Tech expectations for 2036: pizza delivery drones and avatar dating

Another prediction: More robots than humans in 20 years

In 20 years, there will be more robots than humans, people will date through their avatars and drones will deliver pizzas.

That's the vision many Americans have of the future, according to a study from the Imperial College of London, which surveyed more than 2,000 Americans about how they believe technology will transform their lives.

The study, was released today to mark the beginning of Technology Week in London, shows that one in four adult Americans expect there will be more robots than people by 2036. It also found that 35% expect people to date via avatars instead of in person and 69% says cashless technologies will replace paper money and coins.

Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research, isn't quite as technologically optimistic as many in the survey.

"Well, I'd have problems with both those specific predictions," he told Computerworld. "Drones are going to be subject to flight restrictions because of the density of traffic, but there will be a lot of robots doing things people do now. I have little doubt that pizzas will be delivered -- and probably made -- by unmanned vehicles."

And Gottheil said he doesn't buy the avatar dating prediction at all.

The Americans surveyed also foresee technology changing healthcare.

Some of those surveyed said they expect to use virtual reality to "see" their doctor in the 2030s, rather than physically going to the doctor's office. When someone needs an organ transplant, instead of waiting nervously on a donor list, a 3D printer will simply make the organ they need. And a little less than half of those surveyed also say the world's first cloned human will have been born by 2036.

Gottheil isn't sure society is ready for that yet.

"I think we're close to being able to clone people," he said. "Well, maybe able, but ethics prevent us from doing so. Well, either ethics or crowds with pitchforks."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags drones

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?