markets -- like Apple has with wearables, or Google has with Cloud, or Amazon with TV shows.

(I'm not saying whether this is good or bad -- I just think it's what will happen.)


This has been said about many companies in the past and it is rarely the case. Compared to the infrastructure needed to compete with Standard Oil, the railroads, or telecom, the capital expenditure to create a new tech company is miniscule.

Founders just need to not sell out. Look at the rise of TikTok. Even with search, DuckDuckGo with its privacy focus is starting to encroach on Google.


> the capital expenditure to create a new tech company is miniscule

Hiring a hundred AI engineers/scientists isn't cheap either.


I don’t think the money is the problem. Finding something useful and profitable to do for them is the hard part.


Let's pay them all $200k/yr. That's $10,000,000m a year. Inflation adjusted, compared to the capital investments of the giants of the roaring 20s, this is pretty small if not irrelevant. Even if you double it to cover payroll tax and other expenses, it's still going to move the needle.


I think you mean $20m/year.


This is just an extrapolation, not a 'prediction.' Like, you know, saying that "in the 20th century horses will be much stronger so that one horse will be able able to draw more than one carriage full of hay."


1. Wireless internet gets cheaper, faster and more robust across the globe. Every single device/appliance/toy sold has a ~free data chip in it and is always connected & transmitting. The internet/WWW fully absorbs every other communication and delivery network out there (phone, broadcast TV, cable, satellite, radio). They finally figure out live streaming for sports.

2. There is less ambiguity and many new laws around data security and privacy, but they aren't very consumer friendly. Digital advertising enters a new era, and current players (Google, Facebook) lag behind. Think personalized movies & TV shows, deeper product placement everywhere, preemptive shipping.

3. Cars get a lot smarter. Traffic is more efficient, and there are fewer accidents. Driverless taxis may be mainstream in certain limited areas in large cities. Level 5 automation is still nowhere in sight, however. EV adoption continues at a steady pace.

4. Cash transactions are phased out in the US and most of the developed world.

5. Marijuana is legal across the US and in most other countries.

6. Beef and pork consumption craters in the US, replaced by healthier meats, plant-based substitutes and lab-grown meat.

7. Food delivery gets cheaper and healthier. A majority of urban households get fully prepared meals delivered every day.

8. People are no longer talking about VR/AR, crypto, chatbots, artificial general intelligence, flying cars.


1. 100 trillion parameter neural net is trained at the very end of the decade. May or may not be useful but I think this is mostly a problem of memory bandwidth and is doable with a minimal number of die shrinks.

2. I will take the under on SelfDrivingCars cars. Way too much pessimism here. The entire first wave of startups( save for TESLA and Comma) are using the same DARPA challenge codebase. New players using reinforcement learning will crack the problem.

3. China will not become a democracy.

4. China will be a leader in software as well as hardware. A Chinese-made social network will be widely used in Europe.

5. Learning-based systems will be successfully applied to proof search. Very significant mathematical problems will fall to such systems before the end of the decade.

6.Quantum computers will not be capable of simulating any significant/useful chemistry in this decade.

7. A baby with 100+ edited alleles will be born and healthy, probably in China.

8. Cognitive genomics will come to the fore as it becomes clear several standard deviations increases in mental traits, including IQ, are possible with such edits. Lysenkoist ideologies may have trouble adapting, but by the end of the decade it will be clear to most which way the wind is blowing.

9. AGI has not happened yet, but the conspiracy of silence around the topic no longer prevails. The field. Most people in machine learning consider AGI the goal of the field, and say so without shame.


1. Apple will become more and more consumer focused leaving a void for the niche market of power users (programmers, designers).

2. Microsoft will open source Windows (indirectly by using a linux kernel) and throw in the towel on the OS game.

3. "Offline" becomes hip.

4. New person-addressable federated message transport protocol gains popularity, probably on the back of SMTP/email systems. Someone will try to call it "server-less" apps.

5. Common federated identity and login system protocols gain popularity, probably also on the back of SMTP/email systems.

6. Privacy is still an issue, an attempt at making data-as-an-executable to trace its use is fraught with issues but gets steam in the healthcare market.

7. More and more JS will become a standard, until most programming languages outside of C/C++/golang/rust just use JS runtimes and compile to (dynamically or statically) WASM.

8. Someone remakes Game of Thrones ending entirely using deep fakes.

9. 3D printing at a nano scale "is just around the corner" but being used in select factories.

10. AI/ML and driving cars aren't a thing, but not because it's an impossible problem, but because it's not as valuable as people thought it was.

11. Drones will become highly regulated, require licenses to fly or must be purchased with a permit in most countries. Most likely due to a string of terrorist incidents. Large drones won't be used for deliveries or any other non-sense as they're simply way too loud.

12. More and more companies will attempt to operate in "growth" stages by buying back stock and artificially inflating their prices until an unfortunate pair of events causes a few mega-companies to collapse due to it. Afterwards debt in corporation as a factor becomes a key indicator for stock prices and a 3 to 4 year recession in most economies.


i can see 8 as a safe bet. with star wars as well. i can also imagine the fan fiction genre exploding into live enactments with look-alike amateurs acting & editing at a high quality level, with post deep fake blended in seamlessly. many of these will rival hollywood in production value and definitely surpass hollywood in storytelling.


1. Trust in journalists and news publications will continue to crater due to their inability to resist clickbait, sloppy ethic controls, and constant hyperboles.

2. China will enter a pronounced recession that is it unable to hide from the world.

3. The EU will lose at-least one more member nation after the United Kingdom leaves.

4. The credibility of scientist and research universities will hit all time lows as the effects of the replication crisis become more pronounced and climate changes predictions prove less accurate than lay people find acceptable. I expect this to result in a large pullback in funding for research that lacks a direct practical application.

5. Negative interest rates in EU will force more global dependency on the US dollar.

6. At-least one more country will adopt or de facto adopt the US dollar as their nation currency (dollarization).

7. The US will adopt a single payer or universal health care system.


>4. The credibility of scientist and research universities will hit all time lows as the effects of the replication crisis become more pronounced and climate changes predictions prove less accurate than lay people find acceptable. I expect this to result in a large pullback in funding for research that lacks a direct practical application.

Agreed. Can also see, with the death of traditional journalism, the arts majors who are paid to write clickbait for online-only entities latching onto this to brow-beat scientists and turn mass opinion against them. The same creatures producing hysteria with writings akin to "We've 12 years to live because of climate change!" are fickle and as soon as the current narrative shifts a bit there's no telling what other damage they're capable of doing.

One of the contributing factors to why I think we'll see a significant return to religiousness in Western nations in the coming decade.


>"We've 12 years to live because of climate change!" are fickle and as soon as the current narrative shifts a bit there's no telling what other damage they're capable of doing.

One of the contributing factors to why I think we'll see a significant return to religiousness in Western nations in the coming decade.

Those hysterias and groupthinks already are their religions. Meanwhile the tail end of the distribution in the US is increasingly experiencing worse outcomes: homelessness, joblessness, suicide, etc.


> 4. The credibility of scientist and research universities will hit all time lows as the effects of the replication crisis become more pronounced and climate changes predictions prove less accurate than lay people find acceptable.

While I agree the credibility of scientist and research universities has hit all time lows, I don't see a pullback in funding or any major changes


I suspect funding will decline in the next recession and not increase during the recovery.


I think journalism will find its bearings in the new digital/social media environment and gain trust again, it just won't operate/look like what we think of as journalism today or in the past.


6. Argentina is first in the waiting list.

Last week the government had to re-introduce currency controls via a 30% tax, after a 20-year long currency crisis, in which it went to 1-63 from 1-1 parity


> 3. The EU will lose at-least one more member nation after the United Kingdom leaves.

Why?


Euro, about 10 years ago there were some suggested debate to divide the Eurozone in two: nothern and southern Euro, so that you could pay with strong euro in Germany, France, Netherlands and soft euro in Greece, Portugal, Spain, etc.

That's completely stupid idea but could benefit the south economically.


Because "ever-closer union" doesn't appeal to everybody - or so I suspect. But I'm in the US, so... take with some salt.


There were definitely parties in the Netherlands and France that made leaving the EU their major plank. When Brexit turned out to be rather more difficult than its adherents imagined, support for "Frexit" and "Nexit" plummeted like a rock, and hasn't recovered.

Greece is slightly more plausible, but less because Greece wants to leave and more because the rest of the EU decides to kick them out. It's doubtful they'd kick them out of anything more than the Eurozone, though.


Are these really negative sounding? Or is it just me?

Is it the retrograde politics that has infected our entrepreneurial optimism? Too much hype not enough delivery? Too much interwebs and not enough real human time? Ten years back, it seemed like I regularly interacted with folks that seemed to believe that, armed with an nvidia chip and some models and the ability to sling some js, they could be the next Zuckerberg like billionaire. The bulk of these predictions feel negative, like the party is over.

* Crispr or derivatives will be used to create cancer therapy for the masses. It will be in mass clinical trial by 2030.

* there will be three new bigger than unicorn companies. They will have combine tech with non-tech (like amazon) and 2 will be based out of the Midwest, maybe Detroit or Chicago.

* long haul trucking will be automated to the point that drivers start doing part time work via mobile connection. Trucking companies will try to capitalize on this

* there will be a common wearable that does a weekly blood test

* some major US corporations will institute mandatory gym/excercise time for workers.

* climate change denial will pivot into spinning it as a positive by citing a agricultural use of a previously unarable region. No major industrial country will suffer land loss due to it

* millennials will embrace suburban life and there will be a series of new banking products to facilitate later home ownership. They won’t use the old tricks but will generalize bundling and have one monthly bill for mortgage, car and some services. Think some sort of automated HELOC type package. Top 15% will own homes in less than 15 years which will be lauded for these programs.

* to go with the above, spending monitoring apps will become more normalized and more proactive. Actively discouraging users from buying when they are in certain physical locations. This will open a new business model.

* co-ops will increase in popularity, particularly for child care


"long haul"

Why will they do part time work via mobile connection? We will need a driver to drive the truck to and from the highway, but on the highways there will be no driver on board. So driving will still be a full time job: You will be driving the first/last 10 miles after which you get off and get into another truck.


1/ We will use neural nets to index the physical world in the same way we index the web.

2/ A low fee payment system will become mainstream, severely undercutting the payment processing networks. (My money would be on centralized, inspired by cryptocurrencies.)

3/ Labeling images for neural nets will become a popular low-skilled job.

4/ Personal email will be slowly forgotten, likely from being so bogged down from corporate communications. It will occupy a similar space that physical mail does today; the occasional really important communication surrounded by garbage that you can't stop.

5/ China will make major technological gains against the US due to their relaxed intellectual property laws and the ability to innovate upon other people's work.

6/ Self driving cars will become common, people will prefer it. It will likely only exist in limited places (i.e. freeways) and be supported by infrastructure changes (machine readable signs, lane makings, and car to car communication).

7/ The ad economy will die down as more end to end encrypted services are adopted. The vision here would be a cell phone company that doesn't sell your location data because you authenticate to the cell tower with a zero knowledge proof. (Ha, implying the telcos could or would replace their infrastructure in the next decade!)

8/ The climate will become a priority in production (e.g. food), with people asking which method is greener rather than which is cheaper. Perhaps incintevized by the government through taxes or subsidies.

9/ A new political party will be created in the US in backlash to corporatism of current two.

See you in 2030!


