Predictions for the Future: Space Tourism, Smart Robots and Thought Power

Former George Washington University Professor William E. Halal looks at the future of things to come in an intriguing thought piece published in The Capital Times.  Predictions include everything from intelligent cars to breakthroughs in alternative energy to space tourism.

Richard Branson is steadily moving toward the first flight of his Virgin Galactic tourist spaceships, and competitors are rushing to realize their own plans for trips to the moon and to space hotels. Just a few years ago, the very idea of space tourism seemed laughable, but now it looks ready to launch…

Smart Robots: 2022 — plus or minus 7 years

A Japanese robot named Asimo can climb stairs, run and dance. He and his kin are finding work as office receptionists, waiters and security guards. Faced with a dearth of young people and a growing elderly population, the Japanese and Koreans plan to have robots fill important roles in offices, home services and health care by 2010. People can easily become attached to robots — just ask the owners of Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners — so it’s not hard to picture a rising generation of R2-D2s coming into most of our lives.