By now we were promised flying cars, commutes to work with jet packs on our backs and weekend lunar getaways. What we got are honking, ugly, smart watches that tell us who’s calling us, even though we can just look at our actual phones. As the corny 1950s sci-fi announcers boomed over the TV, ‘The Future IS HERE!!!’ Here are ten professions that may arise by 2200 A.D.
Battery Algae Farmer
Although farming is considered one of the fastest shrinking professions in the world at the moment, a recent technological advance might actually revitalize it. A recent advance in energy storage solutions sees algae used as a living battery which charges very quickly and is biodegradable. Not only that, but, it does the opposite of fossil fuels: it actually draws CO2 from the atmosphere instead of creating it. Spirulina is a type of algae that has recently emerged as a super-food with enough protein to become a meat substitute. In Bangkok this profession already exists with the moniker “urban” added to it. The reason is because these “algae farms” are located on the tops of multi-floor buildings in urban areas.
Screen-less Display Technician
Two recent advances have helped us move towards a world of holographic and retinal based display. I’ll explain both for the non-geeks in the crowd. A holographic display is an image beamed into space like that from a movie projector, but, without the screen, so it just kind of floats in the air. A retinal display is an image that is beamed directly into your eyes which sounds much scarier than it actually is. This is actually how we see things around us anyway, but, through light reflected from the object instead of light being projected from it. In 2013 MIT produced a Holographic display with the resolution of a standard Television. In early 2014 a Kickstarter campaign by the name of ‘Glyph’ has raised over 1.5 million dollars for a retina display ‘home’ theater headset. Wouldn’t that be a ‘head’ theater? Never mind that sounds weird. Going a step beyond that and a step closer to a dystopian future are Neural displays that by-pass the eye all together, and beam visual information directly into your brain. Skipping that ad for E.D. medication might wipe you of all your childhood memories.
Predictive/Remote Medical Professional
If you remember recently, Angelina Jolie underwent a double mastectomy due to a genetic predisposition she had for breast-cancer. She found this out using a DNA analysis and finding a gene mutation that puts her at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer. There are many other methods that are used in preventive medicine today to help aid in better physical and mental health, but, in many cases it is not based on concrete effects, but factors. With wearable tech becoming more prevalent, it’s a good possibility that a small heart fluctuation during strain could be the very early warning signs for a heart attack. Or a spike in insulin even years before diabetes could be an indication for the disease. With real-time information on heart rate, blood chemistry and metal state, the doctor will be able to diagnose, and maybe even correct, small matters that could escalate to more serious issues. Quite possibly remotely too!
Self Quantified Market Analyst
Most modern gadgets can give a boatload of information regarding their users’ behavior. Geographic location, friends, frequently used contacts and even interest in trending topics. If this information is gathered anonymously it can abolish the need for expensive and lengthy market research. Of course, as the price of sensors drop, more and more types can be added to the device to assist in gathering further information. It sounds like Big Brother might be watching you a bit closer. On the other hand, it would eliminate telemarketers, thus, making the world a little less annoying.
A.I. or artificial intelligence was little more than sci-fi folklore until recent years. Granted, we are still in the initial phases of A.I. that at the moment can only: recognize faces, certain emotion, autonomously move through harsh terrains and have tactile responses (how hard or soft to hold something). Sooner or later the ability to learn is going to be quantifiable and our children’s children will be going to school with robots as classmates.
Is there a profession that you think will be popular or highly sought after in the next 186 years? How about space miner? Or endo-galactic diplomat? See the future can be as exciting as it is pant-wettingly horrifying.
See also: Rohan Agrawal - A Robot-Building Genius