Spot the Nanodog asks you to
imagine a world where the dishes are always clean, the
garbage takes itself out, your bed makes itself, you
have a machine that creates any food you would like
anytime for free (and you can eat as much of it as
you'd like without getting fat or unhealthy), and
cars drive on their own. This could be your future. And
it may be closer than you think. The world is moving
faster and faster all the time.
Within the next 10 to 50 years or
so, new inventions and science breakthroughs will make
big changes in your life. When people look ahead, they
help us plan and prepare for the future. Some people do
this as their jobs - they are called
"futurists." Many predictions from
futurists are included on this site and in the book
tied to it. Both are called "Imagining the
Scientists predict that in your
- Virtual-reality worlds will be
the new instant messenger.
- Humans will be connected to
- Nanites (from nanotechnology)
will be making life easier and changing the way
- Humans will live much
- Human minds will receive
computer uploads to make people smarter.
- Smart technology will be
incorporated into fabrics, so you can e-mail using
your shoe or coat sleeve.
- Video wristwatches will allow
you to see and talk to anyone, anywhere.
- Microchips implanted in your arm
will serve as library cards, a driver's license
and emergency medical records.
- Robots will be able to recognize
your thoughts and respond to your commands.
- Most robots will be invisible,
and they will outnumber humans.
Researchers and people who study
the future - called "futurists" - have
predicted that a technological "Singularity"
is coming in the next 40 to 100 years. This is also
known as "the Spike." These experts say this
Singularity might happen because our machines and tools
- Getting so smart they will
soon become smarter than us;
- Learning how to build
themselves, without human help;
- Operating on their own
without any humans giving them commands.
If a Singularity happens, it
could bring changes so fast it could be like they are
bringing us all on a fast rocket ride straight into
space - ZOOM! Whether there is a ZOOM!-Singularity or
not, developing technological advances are already
having a huge impact on our lives. These
- Computer programs can imitate
different realities and give you the ability to feel
as if you are in another place in another role - for
instance, landing a jet, lying under a palm tree on a
beach, battling bad guys on another planet in a
distant galaxy, or playing basketball in the
- This is the ability to make
tools and helpful robots that are a billion times
smaller than we can see. Scientists have already made
many nano-sized tools that they can use. When this
science is improved and becomes more common and
affordable, it will change everything.
- Scientists are learning more about the
human brain every day, and they are working toward
making smart robots we can use to help us. Some
people say that nanobots - super-tiny robots may help
us in invisible ways in the future. They say they
will be everywhere, outnumbering humans many times
continue to get smarter aboutenetics(the pattern in which every little
part of humans and every other living thing on earth
is made, right down to the smallest pieces that make
us who we are);anotechnologyandobotics. Because of this, it is possible that
we and/or our creations will invent
superintelligence. This may be put into the machines
that work for us or it may be that in the future we
find ways to help make humans superintelligent
without even having to study. This might mean that
your grandchildren will NEVER have to go to school.
They may be born with superintelligence or they may
have this intelligence "uploaded" or
"downloaded" into their brains by computers
or delivered by nanobots.
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Some scientists, including Ray
Kurzweil, a man honored for his inventions by the U.S.
government, say that genetics, nanotechnology and
robotics will bring really big changes very quickly.
Here is how Kurzweil described it in 2005 to a group of
children he met with when talking about his book
"The Singularity is Near":
"Within a quarter century,
nonbiological intelligence will match the range and
subtlety of human intelligence. It will then soar past
it because of the continuing acceleration of
information-based technologies, as well as the ability
of machines to instantly share their knowledge.
"Intelligent nanorobots will be deeply integrated
in our bodies, our brains, and our environment,
overcoming pollution and poverty, providing vastly
extended longevity, full-immersion virtual reality
incorporating all of the senses (like in the film
'The Matrix' but hopefully nicer),
'experience beaming' (like in the film
'Being John Malkovich'), and vastly enhanced
human intelligence. The result will be an intimate
merger between the technology-creating species and the
technological evolutionary process it
The Spike will be marked by a point in which technical
progress will be moving so fast that some human
intelligence won't be able to keep up with it.
Nonbiological intelligence will be improving itself
rapidly. Kurzweil sets this date as 2045. It is hard to
see into the future because our brains are limited in
this regard right now, but Kurzweil says this is the
date by which nonbiological (computer or robot-built)
intelligence will be a billion times more powerful than
human intelligence is today.
Many people argue that Kurzweil's
"Spike" will not happen, but it is important
that we have a discussion of these possible future
developments. We must share insights and imagine how
our future civilization will unfold in order to prepare
ourselves for it.
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Many years down the road, humans might not even be
recognizable as artificial intelligence merges with our
natural states. Computers and machines will be just as
smart as and even smarter than we are. Cancer and AIDS
will be cured through developments of nanotechnology.
