By Mike Gold, a retired entrepreneur "living the dream in the Pacific Northwest."
It’s quite easy to make predictions about the future. After all, no one can prove you’re wrong. Especially if you adopt a very long-term outlook, say a couple of centuries. Never-the-less, here is one person’s view of what is to come.
We are on the cusp of truly outstanding advances in future health care. Start with drugs. With the current advanced state of DNA analysis, it won’t be long before the prescription drugs you get through your physician will be custom tailored to your specific DNA.
Not only will that allow the drugs to be much more effective to each patient, but in addition the drugs will be designed to prevent the on-set of future disease. So if you’re pre-disposed to a particular form of cancer for example, these drugs will prevent you from ever coming down with that disease. Same for Alzheimer’s, ALS, MS, Parkinson’s, diabetes, macular degeneration, and dozens of other future problems.
Now it won’t be inexpensive – at least initially. So it might cost you a couple of hundred thousand dollars to forestall a future disease on-set. But over time these costs will decrease to where just about everyone will be able to afford this kind of prevention.
Perhaps over time, Walt Disney might have been proven correct when he had his head cryogenically frozen in order to allow for time to “cure” what killed him (lung cancer), then bring him back to life and transplant his head onto a new body. (This is an apocryphal story – which many claim is not true. But it is true that Disney was studying cryogenics during the latter part of his life.)
As long as we’re talking “Fantasyland” type stuff, perhaps it would be more likely to find an animal body rather than a human kind on which to plant a formerly deceased human’s head. Then when someone says, “You’re a horse’s ass,” it might actually prove to be true.
Advances in Living
We already have written about “the Internet of things.” This is the movement to give just about everything an IP address. With this everything can be connected to the Internet. (One example we’ve written about is a “smart toothbrush” which provides you an electronically written report about the state of your mouth/teeth after each brushing.)
Let’s carry this idea a bit more expansively:
So, you arrive home after work (although it is much more likely that you will never go into work – perhaps only for a face to face meeting with your group – while you do all your work remotely). As you enter your home, the TV turns on to your favorite subject matter of that day, your favorite subject having been determined by Artificial Intelligence programs which have been monitoring all your electronic communications of the past eight hours.
This preferred programming has been automatically customized and created from all on-line sources into a documentary tuned to your tastes.
Also based upon your dining preferences, your home food system/network has determined what you are most likely to want to eat as you watch your preferred subject material. It has ordered via Amazon Prime (or whatever is the current advanced on-line ordering/delivery system) what you wish and it is already cooking in your automatic internet enabled kitchen. It was delivered via drone – and your home robot picked it up from your doorstep, opened it up and prepared it for cooking.
Also based upon an Artificial Intelligence inference engine, your home network has determined what live performance you would like to see that evening, a ticket has been ordered and an Uber vehicle will be at your doorstep to deliver you to the performance after dinner.
Now upon returning home, again your AI inference engine has arranged for a masseuse to get you totally relaxed in preparation for bed time. Your inference engine has determined whether you want a “hands-on” massage – and arranged for the service and arrival at your home, or whether you would prefer the massage machine that descends from your bathroom ceiling.
Now the only technology not mentioned in this article is a “kill” button that is part of your smart watch. So the powers that be have arranged to still allow you some human control over how you live your life. I say good luck with that.