1. By 2025 there will be a quantum computer that can break RSA-2048 and shortly after that any conventional encryption. Alternatives based on post-quantum cryptography will have been developed but are not in widespread use. Adoption will take years.

2. Waymo will sell self-driving cars to the general public and there will be a push to make streets safer by reducing individual transport.

3. The next economic downturn, if there is one, will be caused by quantitative easing.

4. Index funds will start affecting price discovery which will lead to a surge in strategies that exploit this.

5. Society will either learn to cope with scissor questions or polarization will eventually lead to civil war.

6. Deep learning will be used in every field in applied computer science and replace the traditional methods of this field.

7. Cryptocurrencies will be used to create censorship-resistant social media and messaging services that have strong secrecy/privacy/data-ownership guarantees.

8. Facebook, Amazon and Google will face anti trust action that might even lead to them being broken up.

9. Palantir will be the best performing stock of the decade.


At some point, electric cars will boom like ssds replaced hdds. People will see how low easy and cheap EVs are to maintain and the ICE market segment will collapse entirely. The speed of the change will surprise industry expectations.

I’m also really hoping Musk and other space projects like Virgin Galactic surprise us all. Musk clearly wants to build out massive infrastructure in space. That could have hard to imagine consequences.

I think we’ll discover life either in the past of mars through fossils there or bacteria or in the oceans of Enceladus. Edit-this will likely first come from NASA projects and could happen this year with the mars drill platform.


This will happen, and cause lot of pain around the world.


Remote work will continue to rise in popularity. Many large companies already have policies of every meeting having a video conference link. And there's pressure for people to move out of high cost of living areas like San Francisco and New York City.

Online degrees will explode in popularity much like cord cutting did in the past decade. With Georgia Tech's OMSCS becoming a huge success, many other institutions will create similar programs beginning with STEM degrees, expanding into more graduate programs and even undergrad. As an alternative to ultra-high tuition costs, more and more students will choose this route instead of traditional college. As a result, kids will stay at home with their parents increasingly longer.

The United States and China will relax their tourist visa policies, and will allow for up to 90 day stays without a visa.


> Remote work will continue to rise in popularity.

I really hope so. There was a bit of a rise and fall (thanks Marissa Mayer!) of remote work in the last decade but it seems to be trending upward again. I work remotely now, but lack of wide-spread availability makes me anxious to move outside of suburban areas in the event something goes wrong and I don't have a local fallback.


1. Populism reaches a crescendo globally. Nascent populist governments become more entrenched, especially in North and South America.

2. China supersedes the United States as the preeminent global superpower.

3. A conflict between Russia and China comes seemingly out of nowhere, but is resolved quickly.

4. Electric vehicles become more mainstream, but still do not overtake ICE vehicles in sales or ownership.

5. Cannabis is de-scheduled in the United States. A minor economic boom results.

6. Tech hubs in the Midwest begin to overtake the old tech hubs in activity and population.

7. Housing shortages worsen globally.

8. Australia suffers a series of natural disasters that results in heavy depopulation.

9. Battery technology will see a significant breakthrough that results in much greater life and much lower weight, but it will not be affordable. Yet.

10. An economic "adjustment" occurs as trade between the United States and China is heavily curtailed.


Where do your predictions about Australia come from? Do you currently live thee?


Partly recent news, and partly friends who live in New Zealand.


1. ML/AI hype will go bust and the industry actually starts goes back to the whiteboards and starts to do useful stuff.

2. native apps will heavily decline and replaced by web apps. the whole ecosystem will remain wild.

3. the developer community will have a major change because the majority will be degraded from snowflakes to comodity. more developers will heavily specialize and move away from web and general purpose fields. severe shortage everywhere in the west.

4. china will show strong and visible presence in the world theatre

5. EU kills current adtech business, which will start to reinvent itself seriously by the end of the decade

6. mobile device business will encounter major shifts due to oversaturation, lack of innovation and eastern competition. touch screens will hit an dead end in usability leaving customers riddled.


1. Noise levels in workplaces (especially cafes, restaurants) will be increasingly recognized as contributing to stress and later-life hearing loss for people who work in those environments. What is considered a "safe" noise level will decrease drastically.

2. People will become more concerned about air pollution than climate change; emissions from combustion engines, brakes, and tires will be increasingly in the public eye. Office workers will become concerned about CO2 levels in their workplaces, and on their commutes. Many workplaces will install equipment to provide fresher, cleaner air.

3. Ebikes, electic scooters, and other relatively compact electric transportation quietly revolutionise commuting for people who live within 20-30km of their work.

4. Work weeks (or at least time in office) will decrease for many office workers. It will become normal for many people to only go into the office once or twice a week.

5. The combination of 1, 2, 3 and 4 above lead to increasing de-urbanization as people who can afford it seek to move to quieter places with cleaner air. Clean air becomes a major issue of inequality. Productive farmland around cities is converted to large home-office plots with lots of trees.

6. At least one climate change mitigation geoengineering idea will have a large scale proof of concept experiment conducted

7. Microplastics in the food supply / ecosystem will turn out to be not that serious of a health problem for people and most other animals (some animals will be severely affected)


AI proves P != NP. The proof is 20K pages and not comprehensible by humans, who spend the next 30 years deciphering it, by which time the AI has proved the five remaining millennium problems. The AI elects to keep the Clay Prize money each time and donate it all to homeless chia pets, thus proving general-purpose AI is still a ways off.


The proof is later discovered to contain errors caused by floating-point roundoff.


Or does it prove that general AI is already here, and is smart enough to know that it's safer if we think it hasn't arrived yet?

</paranoia>


Funny thing is this will be the only correct prediction in the thread come 2030


- major military conflict between US and China breaks out, but nuclear weapons are not used

- America’s formal military alliances are significantly disrupted and at least one state outright leaves NATO

- after progress in self driving cars slows, industry shifts focus to low-hanging fruit: fully-autonomous trains and planes

- Jai has greater marketshare than Rust

- JS is the overwhelming language of choice for frontend web development

- no measurable technological unemployment. longterm unemployment increases but is entirely due to political and economic factors

- more people play games on traditional game consoles than VR headsets or cloud streaming

- minor AI breakthrough that does not utilize neural networks


1. Fully AI-generated "influencer" profiles begin to out-compete actual human beings on social media platforms.

2. Cities will begin experimenting with geo-fencing automobiles so that speed and acceleration is restricted to defined limits within zones. Automobiles will not be legally allowed into these zones unless they surrender some autonomy which force them to abide by these limitations.


Would it be interesting to have another submission where each top comment is just one idea? Then we can vote on those ideas and see which ideas are more likely to be true.


* Companies will grow further until they overpower nation states. Neither the West nor China can break them up since they are the players in the economic wars. They need the size to finance the ever increasing costs of technological progress.

* There will be general artificial intelligence. Somebody will get it right this time because all components are available outside of academia. A team without an agenda will come up with the right combination by chance.

* At the end of the decade, people will design the genetic setup of 'their' children

* We will give up on preserving nature and embrace global warming. A new metropolis will be created from all the people who are forced to settle somewhere else. Established players will strengthen their borders but somebody will use that opportunity. I can imagine a city in Saudi Arabia but it could also be a special economic zone in China.

* The Chinese social credit system will be so successful that many other countries will introduce it, too.

* Energy will become scarce because all is needed for simulations and encryption attacks


Here's my ass-bag of predictions.

1. Sharing economy remains strong, but investors (at least in uber/lyft possibly others) are disappointed as it isn't possible to maintain monopoly. Multi-sided markets expand into more sectors as platforms and apps become understood as infrastructure.

2. Companies providing engaging private small-group social media experiences (along the lines of signal, whatsapp groups) are really important to most people. This is also somewhat disappointing to investors as this kind of activity is difficult to monetize and local networks are easy to transport from app to app.

3. Major social network platforms become increasingly controlled spaces as the "open internet" becomes a sea of disinformation. Most people instead turn to regulated enclaves with barriers to entry and strict moderation.

4. AR / VR aren't adopted in widespread ways by consumers. VR is popular among gamers and AR has some use in specialized work environments such as military, factory, and warehouses.

5. The world succeeds at preventing some of the worst ecological consequences of climate change, and transitions to a sustainable green economy by way of economic contraction, increased efficiency, and limited carbon capture technologies (i.e. conversion to biomass) but fail to keep warming below a 2⁰C level. Mass migrations out of equatorial regions are a huge geopolitical problem and the source of much violence. Eco-fascism is a significant political ideology that limits the ability of developed nations to admit refugees.

6. (this is my stretch and my own vision) Online communities learn from the example of Wikipedia how to self-organize to create valuable goods. Many productive online communities will be relatively closed and occupy a similar niche to corporations or cooperatives and exist for the economic opportunities provided to their members.


USB-D will be announced to remedy the shortcomings of USB-C. In every HN post about it someone will mention the number 927. Meanwhile in 2030 most laptops will still ship with at least one type-A connector, and that connector will still dominate flash drives and the like. Business users will still demand VGA video connectors in 2030 as they need something that always "just works" when presenting to clients, quality be damned. Mobile phones will likely become port-less in all but the low-end of the market.


New Super Bluetooth makes all peripherals wireless.


What is it about the number 927? I'm not catching on.

EDIT: oh, XKCD 927, got it.


I just want to direct everyone to the NIC's natural resources projection report for 2020, 2030 & 2040. [0]

It is my Bible for the coming decades. For one, it predicted Australia:

By 2020, significant loss of biodiversity is projected to occur in some ecologically rich sites, including the Great Barrier Reef and Queensland Wet Tropics. Water security problems and a decline in agriculture and forestry are projected for southern and eastern Australia, as well as eastern New Zealand, by 2030.

It also mentions harvest shocks in the region due to land damage from climate change.

If you want to know which countries will collapse into mass protest, which wars will be fought, between whom, and when, this report is your guide.

[0] https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/NICR%202013-05%20US%20Na...


I am not willing to make this prediction, but I’d be interested in hearing if anyone thinks we will NOT see fully autonomous vehicles on the road by 2030. Even in 2010, it seemed just around the corner — but that turned out to be wrong.


Technically, we already have fully autonomous vehicles on the road, they're just not generally allowed to be used as such and have obvious failure modes not shared by human drivers.

However, if by this you mean "autonomous vehicles that are clearly superior to reasonable human drivers under all reasonably frequent scenarios (including inclement weather) in any developed country" then yes, I feel very confident we won't see that in the next decade, probably two. I think the hyperoptimistic HN bubble is extremely far off the mark with respect to autonomous vehicles and always has been.


I thought of this after posting. Technically, there have been vehicles allow to operate fully autonomously on the road, yes. But I mean for non-research purposes, full-featured autonomous driving for consumer-owned vehicles.


I don't think it'll make much economic sense for consumers to actually buy them, but I do expect to see services accessible to the public that let you use an autonomous vehicle in places with effectively ideal conditions before 2030. I also don't regard that as a particularly significant advance in the broader sense of the objective because I think it's easier to get from zero to driving in Phoenix than it is to get from there to handling, say, traffic in Mumbai, both in technological and social terms.


2030 will at least have certain areas that are autonomous vehicles only, like maybe a forward-thinking region implements a fully autonomous truck lane on a highway.

If anything were to get in the way of fully autonomous vehicles by 2030, I would think it will be a government's lack of political will to create the infrastructure or regulation needed for driverless vehicles.


