As Yogi Berra famously quipped “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future” but Alger’s “Future of Medicine” question is an interesting approach to generating ideas so I thought I’d give it a shot.
For the first 50 years in computing we’ve been busy digitizing the areas of human activity such as:
- Administration (letters and memos are rarely done by hand)
- Engineering (computations and drawings have been done on machines for a while)
- Finance & accounting (spreadsheets and software drive most financial tasks)
- News & press (social media, online news)
- Literature (e-books, publications)
- Retail (online stores)
There are many more examples of digitization plus even more examples of how mobile, social, and Internet have changed the world for the better. While the innovations I’ve cited above have brought enormous benefits to humanity, the next 50 years when we digitize biology through genomics, digitize chemistry through early detection systems, and digitize physics through better simulations we’re going to live in a world that might soon look even more like science fiction than it does today.