Sounding very 4GW and 5GW, the Army held a “Mad Scientist” seminar last August, to “investigate proliferating technologies with the potential to empower individuals and groups in the next 10-25 years.”
Quoting from the seminar summary
The U.S. must accept the reality that it can no longer assume technological superiority over the rest of the world. Ready access to scientific information and technological know-how has and will continue to level the playing field.
Individuals with access to the global information grid can easily acquire the knowledge needed to develop lethal bio agents, literally in their kitchen sink. Nanotechnology and robotics will offer opportunities to introduce and spread bio and chemical agents into targeted populations.
Sounds grim, but overall, they’re optimistic.
Most likely results [after 2030] include an increased life span, a solution to the energy crisis, ready availability of food and fresh water to all, a global distribution of technology, education, economics, and — therefore — wealth. This will reduce the tension between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ while the capabilities of robotics and access to virtual reality to both care for and entertain will create the perception of well-being almost universally around the globe. Advancements are limited only by imagination and resources.
Sounds like the world many of us are hoping for.