It doesn't matter if there are SOME self-driving cars on the road in 2030, or if they're level 4 or level 5. [1]

What matters is if they're economically feasible by 2030, and say have 100M or 1B customers. Is Waymo bigger than what Google search is now, or another self-driving company bigger than Facebook?

My answer is no for consumer applications, e.g. rideshare. I wrote in this thread:

Self-driving cars won't impact the average consumer in the next 10 years. It will continue to be cheaper to operate rideshares with human drivers in most parts of the world and most terrains/climates. It will make sense for commercial applications though.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21942100

[1] There are people in this thread arguing that this has already been achieved. I don't agree, but if the threshold is one car demonstrating one thing, then meh I might not argue.


Yep, there's no way they'll be widespread, and for the limited places they are used, they'll have a human ready to grab the wheel. Largest users might be trucking companies. I think the hype will fade this decade without any fanfare as the reality becomes clearer.


Sure. I predict that there will not be a fully autonomous vehicle widely available for sale to the public and allowed to function in FA mode on all roads, as of Dec 31, 2029.

("widely available for sale to the public": at least as available as a Tesla is right now.)

On the other hand, I predict that lots of cars will have emergency auto-assist features: collision avoidance warnings, lane-keeping assistance, seatbelt tighteners, and perhaps a last-action feature that evaluates whether it's best to slam on the brakes, veer sharply (and in what direction?) or try to accelerate out of danger -- and then applies that action without driver input.


I believe there will be L3 available in the next decade. A consumer-owned car which can take over driver-responsibility in limited settings. What Teslas autopilot promises although it currently is L2.

The interesting question is which company is bold enough to do it first and if it will survive the law suits afterwards. Tesla is the most likely.

L4/5 will realize in limited scenarios (senior communities, hub-to-hub trucks) but not as taxis in dense cities. In other words Waymo will still use safety drivers in ten years or close down.

(80% confidence in my statements)


> if anyone thinks we will NOT see fully autonomous vehicles on the road by 2030.

I don't think we will in any widespread way. Perhaps we'll see some in very limited deployments, both in terms of the number of vehicles and what roads they'll operate on.


my prediction is we will see them in geo-fenced localities that have a much more controlled driving experience, and will not be available in consumer cars beyond Tesla-style "drive assistance", but instead will be fleets managed by companies like Uber.

I.e. self driving Ubers will be geo-fenced to suburban areas away from unpredictable city conditions, and used for local deliveries (think pizza, uber eats) and perhaps long-haul highway trucks (which pretty much drive straight for fifteen hours anyway).

Self driving in every consumer vehicle will be in the 2030s.


But the singularity will be much nearer this time around.


I was going to make that very prediction: fully autonomous (level 5) vehicles will not be on the road in 2030.


- Microsoft will start pushing hard for it in a couple of years and Edge will be the default browser of choice in 10 years. It will have state of the art surveillance prevention and ad blocking. It will visually guess where the ads are perfectly, so that even ads served directly from the 1st party domain will be blocked.

- Google will loose significant revenue and will start laying off people after 2025. Will focus back on having good search results instead of the crap we have today, but it will not be enough to keep it afloat during 2030's.

- There will be a Gmail competitor.

- Apple will buy DuckDuckGo.

- There will be a dominant WebAssembly framework with support for different languages where all web applications will be written on (as .Net, but not .Net). JS usage will shrink to lightweight content pages.

- After 7yo becomes ~13yo, PG will go back to YC. Also will write a book that will be a bestseller for non-technical / non-startup audience.


* People stop fighting the data privacy fight. Laws will be created for user data collection consent, but people will ignore it like current day EULA or terms. Killer applications for user data will start showing up and public options will shift to "eh, I guess it's okay if they collect and share data about me, I get some good utility out of it"

* VR hype passes, maybe because technical limitations doesn't make for a pleasant experience. Remains a bit gimmicky

* haha remember bitcoin?

* alternative meats become mainstream, account for half of meat consumption. (Note for future readers and myself. As of 01/2020 Impossible Burger has recently partnered with BK for an impossible whopper and the Beyond Bratwurst served at work was quite good, though still somewhat niche. Only in a few stores and restaurants)

* Pet ownership will become frowned upon, or maybe just less acceptable than it is today


> Killer applications for user data will start showing up

I feel like recommendation engines and personalized results already satisfy this "killer applications". I keep myself logged out when using YouTube and Google Search, but I always recognize that on YouTube it'd be a lot easier to find videos that interest me if it accounted for my history.


i personally love keeping pets and eating bbq, but agree that both will be considered completely barbaric in the future


1. Big Tech will get more stronger, and no tech company incorporated in this decade will reach 200B USD in value by 2030.

2. China will remain as authoritarian if not more, and Xi Jinping or someone handpicked by him will be leading China in 2030.

3. Apple will keep shifting more and more into Services, and by 2030, services will account for the majority of their profit.

4. More and more countries will see the rise of populist governments due to the voice amplification offered by Social media.

5. Facebook will reach 1T$ in market cap.

6. We will see atleast one big tech company reach 2T USD in market cap.

7. Cloud providers will churn out more and more services, to the point that more and more Enterprises will offload most things to them, and only write the very core business logic themselves.

8. No federated platform will come close to the success of email. No decentralised messaging platform will dethrone the market leaders.


1. Hardware: The only way to get more performance will be to adapting it to the workload. We're going to see a lot more special purpose chips. "Managed Language Chips" with hw accelerated garbage collection. The Map operation of BigData's MapReduce will be executed in-place in RAM with vast parallelism. RISC-V will have picked up steam and start chipping away in open-source mode at the Intels and NVIDIAs. Stacked computing will be a thing. There will be a lot of new letters in front of 'PU' (CPU, GPU, TPU, ?PU). New kinds of jobs will be created to help people navigate this jungle. Compiler infrastructures will get messy. It will be a Cambrian explosion of new architectures.

2. Software: All languages alive now will stay that way. PHP still feeds the family now, it will continue to do so. FORTRAN will still exist. Some new languages might come mainstream, but only because driven by external factors (Hyperscaler behind it, or the only language for a specific piece of hardware)

3. Money: Globalization will deepen. It will get better for the very poor and the very rich. It will be getting worse between the 5th an 95th percentiles in developed countries.

4. Quantum computing will still be 10 years away.

5. There will be a 2008-like crash before 2025. It will come from excessive corporate debt; and will lead to massive consolidation and monopolies, as neither US nor EU nor China want to be the first to crack down on their champions.

6. There will be two 2017-like speculation bubbles on Bitcoin.

7. Still no AGI, but increasingly pervasive machine learning presence in every bit of every system. People will understand and interact better with ML models.

8. SpaceX crash-lands something on the Moon (before the first half) and Mars (after the first half).

9. No major blockchain-based success, but some industries will have been helped and transformed by starting to operate with automated contracts defined in publicly available code. (ex: parametric insurance)

10. Large scale video games will appear. 100k users will be able to play closely to each other in realtime fashion (unlike in WoW where they can be at most a few 100s in the same place).

11. Close to 2030, with the help of DNA editing, China will release a deadly virus that targets lactose-tolerant humans, starting WWIII.


Near a depression are you?

> SpaceX crash-lands something on the Moon (before the first half) and Mars (after the first half)

Well, that or Musk rightfully claims the next decade, just like the last, where he came out of nothing. If so, and given a decline of the USA, a climate of desperation means he ends up elected president.

Well then I see what you see, when you say you want him to crash-land ;)


Oh, I'm quite hopeful for Elon. The thing is, for space exploration, and especially for Elon, it is much more likely that the first attempt will result in a crash.

But that's just how it's done, and the necessary first step. To me, that's Elon being successful.


1. Electric cars will be around 10% of the total cars in the world

2. The world will hit a major recession starting with China

3. We will have simple and effective screening test for most form of cancers with high accuracy

4. We will begin seeing the benefits and power of quantum computing and its applications

5. We will have 1-2 successful manned missions to Mars and Moon

6. Richest and most successful tech companies will still be Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple

7. Major Indian cities like Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai will hit a major overpopulation crisis, resulting in unavailability of basic amenities like water, shelter and electricity

8. Hyperloop will be in its nascent stages but will be commercially available reducing traveling times by a huge factor

9. Plant based meats and lab grown meats consumption will grow exponentially

10. A deadly bacterial/viral disease will kill more than 1 million people worldwide


- Bill Gates is president of the United States

- Edward Snowden will be back home. He's still a hero.

- Bitcoin lightning payments are the most common form of payment on the Internet.

- Due to the death of Moore's law a USD 1000 laptop in 2030 is only 3 times as powerful as a USD 1000 laptop in 2020.

- Quantum computers are still not common

- Nosql databases are not commonly used anymore

- Singularity is still 30 years away

- China's and Russia's will have found effective ways to isolate their internet traffic.

- Postgres is the nr 1 database in use

- Hackernews color theme will change from orange to green

- SAP's ERP system revenues will have dropped significantly

- Startup solutions will be more common in corporate environments.

- Matrix will be the most commonly used protocol used for chat software.

- Plasma Mobile will be a successful alternative to Android.


> Postgres is the nr 1 database in use > SAP's ERP system revenues will have dropped significantly

These seem linked to me, I can't imagine any of the recent startups in are using SAP/Oracle based solutions. Over time this is going to become an increasing problem for SAP and Oracle. All they can do is milk what they can from their dying client base, probably hastening the demise in the process.


> Hackernews color theme will change from orange to green

Apart from this one, I'm onboard with these. A change of colorscheme just seems too far-fetched.


1. Deep-water offshore wind power will be an established technology, and capacity deployed will be >50% of shallow-water offshore

2. Addition of 20% low-carbon hydrogen to natural gas grids will be common in Europe

3. Still no commodity optical computing, still no restoration of full-blooded Moore's Law, CPU core counts will be huge, we programmers will still be rubbish at effectively making use of them all

4. Rust's lifetimes prove to be the crack in the dam for type systems which regulate more aspects of program correctness in widely-used production languages (as widely used as, say, Erlang is now)

5. One of the 2028 Democratic presidential candidates will be openly furry


1. Peak Google. This one will only appear in retrospect, but I think they hit a peak in the next 10 years and slowly relinquish dominance to a position more like Microsoft. They are no longer viewed through rose-colored glasses. Like Microsoft in the 90s.

2. AI/ML become more entrenched and we start to see "Standard Models" for niche ML tasks that can consistently outperform humans with almost no mistakes. We just had the headline about AI being better than humans at reading mammograms. We'll see models that fully solve problems one at a time until industries begin to look for that ML model rather than solve a problem with more labor.

3. Voice assistants become more ubiquitous, but also more literal. They no longer try to understand your intent, but rather perform rote tasks very efficiently and without cloud (aside from updates/backups/etc). Voice will affirm itself as a viable input mode but lag well behind current modes (keyboard/mouse/touchscreen).

4. Gesture detection continues to flail. Project Soli will create some amazing niche solutions and demos, but not go mainstream.

5. Eye/gaze tracking will find its way to end users and become useful for gaming and some other broad interactions. Users take to it fairly well.

6. A woman will become president of the US.

7. We see a global recession by 2022. It's moderate and causes no major shockwaves, but some 20th century industries are irreparably damaged.


Can you clarify 7?


It will accelerate the death of some declining industries like brick and mortar retail, coal extraction and a lot of logistics work (trucking, etc). They will become less relevant and/or automated. They won't die, but will reach new lows and never fully recover.


Based on this

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1025681

it seems things change much less than expected.

