TRADOC OE Brenda Cooper--Science Fiction Perspective


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TRADOC OE Brenda Cooper--Science Fiction Perspective

  1. 1. Brenda Cooper
  2. 2. Linking Science Fiction and Science <ul><li>Hard science fiction writers are really backyard futurist scenario builders. </li></ul><ul><li>Science fiction tends to simplify. For example, we would generally not try to create a world as complex as our own. </li></ul><ul><li>We are not usually trying to predict but sometimes we do it anyway (cell phones, translators, bionic humans…). Most typically, we get our ideas from science. Sometimes science gets its ideas from us. </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes we miss. There are no Martians likely to invade Earth. </li></ul><ul><li>A story can “seat” a thousand pages of scientific article. </li></ul>
  3. 3. To really see the future.... Let’s start with a look at the past
  4. 4. The past is a lens to the speed of change <ul><li>The Berlin Wall stands between East and West Germany. </li></ul><ul><li>World population: 4.5 billion </li></ul><ul><li>There was no authorized use of commercial email on the budding internet </li></ul><ul><li>The communist bloc does not exist. The European Union does. </li></ul><ul><li>World population: 6.8 billion </li></ul><ul><li>The internet is worldwide </li></ul>1980 2010 30 years
  5. 5. Economics <ul><li>Driver has been information – think Google </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information will remain a driver </li></ul></ul><ul><li>New economic drivers may emerge </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Design – the age of design for life (biological and artificial), design for goods (copyright/patent on objects designed for 3D print) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Artificial Intelligence is likely to influence economics more by the end of the time horizon, and certainly ever more sophisticated computer models will do so. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Governance <ul><li>There must be some form of world governance in order to solve certain problems like climate change, global energy supplies, and global food supplies. </li></ul><ul><li>That said, science fiction has warned about the dangers of too much power in any one place for years. </li></ul><ul><li>Some of our current social and geopolitical issues are at least partly about resistance to change. This could get worse. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Society & Culture <ul><li>Privacy is dead </li></ul><ul><li>There will be a lot of us and a lot of us will be old </li></ul><ul><li>We will know we aren’t alone </li></ul><ul><li>We will be makers of life </li></ul><ul><li>We will be “Makers” </li></ul><ul><li>We will be around a lot more robots </li></ul><ul><li>We will be more like robots </li></ul>
  8. 8. Privacy is dead <ul><li>There are already sensors or satellites or drones taking pictures of almost everything </li></ul><ul><li>We ourselves are announcing where we are to our car manufacturers (OnStar) and to our friends (Foursquare) and to public safety personnel (e911) all the time. and Safeway know what we buy. Our cell phones and our cars always know where we are. </li></ul><ul><li>The death of most privacy is necessary to our future </li></ul>
  9. 9. There will be a lot of us and a lot of us will be old At the end of this year, the baby boomers start turning 65 Source: United Nations Population Division Decade World Population Median Age (US) % Pop over 65 Median age (World) % Pop over 65 1980 4.45 Billion 30.1 11.2% 23 5.9% 2010 6.85 Billion 36.6 13% 26.6 7.6% 2030 8.25 Billion 37.9 16.1% 34.2 11.7%
  10. 10. We will know we aren’t alone
  11. 11. We will be makers of life Side note: We are already tinkerers – we alter plant life, for example, regularly through genetic engineering
  12. 12. We will be Makers
  13. 13. 3D Print is already open source, affordable, and available So in twenty years, if this follows a growth curve even partly as fast as the internet, 3D printers will be small, fast, use multiple materials, and do things like the following: Produce goods on-demand on the spot (hot zones in wars, halfway up Mt. Everest, in the middle of the desert) Make custom almost-everything almost anywhere – clothes, art, processors, other assemblers, energy Give just-in-time supply a new meaning
  14. 14. We will be around a lot more robots <ul><li>How many of you see a robot on most days? By 2030, when I ask that question, most of your hands will go up. </li></ul><ul><li>What’s converging? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Better software – near AI </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We’re learning about mobility in robots </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We are getting better at man/machine interaction </li></ul></ul>
  15. 16. We will be a lot more like robots Today, we have better prosthetics for people who need them. By 2030, we may CHOOSE to have prosthetics instead of old originals
  16. 17. Environment: Our world, mapped <ul><li>Everything is mapped, maybe even time (think models – climate models, memes or belief vectors over time, etc.). </li></ul><ul><li>Fooling people about where we are will be difficult (spies, lovers, surprise-planners) </li></ul><ul><li>There is already a phenomenal amount of GIS data available, and we should have much more capacity to analyze and use this data in twenty years. We will, in other words, know more about cause, effect, and the future than we do today. </li></ul>
  17. 18. Environment: Climate <ul><li>On climate change, we’re past the tipping point unless something major scares us into real change. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We don’t know what that means yet . Heat? Cold? Simply change? Catastrophic change? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is likely to result in rearranged resources, migration of people, shortage, and economic shocks. Maybe resource wars. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This may be the biggest factor in the future 20 years form now: a combination of real and perceived threats </li></ul>
  18. 19. Recommended reading <ul><li>Greg Bear – “Quantico,” “Mariposa,” “Vitals,” and “Darwin’s Children.” </li></ul><ul><li>David Brin – “The Transparent Society,” and his uplift novels </li></ul><ul><li>Cory Doctorow – “The Makers” and his blog </li></ul><ul><li>Vernor Vinge – “Rainbow’s End” </li></ul><ul><li>Paolo Bagicalupi – “The Windup Girl” and “Pump Six and Other Stories” </li></ul><ul><li>Kim Stanley Robinson – Two trilogies – Mars and the global warming trilogy </li></ul><ul><li>Futures from Nature – a series of short stories that have appeared in Nature Magazine </li></ul><ul><li>Michio Kaku, “The Physics of the Impossible” </li></ul>
  19. 20. Questions?