Hey Fidy. If you’re reading this, Happy Birthday!
Since the advent of the computer in the 1940’s, humanity and electronics have become increasingly integrated. Today, people depend on electronics to run their cars, fly their planes, power their phones, and even pump their hearts.
With the rapid developments in electronics, one can only wonder: where do we go from here? This article will offer a glimpse into the future of electronics.
The Advent of the Quantum Computer
Believe it or not, there’s only so far we can go with computer speed. Although computer speed has been increasing exponentially since the inception of the computer, the maximum speed of a computer is limited by a little something called quantum mechanics.
Essentially, computers are made of up transistors, which either block or allow the movement of electrons. When transistors are grouped together they create the basic functions of a computer. Transistors are about 1/500th the size of red blood cells, but as transistors become even smaller, their ability to block electrons disappears. This is because electrons can “quantum tunnel” through the barrier. Quantum tunneling will give you a headache so simply put it’s when an electron passes through a barrier that would otherwise require energy to pass through.
Although this quantum property has put a limit on processing speed, it has opened up the possibilities of quantum computing. This field of science deals with using quantum properties of electrons (which, God forbid, I won’t go into now) to our advantage. This results in computers that are hundreds of times faster than current computers.
For more information, check out this video.
How smart will AI become?
Great leaps have been made in the field of Artificial Intelligence. I mean, damn, we’ve made machines so smart they actually learn from their mistakes and become smarter than before.
(So basically, AI is already better than most humans.)
But when will AI exceed the power of the human brain? According to expert computer scientist and futurist Ray Kurzweil, robots will be able to pass the Turing Test by 2029. This means robots will be intelligent enough to emulate human speech and mannerisms to the point of being indistinguishable from real humans– in essence, robots will be as smart as humans. After 2029, robots will only become smarter.
Some experts like Elon Musk and Bill Gates have warned about the impeding eclipse of human intelligence by AI. Despite this AI will continue to become more integrated in human society. For example, 85% of customer interactions will be managed by AI, according to Where AI is headed in 2018. Most importantly, though, is that the number of researchers and developers of AI will increase dramatically in the next few decades, leading to a public more informed about the course of AI development.
The Energy Revolution
With fears of global warming, energy sources other than fossil fuels have become more popular. For example, solar energy has seen rapid growth in the United States for many years now, and it is expected to explode in upcoming years. According to the U.S. Solar Market Insight, the US currently has 58.3 Gigawatts of solar Storage Capacity, which is enough to power 11 million American homes. That number is expected to double in just 5 years.
How about electric cars? Not so fast. Our current lithium-ion batteries are too weak and inefficient to last long enough for electric cars. Batteries can also be extremely expensive; for some electric cars, the battery itself costs $12,000+ or 40% of the car’s total price! Because of this, the widespread proliferation of electric cars has been all but impossible.
However, through the use of silicon technology, energy storage company Enevate has created a 240-mile range battery that charges in just 5 minutes. Advances in battery technology, as well as falling battery prices due to increased production, will allow countries like France to realize their ambition of banning all gas and diesel-based cars by 2040.
In conclusion, the future of technology seems very bright. I see a future of positive change resulting in a cleaner world and more efficient machines.
Who knows what else the future has in store for us?
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