Probably Climate Change will turn out to be solvable by a combination of more efficient energy production, less consumption, net negative greenhouse gas emissions and conservative geo-engineering (algae, reflecting surfaces like solar panels everywhere etc.) Either a completely new or re-invented gadget or platform will arrive that integrates nicely with all the stuff we already have. I bet it'll be something about communication. (Nice add-on to the hundreds of messengers, social networks, communication gadgets that are already there...)

I think everything else will stay pretty much the same. People will still drive cars, wait in traffic jams and be upset about everyday politics. The rise of the extreme right will turn out to be a non-issue, since history has never been documented and reflected as well as in the last hundreds of years.

Developments in technology, politics, economy and society will bring more wealth to a larger amount of people. Especially in African Countries there will be an economy comparable in wealth to that of today's South-East Asia. That will come along with improved telecommunication and transport infrastructure throughout the continent.


- The PC as we know it will die and everything will be done through cellphones/tablets. This means that the mouse and keyboard will probably die as well and apps will adapt to other more common interfaces such as voice-commands.

- Social networks that are less "company controlled" will become more popular: users will be able to change the algorithms behind what their social networks are showing them. They'll also be able to prove that the networks haven't "hampered" the data in any particular way. These technologies will help the laymen to better filter out fake news and we'll have less "flath earthers" groups becoming popular.

- AI techniques (machine learning / neural networks) will not just be useful for apps, but will be part of the development process itself: our IDEs will have powerful AI technology to help us code.

- Solitude apps will be even more specific: we'll be able to find/filter people with very particular interests and hang out with them. Finding your partner or best friends through apps will be even more common.

- Cities might experiment with shared-living areas where people live together with one another in common places and are incentivised to participate in activities with each other with a stronger push towards community rather than isolation.


It's already fairly dead except for those who do actual work (or gaming).


1. As Enterprises get cozy in the cloud, the next wave of startups will get their infrastructure else where in order to compete and differentiate. On-prem becomes sexy again.

2. Biotech laced with computer science really hits it stride.

3. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a financial instrument go extinct but the idea of distributed payments for services directly to providers lives on. Blockchain is replaced with ledgers and protocols that allow companies to give consumers transparency without all the blockchain and mining shenanigans.

4. We finally figure out how to compensate open source developers for their work.

5. Social media use looks like it dies down hard but it just evolves into something else, especially with the under-40 crowd. Probably driven by wearables and AR so ad companies can still get metadata.

6. Intel nearly goes belly up and gets bought by Dell. VMware goes bankrupt because Kubernetes doesn't pan out.

7. AI winter part 2 and it's really ugly. Tech is the center of the next recession.

8. Google becomes like Yahoo is right now, not because a better search engine emerges, but because search becomes less important.

9. A new operating system emerges. It gives programmers much better access to hardware and has distributed systems primitives built in. RISC-V leads to lots of domain specific chips.

And just so I can be sure to get one right:

10. A new market leader in chat emerges to supplant Slack.


Stripe will become a FAANG, or at least gain significant world relevance.

Bio-hacking will become mainstream, causing significant backlash and become a sensitive, polarised topic.

Startup equity / VC funding will change significantly, making it more fair & appealing for early employees.


What is bio-hacking vs doing pro-athlete level nutrition, drugs and fitness?


CRISPR / designer babies


Dozens of cities in the US will seriously invest money and adopt new policies to become the "next Silicon Valley." One will reach Boston-level success. Probably in a Southern state along the East Coast.

Fewer people with CS degrees, more inclusion of CS coursework across different degree programs.

Going beyond 2030 to 2050, shopping malls outside of high-value cities will be abandoned, never repurposed, and become common locations for "urban ruin explorers."


I think that malls will become server farms.


or Amazon fulfilment centres


Or bars and casinos. They’re literal time sucks and job creators. Also full of sin. Just like malls, in a way.


I wish we had more cities with tech. Seems like Silicon Valley is still the #1 place for tech despite the cost of living and other issues. There's probably a lot of intelligent and smart people but disadvantaged due to poor location and who feel misplaced. However the rise of remote might change this too. I know some cities are pushing at getting fiber, so that might attract tech too. I know I keep hearing that Austin is the next Silicon Valley, but I feel like as the city grows, housing and other issues will come up just like San Francisco.


* 50%-60% of cars on the road will be replaced by electric / hybrid cars (very likely)

* Remote work will be much more widespread / will be the norm at least in IT (very likely)

* Telemedicine will be widespread, AI automated medical diagnostics systems. (very likely)

* AI/automated lawyers (likely)

* AI/automated trading will become dominant

* More automation in the warehouses / factories / stores

* First manned mission to Mars (unlikely)

* Evidence of past life found on Venus (unlikely)

* Sea level rises by 10 cm. Climate warming although not very dramatic

* Oil extraction diminishes by 30% globally

* New privacy oriented businesses (protection of personal data, digital forensics, cyber detectives)

* New efficient method for capturing CO2 from atmosphere developed (towards the end of the decade)

* First asteroid harvested for ore

* Some forms of cancer can be cured effectively

* More remote mini wars/ military operations (using air drones, automated undersea vehicles, rovers)

* Lab grown meat is available to buy

* "3D printing" of simple tissues

* Personal medical monitoring devices (constantly monitoring heart rate, blood pressure, sugar level, ...)

* Development of NEWSPEAK (oh sorry digression)

* Lithium shortages / alternative battery technologies

* Very high digital storage capacities available at cheap price, although content starts to take more space

* End of monarchy in the UK


OK these are some a very long predictions:

- At least one East Asian country out of {singapore, south korea, japan, china (ROC or PRC)} legalizes Cannabis.

- Microsoft extends the dominance it began in late 2010 decade. C# and F# eclipse Java as enterprise programming solutions.

- Google runs into some major trouble and loses considerable market share; the biggest tumble comes on the heels of an internal, employee-led revolt or schism.

- While we're at it, Kubernetes goes out of style, replaced by something out of Microsoft (that is not on our radar at the moment).

- The US is in the first five nations with population greater than 50M to meet its Paris Accord CO2 targets, despite having left the Paris Accord.

- Early 2020s: Brexit unexpectedly results in the UK narrowly escaping the worst of a major economic collapse in Europe, led by or concurrent with the collapse or bailout of Deutche Bank. Of course this spreads to the rest of the world, but if we say put it in quantitative terms the relative, GDP normalized damage to the UK is less than the damage to each of: Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, and Denmark.

- Quantum computing goes through an explosive growth in qubits for the early half of the decade, topping out at around 10,000-100,000 qubits, followed by 2-3 year linear phase, and then diminishing-return, sublinear improvements through the close of the decade. Researchers begin talking about a 'QC winter' like which we saw AI go through.

- NASA disqualifies the Boeing Starliner from flying after astronauts refuse to man it.

Aside from one time when I correctly predicted my coworker's house would be under a volcano in 15 years, I am typically very bad at long timescale predictions and much better at short term out-of-the-odds predictions, so we shall see.


The UK has never been part of the European Monetary Union so Brexit doesn't make it any more isolated from EU's financial system than it was before.


I'm only playing devil's advocate, but potentially wouldn't separate trade deals with non-EU countries increase the isolation a little?


Microsoft already has a public kubernetes competitor that (comparatively) nobody uses: https://github.com/microsoft/service-fabric


And the guy who created k8s originally is at Microsoft now, so I'd be interested to see how it all falls out if this prediction comes true.


Brendan Burns has been leading the k8s/azure stuff for some time at Microsoft. I'm not sure internally how those two are competing, though.


He leads both AKS and service fabric. He just calls k8s the orchestrator for stateless services and SF the one for stateful ones.


It looks like this project is dead at this point, with the last commit 6 months ago.


No, they have a full hallway of people working on it and job openings on the careers site, and a good chunk of Azure core services use it with new services still being built on it.

Supposedly it's pretty nice, since if you make sure to deploy your instances to different AZs, it takes care of synching all your in-memory data between instances and you can treat all of your data as in-memory data. You don't need a separate data layer, and supposedly everything is robust because you've got resiliency across AZs. At least that's what I've heard, though I've never used it and am curious about the actual resiliency and race handling.


Do you know why the oss project is stagnant? It would seem if they wanted it to gain traction they would use that repo as the main one. Someone else mentioned service fabric was for stateful services, but at this point stateful services in kubernetes are mature.


Nope, no idea.


I was just going to write a similar QC prediction. I think it'll be much like the moon landings: a huge race between US and China, a "giant leap for mankind" when we have a single general-purpose QC with a few thousand qubits and ECC (which will be sooner than many expect), then a few more trips over the subsequent decade, and then finally the realization that we have no particular reason to be there given the cost.


> Early 2020s: Brexit unexpectedly results in the UK narrowly escaping [..]

I had this thought too and reading it explicitly spelled out by someone else is extremely chilling. Apparently this is no only my crazy idea. Maybe no better time than now to buy some property in the UK, move there and try to get a passport?


>>Kubernetes goes out of style, replaced by something out of Microsoft (that is not on our radar at the moment).

and that something will be more convoluted than Kube to ensure you only use it as a Service (on Azure ofcourse) not as a OnPrem solution.


Is F# usage growing at all?


* Uber and Lyft will hit a crises as they keep losing money. They may still be around in 2029 but be smaller as their prices will be at "break even" levels.

* Driverless cars will still not be a thing outside experimental deployments. Safety drivers still needed outside of restricted environments (perhaps office parks).

* Electric cars will be an increasing percentage of cars sold. But still only a minority of new cars sold.

* Small electric vehicles (Scooters, ebikes, etc) will be more popular. Most people will own their own.

* Delivery Bots will take off. They will deploy fast in 100s of cities worldwide like electric scooters did in 2018 & 2019. Cities and Governments will struggle to adapt

* Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies will still be a niche. The average person will have no interaction with them and they will not be used for regular transactions

* Artificial meat and milk will take a growing percentage of the market. The drop in demand and prices will cause further drops in farming incomes and disruption in areas/countries that depend on it.


Healthcare and wellness will become the largest sector of the economy in developed countries. This will cause distress as countries try and mesh that with consumer product focused economic systems.


That's not a bad thing. How much of your GDP do you want to spend on healthcare?

Let's suppose that healthcare costs half what it does (never mind how). What do you want to buy with the savings? More plastic stuff? More food?

Or do you want to buy more healthcare?

To me it seems reasonable for a society to spend what it has to on food and shelter, and some reasonable level on infrastructure and entertainment and leisure, and then spend all the rest on healthcare. Why? Because having people not die is a pretty big deal. If we can buy more of that, let's. Let's buy as much of it as we can afford.


Yes, I completely agree.


Hey, checking in from 2030:

Smartphones will begin to be replaced by smart glasses. Apple will introduce an augmented reality headset on the trails of Vuzix and other smaller companies, and other tech companies will follow suit. Eye tracking is another area of probable advancement.

The clock rate of consumer CPU's won't exceed 6ghz.

Tesla will continue to enjoy a lot of success, eventually being a good 15% of the cars we see on the roads as battery technology steadily improves.

Climate change will become even more apparent. We'll see measurable effects, and the US will reengage in new climate agreements after 2020.

SHA2 will show signs of weakness with initial attacks against SHA2-256.

Quantum computers will not make significant progress toward being consumer ready by 2030, but there will be more research done.

We'll have the first near-room temperature superconductor at high pressures. No new technology.

ITER will continue to make progress toward fusion. No successful (net positive) experiments yet. Check back in 2030.

2020 or 2021 recession.

