Long Bets Table at WorldFuture2013


From July 19th- 21st in Chicago, the World Future Society hosted their annual conference, WorldFuture 2013. The conference had over 60 sessions, workshops, and special events over the course of two and a half days, including a keynote from former SALT speaker Nicholas Negroponte. Topics ranged from Artificial Intelligence and the future of education to gaming and politics.

This year, Long Now hosted a table on Long Bets. For the weekend, we waved the $50 prediction fee and gave conference guests the chance to make predictions for free. The table generated much interest and led to predictions on topics as diverse as urban farming and the future of libraries.

One of the keynote speakers and Long Now member, Ramez Naam, paid the table a visit and made two predictions, both of them concerning our environmental future:

“By 2020, across at least 25% of the continental US, the cost of new solar or wind will be lower than the cost of either new coal or new natural gas”

“The first ice-free Artic day (as defined by NSIDC) will occur by the end of 2020.”

Wendell Wallach, a bioethicist at Yale and presenter at the conference, made a controversial prediction concerning the timeline of fully autonomous cars:

“Neither the Google car nor any other fully autonomous car will be marketed to the general public by 2025”

To see the predictions from the conference and other recent predictions, visit the Long Bets site. If you find yourself in disagreement with any of the predictions, join the conversation by creating an account and challenging the prediction.

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The Long Now Foundation is a nonprofit established in 01996 to foster long-term thinking. Our work encourages imagination at the timescale of civilization — the next and last 10,000 years — a timespan we call the long now.

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