And five that we're already living, because Asimov was awesome.
Photo: Everett Collection | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2014
In 1964, famed science fiction writer Isaac Asimov - best known for his books I,Robot and Bicentennial Man - wrote Visit to the World's Fair of 2014, a short article anticipating what the world would be like 50 years down the line. While some of his predictions continue to seem far off in our future - sorry Asimov, we're still lacking in the whole flying car thing - below are five predictions that have already come true, and, since we felt like starting the year on an optimistic note, three that we're hoping we might actually see by the end of this year. Come on, we can't be pessimistic dicks all the time.
The Ones That Already Came True
1. "Robots will neither be common nor very good in 2014, but they will be in existence."
Enter Siri: Apple's definitive version of the modern day robot. While she may not be as cool as the robots in Terminator 2, she still manages to be a stellar bar trivia partner. The problem? She rarely hears what you're saying correctly and seems to blank on some of life's most important questions, like every ingenious thought you have while you're high. Sigh.
2. "Communications will become sight-sound and you will see as well as hear the person you telephone."
Thanks to a little thing called computers, Skype and Facetime are the new ways to talk about yourself with your friends. Plus we have the website gem Chatroulette, which offers random video chatting with strangers. Because who doesn't love chatting with decapitated genitalia?
3. "The 2014 fair will feature an Algae Bar at which 'mock-turkey' and 'pseudosteak' will be served. It won't be bad at all...but there will be considerable psychological resistance to such an innovation."
Alright, maybe we're not shoveling algae down our throats, but we'll admit that we've succumbed to the tofu trend at least once. And by succumbed, we mean our moms made us try it (we're grown-ups, WE DON'T HAVE TO LISTEN TO YOU ANYMORE, MOM!)
4. "There will be a worldwide propaganda drive of birth control by rational and humane methods and, by 2014, it will undoubtedly have taken serious affect."
Two years prior to Asimov's alleged prophecies, the female contraceptive had become widely popular. Clearly he had his own, more conservative views on the sexual fad (AKA dude wasn't getting laid) but his words still ring true: Birth control did in fact spread worldwide. Bone on!
5. "Mankind will suffer badly from the disease of boredom...this will have serious mental, emotional and sociological consequences, and I dare say that psychiatry will be far and away the most important medical specialty in 2014."
Hence why this was even written in the first place. Please excuse us while we go cry to our psychiatrist for $750 an hour (we have a lot of Daddy issues, apparently).
The Ones We're Hoping To See Before 2015
1. "Much effort will be put into the designing of vehicles with 'robot-brains' - vehicles that can be set for particular destinations and that will then proceed there without interference by the slow reflexes of a human driver."
Auto company Tesla has plans for an autonomous car to hit the market in the next three years, but we have a lot of faith in them - we're hoping that competition from their rivals will spur them into mass-producing this early, and that 2014 will be the year unconscious drives to work will become a reality (please, please, please!).
2. "As for television, wall screens will have replaced the ordinary set; but transparent cubes will be making their appearance in which three-dimensional viewing will be possible."
Chinese Electronics company HiSense introduced their Transparent 3D TV in 2013 at the International Consumer Electronics Show. Their debut model was still a prototype, but clearly what comes next is the real thing. Score!
3. "Ceilings and walls will glow softly, and in a variety of colors that will change at the touch of a push button."
With the help of Philips Hue Personal Wireless Lighting, we're hoping Asimov's version of mood lighting is on its way in. If we can't change the entire color of our house with just the swipe of a finger by Christmas, we're flipping tables.