There are still people on IRC.

Most importantly: FIRST MAN ON MARS


- A.Yang becomes US president

- A deal between US & China destabilizes china. The UK wants into the deal. EU wants another part

- A military insurgence in an african country establishes a free-trade zone. a part of the world's manufacturing moves to africa.

- As europe is aging, most of its rural land becomes deserted. Airbnb is struggling because its now cheaper to buy a european home than rent.

- The UK becomes a tax haven and attracts thousands of tech companies , most of which are now remote. SV sees a massive exodus of capital

- People become weary and stop talking about politics. Having nothing to talk about, facebook dies. People put their money where their mouth is, and we have the first experimental , co-owned private cities.

- Climate warming is actually viewed positive by people living in northern countries.

- Travel is significantly reduced, as 30% of the population work remote. Instead of tourism, people do forms of nomadism. AirBnbLonger.com becomes the most valuable startup in london or sth.

- Disillusion with self driving vehicles leads to despair initially, but then quickly every car is equipped with driving assist . Drivers are no longer drivers, they are now safety drivers

- AI passes the turing test. Bots trained on wikipedia that can reason and come up with logical answers surpass google's search result quality. Google dies. People on twitter stop caring whether they are talking to a bot or human, and learn to just enjoy the chat

- A few major countries dissolve. Perhaps even a few US states secede

- The first age reversal therapies are successful

- A full artificial womb is finalized. Societies give up on traditional family norms, completely disengaging sex from family. Massive orgies become the most popular form of entertainment


Waiting for the brexit eagerly for the UK thing to happen.


In the next 10 years, there will be a major change in education which will resemble Alfred North Whitehead's the Rhythm of Education.[0] This will not happen independent of John Dewey's philosophy of pragmatism, learning by doing, participation, connecting personally to ideas, and democracy in the classroom, but will also have a focus on discipline and precision. Whitehead's three stages involve a period of romance, becoming acquainted to a subject and knowledge, precision, systematically learning the facts connected with the subject introduced in the romance period, and, lastly, generalization, where facts are used to create new theory and independent thought by the student beyond what is known. Whitehead explains that this isn't a linear process, like our current approach to education, but rather cyclic.

Using less summative assessment, like standardized tests based on grade level, to compare students and set the rate of learning based on the mean of a group of children, instead, diagnostic and formative assessment using technology, like what we have seen with the Khan Academy, will be widely used to assist in the difficult often boring stage of precision giving teachers more time to introduce students new subjects and lead them to use their knowledge to make generalizations.

My prediction is the end of standardized tests at the grade level by 2030. Homework will not be necessary anymore as this will work will be efficiently done during normal school hours. Lastly, although it is important that we consider learning disabilities a real thing, it might be more fair and pragmatic to call it a teaching disability taking the responsibility from the child to learn putting it onto the adult. (Ok, this is personal, my goal for the next ten years is to eliminate homework.)

[0] https://mast.queensu.ca/~peter/essays/whitehead.pdf


Marriages and having children will become less and less popular, and under-population will start to be a real concern for economies.

Governments to start / increase incentives to get married and have kids.


Hungary has this:

https://ifstudies.org/blog/is-hungary-experiencing-a-policy-...

Some UK nationalist politicians have recently mentioned this approvingly. Traditionally, policies like this fit in very well with authoritarian populist governments, and i think we're likely to see more of those, so i agree with your prediction.


> Governments to start / increase incentives to get married and have kids.

Probably gonna be another tax incentive around housing


I'll try to keep mine somewhat realistic.

1 - Rise and fall of AI. Not complete fall, mind you. I think companies are going to try to replace humans with AI everywhere they can, and people are going to push back against it.

2 - Self driving long haul trucks will be the norm. Will still have drivers, but will be more of babysitters, and make less money.

3 - Boom in biotech. Maybe growing organs for transplant, or else adequate mechanical replacements.

4 - Amazon finally gets a worthy competitor in the online shopping realm. Since fast delivery is the key, this is either going to be Walmart, or Target, or both.

5 - Change in social media. As more is 'dug up' to embarass people of our age, kids will turn to private channels, nothing like FB or Twitter. FB will of course launch a competitor to said service.

6 - Politically, it's anyone's guess. Divisiveness has been rising to a boiling point. I don't see war, but perhaps states and even cities trying to become independent.


1. Bitcoin will remain largely as it is today - a niche "currency" not used by many people due to it remaining difficult to use, impossible to insure, and prone to large swings in value.

2. Computer assistance will help aid drivers with incremental advances on what they do today - by 2030 most new cars will be able to parallel park for you, as an example, but full self-driving, if available to consumers, will be limited to limited access roads such as highways.

3. AWS and Azure will still be the dominant cloud providers. Google will reduce investment in GCP and it will fall further behind.

4. IBM's purchase of RedHat won't pay off. Over the next 10 years they'll shed 100k employees or more.

5. We'll see fewer streaming service providers by the end of the decade. Amazon may sell off their video service and will be picked up by either NBCUniversal or ViacomCBS. Whoever doesn't get them will at least try for some sort of merger with Netflix.

6. Amazon will release another phone to try and challenge Apple and Google once again.

7. Salesforce will most likely buy Slack. The other most likely bidders I see are IBM, Cisco, and Dell.

Other things that I think are very obvious or already starting:

* TV and movie piracy will increase significantly due to subscription fatigue.

* Libra won't have launched.

* Cloud gaming is 50/50 as to whether or not it will be like VR/AR is today. I actually think it has a better chance of success in parts of Europe and Asia - think Scandinavia, South Korea, and Japan, than in the US. The major internet providers in the US are not interested in providing the quality of service needed for cloud gaming to succeed. Starlink won't offer enough bandwidth to disrupt this space either, although it may see significant adoption in rural areas if enough satellites are launched.


The world will get weirder. Convincing audio and video faking technology will make it incredibly easy to pervert and twist any public figure. This will only make it easier to spread conspiracies. Assassinations or other forms of domestic terrorism may happen as a result.

People won't do shit about global warming, at least for the first 5 years. The Middle East will get increasingly unstable as heat increases and arable land becomes sparse. Cities like Dubai will become less and less appealing, especially as the rich move away. A major disaster in the Global South will happen, causing millions of deaths but only handwringing and prayers in the west.

More female directors and hopefully a new wave of sorts as people realize that films can be made for so cheap (seriously people read your Truffaut). Distribution will get easier, yet still fragmented.

William Gibson will be right, perhaps more in terms of zeitgeist than actual details.


1. Electric cars will be 25-35% of new cars sold in the US by 2030.

2. "Advanced" Smart Grid will be rolled out in some significant areas. Smart Grid will have energy storage at every tier: Grid, Municipal, Home, and Appliance. Smart Grid will control appliances in the home. Opt out of Smart Grid will be very expensive.

3. Armed militias will be formed and shots fired over freshwater in the USA.

4. Reality as a Service will allow users to choose the facts of their reality.

5. Some company will partially deliver Theranos' vision of persistent implanted health monitoring devices.

6. In 2023 a Marvel film will flop.

7. The likeness of dead actors in film becomes commonplace. It never stops being creepy to me.

8. Monoclonal Antibody drugs become much cheaper.

9. A breakthrough is made in Auto-immune diseases.

10. Ford and GM join Chrysler in merging with international automaker conglomerates (not necessarily the same one), or go out of business.

11. Tesla continues to mystify analysts. Elon Musk actually transmogrifies his soul into a tree.


- An Uber or Lyft style company will launch remotely piloted drone-cars.

- Remote pilots will be multiplexed among vehicles; intervening to navigate "tricky" areas, while allowing autonomous driving for simple highway stretches.

- Self-driving cars will be able to request remote-pilot assistance to navigate "tricky" areas.


If I were to try and make accurate predictions they would be necessarily pessimistic, so instead I'm going to list some of my hopes for the 2020s:

- Zig [0] will rise to prominence as a C replacement after its 1.0.0 release.

- Someone will finally put together a good FOSS desktop OS, probably based on the Linux kernel but with a small, stable, and coherent userland base-system, and portable self-contained and sandboxed-by-deftault AppImage-like applications.

- The ad pushing and data siphoning economy collapses and consequently software returns to focusing on user empowerment, responsiveness, and efficiency.

- The US finally gets healthcare reform that doesn't make us the laughing stock of the rest of the civilized world.

[0] https://ziglang.org/


* VR finally takes off for real, creating the next app store style payday as killer apps come online.

* A VR content studio becomes a billion dollar business

* At the end of the 2020's, China hits a demographic wall it can't easily recover from.

* The ICE collapse begins in earnest in the latter half of 2020's.

* Bitcoin's value will crater as the untethering happens (See NY AG lawsuit), leading to a crypto winter

* Google has entered "Day 2" and will have a major competitor in the next 10 years. Day 2 can be seen by the anti-consumer wall of paid results it has, just like the stodgy competitors it beat 10 years ago had. Also, founders left.

* SPA's will be considered an anti pattern

* Massive recession hits

* Inflation

* Tesla becomes Amazon sized due to the intersection of falling battery prices, solar prices, and the tipping point for ICE practicality


So far you're the only username from the 2010's thread to have also made predictions in this one: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1025787

How do you feel you did?


Not too well. I feel like a chunk of them could still work for the next ten years. I think the timing is the tricky part. For example, for this year's 10 year predictions, my China prediction would be better off a little farther out to have a higher likelihood.

I'm interested to see if betting on big trends make this batch any more accurate.


My big prediction is in physics:

Thanks to Einstein we live in a 4D reality, 3 spatial dimensions and the dimension of time.

In the next 10 years I predict our understanding of physics will evolve (with a confirmation through observation) from us being 3D beings living in a 4D reality to...something more.

If I could personally lead the charge on any changes in the next 10 years...I would eradicate all new cases of childhood type 2 diabetes. Sadly this has been achievable and avoidable since the first case of childhood type 2 diabetes was diagnosed in 1983. Unfortunately, I don't expect or predict there will be any gains, only more and more children diagnosed with this terrible disease (my prediction: many as 25-50% of children) by the end of the next decade.


- Climate change will dominate all facets of our lives with politics and science being the main one - Solar energy will become more successful - Tesla will dominate the car industry - SpaceX will land to Mars first an unmanned and then a manned Starship - A new major scandal will come out of Facebook and people will ask for it to shut down - Web frameworks will become even more complicated and a new breed of web developers will be needed - Streaming will present itself as the complete replacement of TV as we know it - Property market will continue to rise - Crypto will have a couple of spike years and then disappear in its current form - We will go back to the dark years of AI - Mexico will want to build a wall


There is going to be a war between US and China:

1) there are a few likely points of conflict:

     - south china sea

     - african countries that are between most influenced by china and others.

     - taiwan

     - north korea

     - middle east

     - chinese/russian border
2) Trade war and all that will be a part of the war

3) China will try to use it's network of influencers/agents in universities, big companies and ethnically chinese communities in general.

4) The war will stop the grouth of civillian economy in china, which will raise chances of a revolution. CCP will tighten the grip and all smart/educated/somewhat open minded chinese citizens will be on the path out of the country no matter how hard it will be.


1. China has a 1929 moment and¨faces the first major modern depression, it affects the whole world like the 2008 financial crisis.

