What technology will there be in a hundred years? | The scientists respond | Science
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It is impossible to know for sure what technology will be available in a century, but we can anticipate an overview if we take a look at the advances that are taking place in the three main areas of ICT (Information and Communications Technology) : the hardware (devices and machines), communications (wired and mobile networks) and software (services and applications). These three fields go hand in hand, although the hardware rule the evolutionary race.
Today, we are still using transistor technology that imposes limits on processing power and data storage. In fact, in recent years, the rate of increase in storage volume and processing speed that can be achieved in ever smaller devices has slowed. Quantum computers promise to overcome all these limits. I imagine that in 100 years there will be genuine quantum computers. Then it will be possible to quickly carry out operations that now take years or that cannot be done directly with a conventional computer. Quantum computing is still a chimera and we should not believe everything that is said about it. Companies like Google and IBM have their own versions of quantum computers, but their papers are essentially marketing and his experiments are not always verified. What seems indisputable is that this is the future, so universities are taking this seriously, a lot of research is being done and courses are being taught to undergraduates.
Second, we have communications. Here the great challenge is to connect people and objects of all kinds at high speed. The great revolution that we have experienced with mobile communications has been spectacular. We have not yet finished implementing 5G and we are already working on 6G. We are close to achieving a response time of less than a millisecond and further expanding the bandwidth, already close to gigabytes, which in a hundred years will be on the order of Teras or more. With 6G will come the integration of artificial intelligence and image processing natively as part of the mobile network, which will multiply the massive data transmission capacity and we will do it in a sustainable way, with low emissions, better than now. Some experts believe that in the future, people will be implanted with processors of some kind to remotely and wirelessly monitor, for example, our health.
All this allows to advance in the third leg that is the software. Because if you manage to connect two objects or a person with an object in milliseconds, you will be able to do things like operate remotely with a robot, control any object or robot from your mobile, or improve the interaction of autonomous vehicles with the environment. If we talk about the development software and applications, when quantum computing becomes a reality, all operating systems and applications will have to be reprogrammed to adapt to new computers and human-machine interfaces will change. Through augmented reality we will display a virtual screen on a wall or in the air, that is, a support will not be necessary. This means that in 100 years the real world and the virtual world will be one. We will see the real objects, but with more information that augmented reality will give you and you will be able to interact with them just by moving your hands with very simple gestures, with glasses or with a cap. It is what people demand, simple solutions to control machines.
As for programming, the current trend is for girls and boys to learn programming from an early age. That seed that we are sowing is going to germinate and these girls and boys are going to be much more capable of developing applications without having to study a computer science degree. In other words, the ability to program will be a basic skill for most, or many, people. This will mean that people will be able to program applications to suit them, for their business or for leisure.
With the evolution of these three technological legs that I am talking about, we will have the possibility of having applications that will greatly develop some fields. An obvious one is telemedicine: we will have virtual family doctors, who will diagnose with the help of artificial intelligence (AI). And speaking of AI, there are many problems that are still intractable because we don’t have enough computing power, but when quantum computing becomes a fact, it will also take off AI beyond current limits. Home automation will also advance a lot. We will have robots at home, not necessarily with a human appearance, but they will be the ones that take care of us and have us constantly monitored. This will not be so difficult, since, in the end, a person who takes care of, for example, an elderly person, what he does is watch him, see if he is sick, if he needs to eat, help him if he has a problem and if he cannot solve it, call who can do it. These care robots will do the same, but with greater safety and more skills.
Lydia Fuentes Fernandez She is a doctor in computer science engineering and professor of Telematics Engineering at the University of Malaga.
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