To celebrate DISCOVER’s 30th anniversary, we asked great minds of science to tell us their hopes for the future. But science fiction already knows what happens next. Just take these predictions for the next millennium, along with some near misses gone by during our first three decades.
1984: Big-screen TVs are good for government control and workout videos.
1997: IT issues lead to artificial intelligence–and cause nuclear war.
2001: All you need for space travel is classical music and murderous computers.
2015: DeLoreans work with fusion. Hoverboards, however, don’t work over water.
2019: Everyone loathes retirement.
2019: Reality television audiences call for (more) blood.
2022: After so many years of enmity, New Yorkers develop a taste for one another.
2027: First woman gets pregnant in 18 years. No one stops shooting.
2054: So long, psychic hotlines. Hello, precognition.
2063: Humans go warp speed. Vulcans notice. Good-byes now require finger trickery.
2154: Only blue aliens can stop forest fires.
2199: People are the new batteries.
2274: Thirtieth birthdays take a turn for the worse.
2805: Robots make cute couples. Humans make trash.
2999: Finally! Long-promised head-in-jar technology arrives.