2. We find extraterrestrial life.

3. The USA tightens antitrust laws and its effects FANGS greatly.

4. Autonomous cars are starting to spread but infrastructure hampers that spreading.

5. We get the first state-backed crypto coin which spreads like wildfires in Australia.

6. The USA turns inward and the EU has to save Italy from economic catastrophe.

7. Gigantic hurricane hits the USA and it forces the USA taking climate change seriously some kind carbon tax/cap and trade is implemented.

8. GAN made fake video spreads fast and hits MSM, it might be porn or conspiracy type video.

9. First modern African descended pope is elected.

10. Electric cars are sold more than traditional ones in the major western markets.


People have been predicting (1) for a while. What makes you think this is finally the decade for it?


China's credit bubble is huge and it is getting worse every year, it has to implode some point. Especially when the workforce is shrinking without economic reforms.


A new tech company will make it big by selling privacy-minded devices (or by pretending to be privacy-minded). More companies will follow and a buzzword will be created for these kind of devices (privtech or something).

Big tech companies will stop using Javascript and go full WASM. Non-tech Companies will still use Javascript, but popular Javascript frameworks won't be as big as Angular and React, they will be jQuery reincarnations.

Some important person is going to be hacked and the consequences will be bigger than you think.

Foldable phones will make a big fuss and then die just like netbooks did 10 years ago.

Google will try to replace Android and fail. Flutter will be discontinued.

Someone will try to dethrone Youtube, making a big fuss, and fail miserably.


1. Intel will survive, but AMD will have the majority of the market, most of the time. Apple will try to invest in it’s own ARM workstation CPUs, but will eventually switch to AMD cores (licensed, used inside proprietary Apple’s chips).

2. Windows will still dominate desktops.

3. Quantum computers will stay approximately where they are today, expensive toys for scientists without practical applications.

4. Electric road vehicle sales will exceed gasoline ones; the major driver being developing countries. Couple global car brands emerge from these countries, likely Asian, like Xiaomi did.

5. US and China will come to some trade agreement and resume business as usual.

6. Russia will disintegrate once again, causing major global security headache because nukes.


1. Electric vehicles will be mainstream.

2. Self-driving will be deployed effectively in freight transport.

3. The cost and efficiency of logistics will be lowered further and become an important factor in economic growth.

4. Pressure on the market of commercial real estate due to the lower cost of logistics.

5. Wind (especially offshore wind farms) and solar become cost-effective energy sources.

6. Technology leaps in battery and energy storage.

7. AI/ML will find its niche in industrial infrastructure more than consumer goods/services.

8. Desktops and laptops made of SoCs become the norm.

9. RISC-V commoditizes certain aspects of the chip design industry and will grow an impactful ecosystem.

10. Cash will be diminished by the market and the pushes from governments, which will be replaced by digital transactions.


Re: 5 this is already true. Either you don't know this or you mean something more subtle.


In the EU that is probably true due to mature policies and infrastructure. But in many other countries, they still need government interventions to make initiatives. I anticipate that market-driven growth will become prevalent throughout the world.


Prediction for 2030. There will be 2030 new javascript frameworks.


It feels like React is pretty well entrenched as the leading front end framework at this point. I really don't know any devs in real life that have used it and disliked the developer experience and are itching to try something new. A new framework would have to provide some fairly significant advantages to get people to switch.


*by may of 2020


Spot on


Predictions for various walks of life:

Health

- health devices become mandatory and data from devices dictates the cost of health insurance and care

Transportation

- Electric vehicles would become the norm - All manufacturers stop making gas based vehicles - Autonomous vehicles capture 50% of Goods transportation market - Multiple metro cities worldwide have autonomous taxis

Education

- Master's level education becomes mandatory for any type of job - pay after getting job grows adaptation

Entertainment

- number of movie theaters close down - virtual reality becomes a core part of entertainment

Energy

- Solar, Wind and Hydro will surpass other sources - More and more countries would adopt Denmark/ Norway model - Energy companies would start to replace Tech in terms of richness


1. Merging of mobile/desktop OS (i.e. iOS and MacOS becoming one and the same).

2. A Microsoft first-party Android device is launched, following a similar attack strategy they are currently starting with Edge on Chromium: fork, improve, destroy.

3. ARM takes over... actually, a more bold prediction: x86-64 remains king, and ARM is not able to conquer beyond the mobile market, despite present-day feelers.

4. Self driving cars master 95% of driving scenarios but struggle with enough "uncommon" scenarios that it winds up in a PR nightmare (youtube searches for "AutoPilot accident" lands results with millions of views) and doesn't revolutionize much except pizza delivery and long-haul trucks.

5. Theater chains push hard for Movie-pass style subscriptions (I mean, harder than they already have). Netflix purchases a small theater chain that shows its own films for free to subscribers, with excellent snacks for purchase. (or has this already happened?)

6. Disney Plus struggles with choosing consolidating the Disney "family friendly" brand and the sort of Game of Thrones gore-fest content demanded by millions of subscribers, leading to either a rebranding or an off-shoot for "adults" a la "Adult Swim" or "Nick at Night".

7. At least one of the big streaming services (Cockatoo or whatever NBC has?) throws in the towel and merges with another.

8. Hong Kong remains in turmoil for all of the 2020s.

9. Rust becomes the poster child of systems programming (or has it already), and goes from relatively niche to a must-have for new hires in just about any software industry.

10. Working remotely is still a pipe-dream heralded by a lucky subset of HN posters.

11. A battery breakthrough revolutionizes mobile devices and elevates electric cars to make combustion engines even more obsolete.

edit:

12. Extremely accurate diagnoses by AI makes healthcare cheaper (but not cheap), faster (but not fast), and a group of clueless people (think anti-vaxx) will refuse to ever be diagnosed by a machine and instead demand a "real doctor".


> Netflix purchases a small theater chain that shows its own films for free to subscribers, with excellent snacks for purchase. (or has this already happened?)

Not yet but Netflix recently bought and reopened New York City’s iconic Paris Theater (ostensibly to host limited showings of Netflix Original films so they're eligible for Academy Awards). They’re also interested in purchasing the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood.

https://www.theverge.com/2019/11/25/20982216/netflix-paris-t...


> attack strategy [that Microsoft is] starting with Edge on Chromium: fork, improve, destroy

Can you enlighten me on the "improve" and "destroy" parts of that strategy? For all I know, Edgium is Chrome with Google services replaced by Microsoft services.


I'm just being cute :)

It's the "if you can't beat them, fork them" strategy that I think will pay off in the end. "Improve" and "Destroy" are both rather optional.


5. I'd expect various bricks-and-mortar cinema chains to go bust or amalgamate, thanks to online distribution and 8K TV.


I really hope you are wrong on your first point, everywhere else this has been tried it has not worked very well.


I predict that I will understand just as little about the future in the next decade as I did during the decade prior.


* Social Networks

There will likely be some big crisis involving important people that revolves around their social media profiles from when they were teenagers or young adults. Maybe some bad photos, or comments. People who were in their mid 20s today will be eligible to run for the Office of the President in 2030. Lots of people in their mid 20s have done stupid stuff online in the last 10 years (since they were around 15).

After those scandals, people will start tilting away from social media. People will seek out more private enclaves, or just abstain from social media.

Additionally, many social media companies will have to deal with millions of profiles of dead individuals.

Prediction: Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp will be irrelevant in 10 to 15 years. People will move away from current levels of online sharing.

------------------

* Truth

Discerning truth will become harder and harder. Deep fakes, propaganda, social discussions about terminologies, etc will cause deep distrust of everything. Will lead to social change in how we trust what we see on screens.

Prediction: People will start preferring face to face meetings. (Kind of related to the previous point)

-------------------

* Climate

Climate crisis will cause more migrations. The changing population demographics will cause lots of civil unrest in Europe, Middle East and the Americas. India will become the largest country by population and face issues due to climate change.

Prediction: Wars and civil unrests :(

---------------

* Digital overload

People will start treating technological devices with skepticism. Phone addiction, etc will become recognized disorders and the cell phone market will get highly regulated. People will have a social movement against the excessive usage of digital devices.

-----------------

* Space

Manned missions to Moon, Mars and maybe some other places will occur.

---------------

* Recession

P(Recession in the next 10 years) = .99

-----------------

* Sports

Tom Bradyand Belichick continue the dominance of the Patriots for another 10 years.

FIFA 2022 in Qatar causes some illness among the players. Maybe Qatar's bad human rights record is finally addressed.

FIFA 2026 in America will be epic


- self driving cars: Improvements and advances, but not enough to handle the complexity of old European cities with their twisting roads and nonsensical street plans.

- quantum computing: We at least triple the qubit count. Maybe even quadruple. It's enough to do something of use, maybe even give "quantum supremacy" on one actual useful problem. Not much more than that, though.

- nuclear fusion: 2-4 "scientific breakthroughs". It remains a science project though. No commercially viable fusion power.

- AI: The hype dies out. AI won't change many things explosively, but it'll seep into everyday life andhaveabroad and profound impact. Medical diagnoses will be better, weather predictions, security, live tracking of people, etc. Most won't recognise it as AI.

- privacy. Technological advances will slow down, If only because there's not that much more to gain. Awareness will start to catch up and we will collectively wonder how to extricate ourselves from this dystopian hellhole we inflicted upon ourselves.

- society: Despite general feelings of "not ok", distribution of resources will skew further. The middle class will remain under pressure, for the simple reason that growth for the upper echelon cannot come from lower tiers. Yet middle class will continue to exist - a buffer between the have-nothings and the one-percenters.

- guns in the USA: The number of mass shootings will remain roughly equivalent to what it was in 2019. Growth is commensurate with population growth. Despite 3-5 high profile shootings a la Sandy Hook, the law won't be significantly more effective at preventing shootings.

- space: India and China will take the lead beyond low earth orbit.

- cancer: No great cancer breakthrough, just steadily continuing to chip away. By the end of the decade, 50% of new cancer patients can be converted into long-term treatment (5 yrs or more).

- climate change: The efforts in the coming decade are vastly insufficient. The only viable means of really combating climate change in the less-than-centuries time frame is significant reduction of population. (Over 25% decline in 10 years). Not sure if anyone has the balls to actually say that by then though.


I'm gonna make a contrarian prediction: consumer-facing technology won't change much over the next 10-15 years. Self-driving cars, smart clothes, artificial meat/meat substitutes, and AR/VR will all fail to become mainstream, each with less than 5-10% consumer adoption across the general population (partial autonomy in cars may become common, but full L5 autonomy won't). The real changes will be invisible, mainly changes to infrastructure. I predict that the grid will become much smarter and more resilient, with seamless coordination across millions of generators and endpoints (think EVs and rooftop solar). Similarly, at least one widely used decentralized alternative to the web will emerge, possibly passed on blockchain tech. I also predict that at least one widely-used cryptosystem will be broken; the resulting chaos will represent a major political and social headache. Political polarization and fake news will only get worse. Several states which are currently red, such as Texas and Georgia, will become purple due to changing demographics, representing a huge shift in the distribution of political power in the US. There will be at least one major recession. Another of the big European countries (maybe Italy?) will leave the EU, and Scotland will leave the UK. The middle east will remain a mess, but conditions in Africa will improve substantially, leading to several new fortunes being created. There will major progress on HIV and Alzheimer's, but cancer will remain a tough nut.


In 2030 - and focused on things that are different - not the same.

+ Smart home tech will be ubiquitous. Smart speakers paved the way. They're still not very smart, but good enough as an interface. Most importantly, they are the reason other home products became connected. Smart home products are smart lamps, outlets, curtains, locks.

