2010, the Revolutionary Year?

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Saturday, December 26th, 2009

In both scientific predictions and science fiction, the year 2010 is supposed to be a very significant year for technological progress. Something is supposed to change the way we live this year, whether it is flying cars, true artificial intelligence, or workable robotics. However, there is some doubt about whether or not we can truly see something interesting this year, or whether it is all just superstition related to a nice-looking number. What do you think? Will there be a revolutionary new technology this year?

YES

Yes, there will. There are a number of candidates just around the corner. The best is bendable, transparent displays. There were already some prototypes developed in 2008, and hopefully in 2010 we can see them. Intelligent homes are another possibility. Having all the appliances in your home work together to save electricity and remind you when to buy milk is going to be easy. In fact, it might already be the case. Robots are doing more intricate dances by the day, and can already detect and respond to beats. Soon they will be able to think for themselves, enough to do the tasks we assign to them at least. Its possible that all of these things can be done in 2010, and each one could contribute to a revolution in the way our lives work.

NO

There will be some incremental developments this year - faster computers, smaller and lighter hard drives, better processors. These things happen every year. The refinement of existing technologies is a constant process. But there are no big things slated for 2010. All of the things are simply extensions of what we are already doing. There might be several new e-book readers. There could be a new tablet PC by Apple. There will definitely be new netbook designs, new flat-screen displays, and new versions of the latest phone gadgets. But none of these will be revolutionary. Just more of the same.

The big stuff is going to take too much work to come out on schedule, in 2010. Things that will change our lives significantly are definitely not in the state that they should be for mass production this year. There might be a true artificial intelligence created in 2010, but it will not be able to be commercialized this year. There also might be a transparent display prototype, but it will also not see production in time for 2010. This year, despite all the hype, will just be another like the ones before. We should look to another year, like the repetitious 2020, for the real revolutions.

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