Here are some interesting points to learn about the
RFID:Schools of the future will not be like
the schools you know today. Radio Frequency
Identification technology will be used to take
attendance, meaning no more skipping class or sneaking
out without your teachers realizing it. In some cases,
you won't have to leave home to be a part of
school. Teaching is already being taken over by
computers and virtual classrooms as well as RFID
tracking systems. An RFID tag is a small object that
can be attached to or incorporated into a product,
animal or person. This means if your dog is lost you
can find it or you can find your favorite toy or your
glasses when they are lost.
if spills cleaned up after themselves, vacuums ran on
their own and by thinking a thought your clothes would
be clean? With nanotechnology, household chores will be
made easier and mom and dad won't have to get on
your case about cleaning up. But that's not all
nanos can do. Microscopic computerized robots called
nanobots work together to perform tasks like these.
Nanomaterials will be able to aid in surgeries and much
more. In fact, you may not have to leave your house for
groceries, new furniture, clothes and other items you
need because nanos will be able to build things from
scratch for you, right in your home. Scientists are
building things out of "nanotubes" right now.
A nanotube is 80,000 times smaller than the width of
one human hair. Imagine having a microscopic computer
sewn into your shirtsleeve or "painted" on
the fabric of your shoes. Computers of the future will
be "nano size."
Communication: Nanocomputers will probably be
linked to your thoughts, voice and your emotions, and
be able to react to your needs. The future will rely on
wireless technology and everyone and everything will be
linked. This will hugely impact the way your life is
run. Your brain will be able to receive downloads or
uploads from computers to fill your head with knowledge
or teach you new things. When you want to learn a new
skateboarding trick or dance move, a simple, direct
delivery of information directly to your brain may
allow your body to use the tips and apply them - no
studying involved! Artificial intelligence (also known
as AI) will greatly impact society and bring about
massive changes in our expectations and in the way
things are accomplished.
Virtual Reality: You
already love virtual-reality games - they make
imaginary worlds in which you can play. But what if
virtual reality allows you to have a cool new school?
Virtual worlds are being created so computer-generated
environments will allow you to socialize or learn
school lessons with your teacher and your friends
seemingly present without actually being there.
Technology will give you a 3D image and link to your
brain in a way that makes you actually feel as if you
are there. It will be a new way of
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Ross S. - Teleportation;
Hologram TV; Tastebud scanners that tell you what you
want to eat; Sea suits that go below 100,000,000 feet;
Barrington L. - Soon to
come: Time machines. Flying cars. Jet packs that really
work and are easy to use.
Jacob T. - Robots doing all
the chores; flying cars; everything is free because we
can make it out of thin air with special machines.
Natalie K. - When grocery
shopping, everything in the buggy will ring itself up.
No more car accidents and less traffic because cars
Chandler L. - Floating
computers that follow you around like dogs. When you
need them, they fly to you and you can use them. Robots
that clean your house, make your bed and do your
chores. A car that goes wherever you tell it to. An
elevator in your house that goes anywhere in the
Jackie M. - Virtual worlds
will let us do whatever we imagine. Robots will be
doing everything for us while we are in the virtual
Jesse A. - You can do
grocery shopping right in your house.
Rian B. - Floating TV;
Voice-activated computers; Robot maids;
motion-activated TV; All school is on the computer.
Lindsay S. - When you go to
stores, you type on a keyboard what you want and it
appears. Instead of driving regular cars we'll
drive hover cars. Robots will do chores.
Maddie F. - Pens that write
by themselves. Headphones that give you knowledge.
Never-ending food that never gets old.
Haley K. - Scientists might
invent a real human companion, and you can pick what it
looks like and it will live with you. There will be a
thing or game that tells you the truth whenever you ask
it. Also you can use a time machine to see what you
will look like years ahead (like when I get married) or
to look back to see things - what my mom and dad and
grandparents looked like when they were
Amanda F.- In the future there will be
hoverboards, flying cars and pocket-size computers.
Sydney Y. - We will have
robots that clean up after us. The X-box game will be
so small it will fit in your watch. Time machines will
Jordan W. - There will be
enough technology so we can communicate with aliens.
There will be a time machine to travel through time.
There will be the power to die and come back alive.
Danielle M. - There will be
a remote where you type in where you want to go then
push the button and you will be there. Also we will
have chewing gum that never loses its taste.
Patrick D. - There will be
robots that clean your house, walk the dog, make your
bed and stuff like that. There will be computers so
small you can't see them.
Kacie A. - People will have
nanopets and nanobots to have fun with and do things
for them. We won't have to go grocery shopping -
you can just tell your nanites to form fruit or meat
and they will do it. You can even tell your nanites to
form money, but you really won't need money, your
nanites can form the things you need or want.
Hannah P. - We will have
mini-computers in our clothes - like on the inside of
your sleeves. You will also be able to type into your
hairbrush how you want your hair to be styled.
Nano's can get everything for you because you can
tell them to make you something.
These are the visionary children
from Elon Elementary School who shared their ideas of
Also, thanks to Kacie A. for her drawings of Spot the
Nanodog, a character used throughout the
KidZone sections of this site. Kacie drew all of the
pictures of Spot and the Spot comic.
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