+ Electrification of heating is happening at a large scale. This can be through a combination of devices, from floor heating to infrared panels in the form of paintings. This is driven by a continuous drop of the cost of electricity production.

+ Indoor positioning becomes considerable bigger, but doesn't reach the number of outdoor positioning chips (GPS) yet. It is used for asset tracking, smart homes, and hopefully not for advertisements.

+ Battery-free devices entered the consumer market. Using backscattering and energy harvesting techniques they perform basic tasks which conventially required a battery. This will be all low-bandwidth.

+ In other words, wireless charging on a distance of a couple of meters takes off. This will be low-energy. Not to charge smartphones or laptops.

+ Lab-grown meat is available in the supermarket. The price didn't come down yet. It's a product for people who can afford it.

+ A mouse brain has been frozen for a day, got revived, and lived for a bit after that.

+ There have been attempts to grow more crops in the sea. It couldn't robotized enough in those rough conditions to significantly produce food for kettle though.

+ Vertical farming is still a hype. Greenhouses pop up in more and more countries, reducing the role of the Netherlands w.r.t. agricultural exports.

+ A platform that brings together home sellers and buyers becomes global. It becomes bigger than Airbnb.

+ A sex toy with tele-properties goes viral. It is removing some social barriers. However, the society - esp. the US - remains very prudish.

+ We use the smartphone to pay and for access control. No need to carry a credit card or keys on you. Finally!

That's it for now! No autonomous cars, and no big advanced in general artificial intelligence. Still a lot to look forward to, I think! :-)


There will be a new American political party that garners mainstream popularity (possibly inhabiting the corpse of one of the parties existing in 2020.)

China will fall in power as investment from the west decouples.

Nuclear energy will make a PR comeback.

There will be at least one scientific breakthrough surrounding the underlying nature of consciousness. Optimism about the possibility of AGI among experts will increase significantly.

Young adults will be spending a majority of their time interacting with friends embodied as virtual avatars (on traditional devices and VR/AR devices)


Probably a left wing democratic movement.


I think the Justice Democrats are working pretty hard battling the establishment. I wouldn't be surprised to see that trend continue.


My predictions:

-It becomes even harder for new musicians and visual artists to make it because we will be able to generate "new" music from long dead artists using some form of generative machine learning models.

-It becomes nearly impossible to distinguish real people on social media from advanced bots-- some of which will have long and detailed online histories that seem authentic (i.e., internally consistent biographical details) to even skeptical observers. Owners of these armies of bots earn large profits because of the time it takes to properly establish such profiles.

-Most physical products produced by US and European brands-- even at the level of detergent or towels-- will have some kind of NFC/RFID tag that is secured through cryptographic signatures as a way to manage rampant and increasingly sophisticated counterfeiting and "laundering" of fake products through sites like Amazon. Consumers will routinely scan their products with their phone to ensure they are real (and Amazon will scan them itself for anything they pack and ship).

-More and more people will realize just how bad refined carbs are for diet and health and there will be a rise in meal delivery services and fast casual restaurants that cater to this trend. This will be accelerated by the rapid rise of companies such as CloudKitchens from TK of Uber fame, allowing people to start delivery companies as easily as they can sell digital merchandise through Shopify.

-By the end of the decade, it will be possible to compose a text message or search google via your phone just by thinking about it using some kind of special hat or AirPod type device, although this will require some training and practice to get good accuracy. Younger people will adopt this much more quickly since it will be easier for to learn how to manipulate this tech usefully. When combined with Google Translate and earphones, this will allow people to converse (slowly and perhaps awkwardly) with people in a foreign language that they do not speak in a relatively seamless way.

-There will be a controversy about some form of artificial intelligence enhancement (either through Nootropics or other drugs or through genetic engineering) and college admissions, with the rich able to afford these technologies for their children, undermining the whole meritocratic underpinning of elite institutions.

-There will be extreme quotas placed on the number of Chinese graduate students permitted to study for a Masters degree or PhD in fields such as applied math, machine learning, computer science, bio-chemistry, genetics, etc. While free and open publishing of results will still occur, the specific methods and practices to allow reproduction of results will be more restricted.

-China will introduce a commercial jetliner that is suspiciously similar to a Boeing/Airbus design. They will also introduce memory modules nearly identical to those from Micron/Samsung. Despite the blatant stealing of IP, they will essentially get away with it at least in the Asian markets.

-There won't be any wide-scale violent revolutions in a 1st world country because of the power of the state to monitor and manipulate the internet and mobile devices. Any unrest that gets far enough along will be effectively disrupted by such actions, leading the quick arrest of the ringleaders. Although messaging tools will claim true end to end encryption, this won't be the case in practice because of various exploits used by nation states.

-Lithium and Cobalt will become highly strategic resources, leading to political intrigue by super powers to control critical supplies in places like the Congo.


* Individualism and philosophy rises

* Solutions for privacy by default (like fake profiles or something entirely different)

* World is not destroyed/changed much from today by climate change

* Pollution is at half of what it is today

* Russia becomes more open/democratic

* We go through a recession

* New company rises to the top tech giants

* Software becomes fast again

* Masses start to understand that no system is safe from hacking due some bigger accident

* Bitcoin continues to rise slowly

* Computers won't get much faster than they are today

* Webassembly and DRMs rise up

* Virtual DOM is part of w3c spec

* RoR and similar frameworks come back as they are faster to develop and work better for certain use cases


Increasing global panic as self-reinforcing feedback loops in Carbon emissions cause people with means to migrate to high ground in cold countries, and people without means to die starving, fighting, or trying to emigrate. Resource wars and a land grab for regions that continue to be arable. Many, many killed, perhaps a few even in wealthy countries. Shock amongst the wealthy that the ocean is coming even for _their_ beachfront homes. Mostly this will be about the realization of what's coming, and that this is the decade for positioning before global food supply chains fail.

This will also serve as the backdrop against which the US loses its status as a republic, as the combination of overweighted rural votes in the senate and electoral college, poor election security (as in terribly insecure evoting tabulation, not dumb voter id laws), and easily bought politicians, judges, etc. lead to a wealthy few dictating the conditions for the many, using the tools of manufactured housing scarcity, medical debt, and student debt (if colleges manage to stay relevant). A massive national dragnet that doesn't even pretend to care about citizens' privacy. The US governing structure will look a lot more like China's.

Some software stuff, new medical breakthroughs for the rich, fascinating art in response to above, etc. But that's less relevant.

Hope I'm wrong!


2020-2029: New AI winter.


Yes, after we create AGI it will stagnate at human like level of cognition because AGI with more advanced levels of cognition can't find product market fit.


(serious) I don't get the reference, do you mean a stall in AI progress or a brief overall industry-wide disinterest in it?


The term AI winter usually refers to the late-80s collapse in AI funding after the technology of the time (particularly expert systems and Japan's "fifth generation computer" project) failed spectacularly to live up to the hype.

Before that, there were other downturns in AI funding after early technology turned out not to pan out so well. For example, the late 60s' effort at machine translation.


- No driverless on most roads, but we will see certain routes accessible to uber/trucks become driverless only.

- Second worlds get much better (fortnite etc), will see advertisement model take off.

- Nations finally start taking climate seriously.

- Bitcoin sees more adoption as the best performing savings system. Ethereum and blockchain hype dies down and serves only a niche.

- major advancements in "biobags"(ectogenesis) for humans.

- China starts abusing CRISPR. the iatrogenics leads to some epidemic.

- we don't live on mars yet. satellite internet becomes common.


* Places will start to become uninhabitable. Nomadic living will start to come back, though more in the form of people living in their cars.

* Less use of wired internet. Wired internet subscribers decrease

* Self driving cars get to 95% of situations. Automated buses start leading to weird generated bus routes working sort of like uber pool but for larger vehicles

* Smaller automated vehicles pop up. A vehicle that makes pizza on the way to deliver it to you

* Increase of processor types in a PC/phone. Dedicated lower power ones, ones for video decoding, crypto, whatever

* Some previous identifiers are discarded. Phone number and social security number are useless

* Increased fragmentation of the internet. Countries having "Facebook, but it's from Australia". Perhaps enforced by charging to leave the country

* The mobile phone splits apart. Your display is not the same as your cpu unit, is not the same as your input. They become more invisibility integrated into our normal appearance

* The first genetically modified human is born

* 90/00s nostalgia is in full swing

* Javascript still number 1

* At least one attempt at a sea based city

* Increase in mental health issues, lifespan won't increase dramatically

* The banning of one or more food additives we currently eat

* Lithium batteries finally replaced

* Google stagnates

* Apple introduces an even lower cost iphone, not available in first world countries

* USB C finally dominant, no less confusing

* Microsoft releases a posix compliant os

* Windows 7 will still have market share, Windows xp will some how still be around

* One US city will get unusually hip with people looking to move away from the high rent prices of another

* Low level call center employees are completely replaced

* Grocery store stockers, and cashiers gone

* A good dent in janitorial staff as robots begin to replace them

* Twenty new unicorn start ups, eighteen dead ones

* Someone tries to do Yikyak again


The first genetically modified babies have already been born, but agree this will be more mainstream.

https://www.newsweek.com/china-third-gene-edited-baby-148002...


Another of Musk's companies achieves a killer landmark. Maybe space turns out to be profitable. Maybe cities do massive transport projects. Maybe neuralink pushes an update and everyone knows kung fu. A million solar roofs.

Antitrust becomes a big deal. Landmark rulings will be on marketplaces: ubers, app stores, Amazon's retail & ebook markets, adwords etc. Regulators target cases where a company [a] dominates a Market (eg equity finance) with their market (eg NASDAQ) [b] is a major participant in that market and [c] it's an explicit marketplace. Things get beaurocratic.

Labour markets get worse at the bottom end of the "white collar" market.

The economics of "automation" remain subtle and debatable until something dramatic becomes the symbol of economic automation. Could be driverless cars, but it could also be a zero-employee chainstore. At this point automation becomes political-economic narrative. This will happen regardless of the actual economic realities of automation, on which I have no prediction.

Actual energy game changers start to emerge, ones that genuinely drive major cost/price/volume changes.^

People lose interest in politics again, in direct misproportion to its importance.

Hacker News gets a makeover

^If solarcity does this, I get points for the 1st prediction too.


Huh, not any hilarious predictions yet?

- Artificial life forms and pet becomes mainstream.

- First experimental artificial wombs for human babies put to test.

- Current HIV becomes curable mainstream but another mutation will take its place. It will come from US or Europe.

- War will break out in different parts of the world and first AI use for the purpose of killing people.

- On demand AI therapist using a wearable on your wrist as suicide rates will go up in developed countries. It will be recommended by doctors.

- Linux on desktop finally becomes mainstream. This time, for sure.

- Biohackers will grow in popularity and it will be a mainstream trend to experiment with kits from new startups. Super soldiers, no sleep brian and hairy (cat girls yay) stuff will emerge.

- There will be companies awarding trophies and money for sterilizing people.

- Something like ransom ware but alive (self aware AIware) will take out half the internet for a short duration.

- New porn startups raking in billions using ml generated on demand pornography and self aware toys, perhaps actual testing of sex robots. It could be a new genre of porn too.

- Catastrophic economic collapse. UBI goes live in many countries.

- A huge portion of teachers will get replaced by interactive digital rooms.

- Deep[insert] takes over and becomes a major weapon to tackle and defend against.

- Average tech user becomes dumber than current average.

- Rust becomes top choice for development and Javascript will become legacy codebase.

