20 on the next 20

Wr 2020 has always had an allure to it. But now we are here, and it is a bit stranger than what we anticipated. About 20 years ago, Kurzweil thought that we would have invisible computers and that “each individual’s practically every move will be stored in a database somewhere.” Some might say that this has happened. In 1999, Toffler predicted that cities would lose significance with “the shift of work from both office and factory back into the home”. We have seen the opposite of this happen, but what might happen after the current pandemic. Toffler also forecasted that humans would breed babies with “supernormal vision or hearing” and other abilities and he did foresee the advancement of cloning. 

Some of these speculations have come true, others have not. Science fiction and design speculations give science and technology areas to strive for in their visions. And also create futures that might simply want to avoid.

In the essence of 2o2o, we decided that we wanted to know about Imperial College London academics and their future visions, speculations and research. We wanted to know, what is happening now and what might be next? We will speak to 20 academics about their predictions for 2040. It is an ongoing project for the year and every 2 months, we will publish new insights on the future. The first academics we interviewed discussed subject areas from how we digitally organise ourselves to living electrodes.

But read for yourself to explore the future in the next 20 years. 

Next 20 years: Responsible Engineering and Design

Next 20 years: Responsible Engineering and Design

The convergence of artificial intelligence, robotics, and big data is heralding a new Industrial Revolution. Every sector of society is being affected by these changes. Amid productivity increases, cost efficiencies and digital ... read more

Next 20 years: Is privacy dead?

Next 20 years: Is privacy dead?

Over the past years, there has been public scrutiny of large organisations and their issues of privacy from media to singular whistle-blowers. As we allow more devices and systems into our lives; how might this impact us? What are ... read more

Next 20 years: Bionic devices and living electrodes

Next 20 years: Bionic devices and living electrodes

Bionic devices have been more prominent in the public eye after entrepreneurs like Elon Musk have publicised their visions on the future impact they might have. But what really is the future of bionic devices and how might they help ... read more