This is what kids of today think the world will be like in 50 years

A survey commissioned by British telecoms group BT, asked children between the ages of 5 and 11 what they thought the future would look like 10 and 50 years from now.

According to the responses, children of today envisage a future with great technical leaps – but also with some deep environmental and ecological concerns.

The survey revealed that nearly half (44%) of the responding children believe that within the next decade, most people will have self-driving cars, robots to do chores at home (42%) and wearable tech will exist that will be able to detect when wearers are unwell and what’s wrong (37%).

Looking further ahead, to the year 2072, imaginations get a bit wilder, the group noted.

Gazing fifty years into the future, more than a third of children envisage people will be living on other planets (34%), there to be a cure for all diseases and illnesses (29%) and there won’t be any more rubbish because everything will be recycled (35%).

Other fanciful predictions include things like robot teachers (32%) and being able to fly to school on jetpacks (30%).

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More negative expectations, though, revolve around topics that have dominated the public mind space in recent years, with children being most concerned about a future pandemic (60%), more animals becoming extinct (50%) and climate change (48%).

Some of the specific predictions – both good and bad – for the next 50 years include:

  • We will have explored the whole solar system;
  • We would have discovered more planets;
  • Some people will be living on Mars;
  • Earth will keep heating up so we will have to live on another planet;
  • The world will be half bad and half happy;
  • There will be more robots to help you with your everyday life, like packing away shopping and cooking dinner;
  • We will have special glasses or special watches that will make talking to each other a lot easier;
  • We’ll live in ‘smart houses’ that look normal outside, but are completely different inside;
  • We will be able to teleport things to different places (but not humans, yet);
  • The world will have a water shortage, so houses will have to have their own water sources;
  • There will be no more forests because of deforestation, so more climate change;
  • Whatever life will be like, it will be very different, but humans will adapt.

Predictions of robot servants and living in space are not unique to the children surveyed by BT, and have been a fixation of futurists of the late 19th and 20th centuries – though many back then expected these things to be a reality by the 2000s.

In 1982, Random House New York published the Kids’ Whole Future Catalog by Paula Taylor – a book looking “far” into the future (2000 and beyond).

While many of these futurist predictions will likely remain in the realm of science fiction, there are some ideas that are startlingly accurate and have even become a reality in many ways.

This is what the future of tech looked like for people 35 years ago

Bizarre predictions about life in the 21st century that probably won’t happen any time soon

Read: Outrageous predictions for 2022 – including a new space race, and adding 25 years to life

Artmotion S.Africa

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