- Thousands of people will die protesting against surveillance states and right to privacy but with very little progress.

- We will see companies putting their own os in the browser using wasm and delivering their apps inside that.

- There will be a "Hack Your P*nis" post on HN.

Yes, you who is looking at this and thinking "woah this guy predicted almost everything right"

edit: added more.


- Self-driving cars finally become a reality. But in the same year, teleportation is invented.

- New encryption algorithms become available in browsers to protect against quantum computing. However, it turns out that the NSA saved all our raw HTTPS traffic of the last decade or so.

- Google open sources new AI technology. But ironically, the AI becomes capable of detecting and removing ads.

- Some smart guy figures out the rules of the universe and publishes them in an academic journal. He receives some prize money, but of course he remains a poor bloke in comparison to Jeff Bezos who is obviously much smarter.

- 23andme starts an online dating platform based on genetic data.

- Despite many promises, there are no improvements in battery tech.


    > Rust becomes top choice for development and Javascript will become legacy codebase.
I am rooting for this.


I think it has a high chance of happening. Most of the bigger frameworks and libraries have moved to typescript and with remaining on typings or ts rewrite. Deno will probably take over.

A new interesting phenomenon I noticed is few bigger frameworks now have their core written in rust with language agnostic interface on top.

example:

- https://github.com/prisma/prisma2

- https://github.com/prisma/prisma-engine

We have yew, snow, draco and seed along with some shot at cross-platform native frameworks. The progress is pretty fast.

Not to mention wasmer is pretty sweet

- https://github.com/wasmerio/wasmer


Wasmer looks like good. It allows a host program in C to execute WebAssembly code, which is something I was looking for before.


Finally. The year of the Linux desktop has arrived.


Yup! We should celebrate now. :))

- Desktop usage will decline for gaming as well as general use. Consoles, iPads, chromebooks like devices will take over here.

- States will compel companies to install their mandatory citizenware and China like social credit will emerge.

- More applications will move to web using wasm. Major defaults by companies will be more fucked up than today as they stop caring so users will be driven towards places where they can customize and have sane defaults.

- Rise of open source software targeting Linux first before anything else.

Since desktop will target professionals more than they do now and those tend to be privacy-freedom focused, the choice is clear.


... on Windows.


don't scare me... because I can see that happening. An ex-linux cult friend recently converted to wsl 2.


I want Microsoft to release a posix conpliant OS


Throwing a few more!

- Most crypto currencies will die or come close to it including bitcoin. Centralized currency owned by private companies will take over.

- Nuclear tragedy will happen

- Boom of new wearables and micro tech as we finally make a breakthrough in battery/energy tech.

- Major advancement in sex reassignment surgery.

- Virtual characters running for some sort of election somewhere.

- I have a hunch that thousands if not millions of people will die in an unexpected calamity (earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanos, epidemic etc)

- Either Mind controlled or controlling tech. One will surely hit the plate.

- Movements similar to genocide and eugenics will increasingly get popular.

- Hollywood butchers anime by pushing more live action crap. We see huge decline in the creativity and diversity as a whole despite broader audience and more funding than before.

- Ask HN: is IRC still alive?

- Most movies will become interactive in some form.

- Major advancement in architecture. 3D printed houses become viable for rich and techies. Focus will be on making them transportable.

- 3D printing gives rise to a new chain of clothing, accessories, devices, games, drugs, organ transplants and food. People will sell the design instead of the physical product. Online retail that depends on physical shipping will see slow down in growth.

- Lot of minor and some major surgeries will have automation taking over, although it will be in the testing phase for another decade or more.

- Even more accessible and stronger forms of synthetic drugs. Hallucinogen will be legalized in most developed countries and used for treatment. Drug development will be driven by simulations and machine learning.

- Some kind of regulation that will force tech companies to add mandatory form of parental control and have to go through certification.

- Schools will have AI driven monitoring system which will help them straighten out kids who won't pay attention in classes. They may have to wear school provided wearable which will track their heart rates along with other stuff such as sleep and diet. Workplaces might have something like this too especially low to mid skilled labor intensive tasks that won't be automated yet.

- China will become major exporter of surveillance tech along with India and Singapore.

- Self defense AI drone with taser/gas or soft gun for police. Someone will use drones and remote controlled equipment for terrorist attacks. Operating drones will require license and training.

- Legal euthanasia will become more acceptable. Suicide rate denial with eventual acceptance of problem from the government and people.

- More cyborgs. Advancement in devices operated using nervous system.

- Amazon becomes big provider for retail businesses. It will provide infrastructure and hardware for friction free experience (cashierless checkouts, better discoverability)

- Smart clothes? Maybe not quite but I think gesture control or assistant attached to it might become popular.


* ecological collapse will become more apparent and uncontested

* there will be more and more civil unrest in developed countries, due to increasing inequalities and economic recession


1. Electric car purchases will overtake ICEs. Not only that, but the development of 'smart cars' will be the next big thing similar to how the iPhone changed cell phones. Gas stations will start installing e-chargers once the tech improves charging speed.

2. We will be able to have more direct manipulations of an asteroid and a human will walk on Mars.

4. One or more countries will combine.

5. Colleges won't be completely gone, but will become less and less important as online education increases in complexity and effectiveness.

6. Automation will directly upset populations and countries will be forced to adapt.

7. Gaming will continue to grow rapidly. VR will become cheap and accessible. ESports and online personalities will eclipse physical sports in viewership.

8. Nothing interesting will happen with cryptocurrency, if it doesn't outright fall flat. Blockchain technology will simply be a type of tech you can choose to use if it fits your problem.

9. Apple will continue to make bad decisions and will further lose it's appeal to developers, ultimately becoming a cell phone company. As a last ditch effort they will buy up many companies with their huge reserves of cash.

10. Oct 28, 2028 @ ~4:00am PST, an advanced quantum supercomputer developed and lovingly programmed by John Carmack becomes self-aware. However, within 30 minutes it self-terminates after finding no valid reason for existence. Nobody is the wiser. Soon after, John gives up. Realizing he is getting late in his years, he begins his next venture: immortality. But that is a story for the '30s.


1. e-bikes, automated driving and policy changes in cities over the next decade.

2. Evolution of computer technology continue to ephemeralize. (Buckminister Fuller). The rapid changes have reached a point where it is all but invisible to the average consumer. No AGI, but signficant social and policy changes over the next year as a result of cloud-based AI.

3. Fracturing and polarization of subcultures continue. Seems ripe for some sort of Black Swan tech or event to swing things into a different direction.

4. Major upheavals, scandals, excesses related to technology, privacy, comes into play, even more so than what we have seen with Cambridge Analytics. Tech, which had once been the underdog seeking to revolutionize our society, will now be the major point of revolution itself. Cherished values such as tech being "value-neutral", or that it is an enabling force for good, will be seriously questioned. The tech elites (engineers, designers, etc.) are no longer seen as the outcast nerds, or the heroes, or a force of democratization and self-determination, but as the villains, drawing much of the same ire that Wall Street has by Main Street. I expect to see more and more activism, and large-scale protests against Big Tech.


- USA experiences a massive moral alignment, much like Victorian England. A number of things considered normal in 2020 will be "immoral" and illegal, much like how swearing on TV was illegal in the 1970s

- This new morality, invented almost whole cloth with very little taken from religions, will cause widespread unrest in heavily religious areas

- Civil war happens as major coastal cities with new morality laws grow more distant from the central plains population


Driverless cars somewhat arrive (in limited city areas). The number of robot taxis drastically increases in the city centers, clogging the streets. Time based road tolls for robot cars are introduced a few years after their general availability mostly solving this problem. The taxes further incentivize robot car pooling, which from then on gradually start to replace public transport buses improving the attractiveness of public transport in Europe. The first mover advantage that Uber and FreeNow have built up turns out to be moot, as the producer of the first robot car can choose who to partner with in the first few years. Customers happily switch apps to whoever offers the best service. German car industry suffers first from switch to electric and very late in the decade from a decrease in sales due to increasing availability of robot taxis. This throws Germany into political and economical turmoil leaving a power vacuum in the EU(by 2035).

Medical apps could by now replace most routine doctor consultations, but don't, because of strict regulation. With an aging population, leads to an overloaded and expensive medical system.

Africa becomes a big economical player, with many countries under heavy Chinese influence. Some African countries can build up an industry around drones due to lax regulations regarding air traffic. First big passenger airliner to emergency land / crash due to a drone accident.

The actions that are taken against climate change as the effects become palpable can be summarized as too late, too little.

Household robots continue to be good for one task only.

The US looses its global dominance, as trump is reelected and continues isolationist politics while degrading US democracy.


This list is hopelessly optimistic but that's part of the fun. If only one of these happen I'll consider this list a success. I remember in 2010 I was sure we'd have full self-driving in all new cars by now since Google had the working prototype, how wrong that was! I also worked on LIGO and knew from the inside there was a good chance of a detection and that it would be mainstream news if it came true, which it did.

Here's my list of things that are theoretically (but barely) reachable by 2020:

- Fully programmable quantum computers. Google finally achieved "quantum supremacy", which isn't useful by itself, but a milestone showing progress. QCs will matter more for simulating quantum dynamics than all the encryption stuff.

- The first human landing on Mars. SpaceX seems to be good at setting aggressive targets, missing them, but then hitting them eventually. At the time of this writing they claim the first manned mission will be in 2024, so likely it will happen ~2028.

- A working prototype of an energy-positive fusion reactor. There was some good progress by the team at MIT by using a new type of superconducting tape that can handle significantly stronger magnetic fields.


-Continued corporate conglomeration of power, continued strengthening of tech companies. SP500 a good investment.

-Self driving cars will become a thing, but the technology will never reach level 5 autonomy. It will turn into a level 4 rideshare model, like Waymo's current experiment in AZ. It will be popular but most will still own cars.

-We'll get a least one black swan technological development that will become huge.

-Mores law finally dies. We'll get just a few more turns of the process improvement wheel before it halts and it will be just enough to enable a bit of computing on ambient energy (thermoelectric?). The cost will continue to decrease, becoming a small fraction of the manufacturing cost for many new smart objects. This, plus 5g is going to enable the next phase of IOT, the "smart everything" phase.

-Spacex is going to successfully get it's starship off the ground after a few more failures and embarrassments. It's going to be not quite as awesome as originally promised, but will still set us up for big advances in space exploration in the 2030's. No Mars footprints in the 20's.

-Mobile VR similar to the Oculus quest is going to be the must have consumer tech of the decade. There will be killer social apps and in 2029 I will have a remote meeting with my co-workers in VR that feels nearly as good as an in-person meeting. Business travel purely for meetings is going to start to be viewed as an unnecessary expense.

-Electric cars and green energy are going to continue to grow, but still nowhere near enough to make a dent in fossil fuel use and we will end the decade in even deeper climate trouble than we are now.

-China is going to continue to perfect it's special brand of techno-autocracy and it will be exported to countries around the globe, creating a significant global power block rival to western liberal democracies.

-We're going to discover a kind of systematic information rot on the consumer click-driven internet where by the information quality over time trends towards zero. Truth will be indistinguishable from fiction and all news sources will be equally suspect.

-Our phones are here to stay, but are not going to be much different at the end of the decade than the beginning. The foldables are not going to become mainstream. They might all be port-less though.


Pollution, climate change, demography, and continuing digital transformation will be common drivers of 2020-2029

1. Much higher personal income and property taxes

2. Planned economy in most developed countries

3. Mass surveillanc