AJ JacobsJournalist and author
A.J. Jacobs is a writer, lecturer, and human guinea pig. He is the author of four New York Times bestselling books, including "The Year of Living Biblically" and "The Know-It-All." He is a contributor to NPR, the New York Times, and Esquire magazine and is a frequent TED speaker. His most recent book is "Thanks a Thousand."
How will people earn a living?
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There will be 70% unemployment, as all blue-collar jobs will have been replaced by robots. (There will be a Universal Basic Income.) We will look back in horror that we hired human beings to do menial tasks such as scrubbing toilets in our homes. It will seem the moral equivalent of child labor.
How will we communicate with each other?
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Male and female pronouns will disappear. Everyone will be referred to as “they.” We will talk of “they said/they said disputes” and Bruce Springsteen’s song “They’re the one.”
How will we entertain one another?
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Tackle football will be seen as barbaric, akin to gladiator combat. It will be replaced by flag football. Baseball will be seen as too slow and archaic, and will be about as popular as badminton is now. Esports will get Super Bowl-sized ratings.
What will we eat?
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Meat grown in laboratories from animal cells will have replaced meat from factory farms and live animals. This cultured meat will also revolutionize cuisine. We won’t be limited to chickens and pigs and cows. Ethically, nothing will be off-limits, including giraffes and endangered species, since the creatures aren’t harmed in making the food. There will even be a fringe movement to embrace Ethical Cannibalism. Some will ask, “Why not human meat?” Celebrities will take advantage and start marketing burgers based on themselves
What will we wear?More responses to What will we wear?
How will we find love?
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A person’s physical appearance will become less important, because we will all have augmented reality contact lenses. So you can alter the face of your partner to look like anyone—including current celebrities such as Blue Ivy Carter.
What forms of transportation will we use?More responses to What forms of transportation will we use?
Will our world be more equal or less equal?
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Not only will the world have gotten less equal, but awareness of inequality will be much higher. If you walk into a party, your internet-enabled contact lenses will use facial recognition software and public records to immediately display the net worth of everyone at the event.
What’s your best prediction for the world in 50 years?
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Everyone will be aware of how hard it is to predict the future, and will look back and laugh at our attempts.
No individual or expert will be asked to make a prediction, because it will be acknowledged that there are just too many variables, too much randomness. There will be prediction markets—stock markets about future events—that are slightly more accurate than any single expert.