Isaac Asimov’s 1964 Predictions About 2014 Are Frighteningly Accurate

2014 1In August of 1964, just more than 50 years ago, author Isaac Asimov wrote a piece in The New York Times, pegged to that summer’s World Fair.

In the essay, Asimov imagines what the World Fair would be like in 2014—his future, already our past.

“Kitchen units will be devised that will prepare ‘automeals,’ heating water and converting it to coffee.””2014 2

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“Complete lunches and dinners, with the food semiprepared, will be stored in the freezer until ready for processing.”2014 3

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“The appliances of 2014 will have no electric cords, of course.”2014 4

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“Much effort will be put into the designing of vehicles with ‘Robot-brains.’”auto car“Vehicles that can be set for particular destinations and that will then proceed there without interference by the slow reflexes of a human driver.”

“There will be increasing emphasis on transportation that makes the least possible contact with the surface.”

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“By 2014, only unmanned ships will have landed on Mars, though a manned expedition will be in the works and in the 2014 Futurama will show a model of an elaborate Martian colony.”
2014 5

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“For short-range travel, moving sidewalks (with benches on either side, standing room in the center) will be making their appearance in downtown sections.”2014 6

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“In 2014, there is every likelihood that the world population will be 6,500,000,000 and the population of the United States will be 350,000,000.”2014 7

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“Synchronous satellites, hovering in space will make it possible for you to direct-dial any spot on earth.”space_junk_blog_main_horizontal

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“Communications will become sight-sound and you will see as well as hear the person you telephone.”2014 8“In fact, one popular exhibit at the 2014 World’s Fair will be such a 3-D TV, built life-size, in which ballet performances will be seen.”2014 9

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“Part of the General Electric exhibit today consists of a school of the future in which such present realities as closed-circuit TV and programmed tapes aid the teaching process.”2014 10

“Robots will neither be common nor very good in 2014, but they will be in existence.”AI 5

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“The world of A.D. 2014 will have few routine jobs that cannot be done better by some machine than by any human being. Mankind will therefore have become largely a race of machine tenders.”2014 12

“Even so, mankind will suffer badly from the disease of boredom.”2014 13

“The lucky few who can be involved in creative work of any sort will be the true elite of mankind, for they alone will do more than serve a machine.”

2014 14

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“Indeed, the most somber speculation I can make about A.D. 2014 is that in a society of enforced leisure, the most glorious single word in the vocabulary will have become work!”

ca. July 1998, Napa County, California, USA --- A visitor to the Robert Mondavi Winery in Napa Valley, California attends a weekly class which teaches visitors how to taste wines and how to identify the different aromas and flavors found in wines. --- Image by © Charles O'Rear/CORBIS

It’s worth noting that, while quite impressive, Asimov didn’t get everything right. 2014 will most surely come and go without “jets of compressed air [that] will lift land vehicles off the highways.” He also predicted that the entire East Coast from Boston to Washington would merge into one large mega city, which seems unlikely at this point in time. But perhaps the most telling (and disheartening) is Asimov’s inaccurate notion that we’d even have a World’s Fair in 2014. But still, pretty good!

cover

Fabio Evagelista is a Brazilian writer.

Crossed Paths is the first book of the Myra-Hati trilogy, an epic adventure in a post-apocalyptic world, for the lovers of sci-fi / fantasy genre. This is the author’s first work published in America.

Source 1, 2

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2 comments

  1. Choir Loft · June 22, 2015

    The theme for the 1964 World’s Fair in NYC was “Peace through Understanding”. In 2014 the world has neither. In fact, the lust for war among its leaders is so great that the outbreak of a major conflict is expected soon by many hopeful leaders. Asimov, like so many who dwell upon the illusions of their own mind – Gene Roddenberry included, fail to understand the murderous intent of the human heart. Technology has yet to find a way to transplant a heart of hate for something less violent.

    Like

  2. Pingback: The Most Famous Science Predictions that Failed to Come True | dpInk Author: Fabio Evangelista daSilva

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