Barring the arrival of a the Singularity (latest from Kurzweil is 2045), are there things that we can say will or won’t exist in 20 years from now? I’m asking about this as I look at different technologies or devices that come to market…
Gas Stations? No. These are gone. This is definitely something to consider for anyone looking to buy a gas station today. Mortgage might be 30 years, there’s licensing and operating costs. If you’re only looking to start making money in year 12, maybe this isn’t the best investment? Maybe the land will have good value?
Desktop setups? Yes! People will still go places to work and there will still be some monitor and touch based input devices. Maybe Dvorak keyboard will become normal, maybe microphones will be everything. Maybe high definition images that are projected rather than a physical monitor but people will still want to work in a quiet environment and pour out their thoughts.
Cash. Not really — at least not everyday use. Physical tokens might exist as a secure backup in case of an electronic apocalypse.
Air Travel. Yes, and it’ll be really interesting. More ultra-luxury offerings, private jets, and point-to-point travel. Maybe one pilot will be flying for most flights reducing flight costs and making more options available. Security will be automated and have a lot less friction.
Taxi drivers. Not, except for special events. If you’re buying a taxi medallion for some long term return — maybe not a good idea. Long distances transport drivers… also not a long term career.
Local fast food. Yes, and more interesting. Limitless customization of offerings and more of an experience to go out to eat.
Farms. Yes, and with more automation and closer to where we consume. More farm bots and indoor farms. More freight farms.
Packages. Yes, but delivered autonomously, the same day, or within the hour. Items might be fabricated with 3D printing and assembly very close to home.
Boredom. No — there’ll be many things to distract us and keep things interesting.