Predictions of the Future – Science and imagination – | STUDY POINT~高校授業編~

Predictions of the Future – Science and imagination –


Lesson 3 Predictions of the Future
– Science and imagination –

Part 1
1 Predictions about the future of technology are usually not very nice. In one of
them, humans are fighting against a computer which is very smart. In another one,
people are brainwashed and working hard while the government is watching them
all the time. We do not want that kind of future.
2 However, Isaac Asimov, an American writer and a scientist, made good
predictions back in 1964 about our lives today. His predictions called “Visit to the
World’s Fair of 2014” appeared in The New York Times 50 years ago.

3 You will see that a lot of his predictions have come true: self-driving cars, video
calling, the use of nuclear power, and robots that do various tasks at home. Asimov
also thought that in 2014 the world population would be 6.5 billion and the US
population would reach 350 million. He came very close. The world population in
2014 was about 7.2 billion, and that of the US was 319 million.

Part 2
4 He made other predictions which have not come true. For example, we don’t
know when homes under the sea will become a reality.
5 However, many of his predictions that have not become realities are quite
possible today, only not yet popular. For example, he thought that windows would
be little more than openings in a wall, as glowing wall panels became more popular.
He also came up with the idea of moving sidewalks in shopping areas in town. We
already have those at airports. His dream of “large solar-power stations” has been
slow to arrive, but finally we are now building them in many places in the world.

Part 3
6 Asimov was not the only person that made predictions about the future.
Another writer, Arthur C. Clarke, got almost all of his predictions right for the year
2014. One example is wireless communications. He said, “We can be in contact
with each other at once anywhere we like. Perhaps only 50 years from now we may
be able to carry out our business from a small island just as well as we could from
London.” Clarke also said that he was not joking when he said, “We may carry out
brain surgery in one city on a person in another country.” He was right again.
Remote surgery using robots is already becoming popular.

7 Next, let’s take a look at some of the predictions for the future made by the
world’s top scientists today. They say computer power will double every 18 months.
That means in ten years or so, computer parts will be as cheap as a piece of paper.
Computers as we now know them will be gone. They will be everywhere but hidden,
just like electricity and running water.

Part 4
8 Also, in 20 or 30 years, parents may be able to choose their children’s eye color,
hair color, and such. We will be able to get a test on our genes at a cost of less than
$100. Doctors will be able to tell if any of your genes are bad and repair them to
keep us healthy. Already, “smart mouse” and “strong mouse” genes that can make
a mouse with better memory and body power have been found. We know that the
human body also has these genes.
9 Will these predictions come true? It is quite possible if we understand the
importance of science. Also, we should learn to use science in good ways. What
are good ways? Let’s use our imagination.

Lesson 3 未来の予言 ~科学と想像力~
Part 1
1 科学技術の未来についての予言は,たいていあまり楽しいものではない。その中の
2 しかし,アメリカ人の作家であり科学者でもあるアイザック・アシモフは,1964 年
の時点で,今日の私たちの生活について見事な予言をしていた。『2014 年の万国博覧会
を訪れよう』というタイトルの彼の予言は,50 年前ニューヨーク・タイムズ紙に掲載

3 彼の予言の多くが実現したことがわかるだろう。無人自動車,テレビ電話,原子力
の使用,家でさまざまな作業をするロボットなどである。アシモフはまた,2014 年に
は世界人口が 65 億になり,アメリカの人口は3億5千万に達するだろうとも考えてい
た。ほとんど彼の予想通りだった。2014 年の(実際の)世界人口は約 72 億であり,ア
メリカの人口は3億 1,900 万であった。
Part 2
4 彼はほかにも,まだ実現していない予言を行った。たとえば,海底住宅がいつ実現
5 しかしながら,彼の実現していない予言の多くは,まだ普及していないというだけ

Part 3
6 アシモフは未来について予言した唯一の人ではなかった。もう1人の作家,アーサ
ー・C・クラークも,2014 年についてのほぼすべての予言を的中させていた。その一
取ることができるだろう。ひょっとしたら我々は,今からほんの 50 年後には,ロンド

7 次に,今日の世界一流の科学者たちによってなされた未来の予言をいくつか見てみ
よう。彼らによれば,コンピュータの能力は 18 か月ごとに倍になるだろう。それはつ
まり,10 年かそこらで,コンピュータの部品は紙切れと同じくらい安価なものになる

Part 4
8 また,20~30 年後には,親が子どもの目や髪の毛の色などを選べるようになるかも
しれない。私たちは,100 ドル以下の値段で遺伝子テストを受けられるようになるだろ
9 これらの予言は実現するだろうか。私たちが科学の重要性を理解すれば,十分あり