This timeline of the future in forecasts is a timeline of credible forecasts of near-future events and developments in all areas of science, technology, society and the environment.

Forecasting informs the planning and policy making processes within all governments and commercial organisations. Forecasts may be either qualitative extrapolations from a current state or quantitative output from models or simulations based on historical data and trends.

Forecasts are published by:

  • research and statistics departments within governments and leading commercial companies in a given field.
  • NGOs, think tanks and international organisations.
  • professional organisations and their associations and governing bodies.
  • academic bodies.

In addition, leading experts in a particular field develop and publish their own individual forecasts, and notable thinkers called futurists formulate independent visions of the future.

Forecasting is obviously not an exact science, and different experts may legitimately forecast different dates for the same event, because they use different models or assumptions. This timeline is organised by topic, allowing different forecasts of the same event to be compared side by side. Although the forecasts in this timeline are produced by professionals, no judgment is made as to their accuracy.


As far back as the nineteenth century, scholars and scientists made predictions about the future. Lord Kelvin, "One Heck of a Prognosticator, president of the Royal Society in the 1890s, and disbeliever in virtually every scientific discovery," claimed that “Radio has no future,” “I have not the smallest molecule of faith in aerial navigation other than ballooning,” and “X-rays will prove to be a hoax;” Orville Wright, in 1908 claimed that “No flying machine will ever fly from New York to Paris;” and Irving Thalberg, MGM movie producer, asserted in 1927 that “Novelty is always welcome, but talking pictures are just a fad.”[1] Thus, making forecasts of the future's timeline has a historic basis in which many of the predictions by even experts have proven inaccurate.

List of future events (structured by topic)Edit

Artificial intelligence and roboticsEdit

  • Robots capable of manual labor tasks--
    • 2007 - a cooking robot in some restaurants (2018 in private homes), Pansum, developers of AIC, 2006[2]
    • 2009 - robots that perform searching and fetching tasks in unmodified library environment, Professor Angel del Pobil (University Jaume I, Spain), 2004[3]
    • 2011 - sex robots that have sex with people, Henrik Christensen, chairman of EURON, the European Robotics Research Network (“People will be having sex with robots within five years.”, “Trust Me I’m A Robot.” The Economist, June 8th 2006).
    • 2015-2020 - every South Korean household will have a robot and many European, The Ministry of Information and Communication (South Korea), 2007[4]
    • 2018 - robots will routinely carry out surgery, South Korea government 2007[4]
    • 2022 - intelligent robots that sense their environment, make decisions, and learn are used in 30% of households and organizations - TechCast[5]
    • 2030 - robots capable of performing at human level at most manual jobs Marshall Brain[6]
    • 2034 - robots (home automation systems) performing most household tasks, Helen Greiner, Chairman of iRobot[7]
  • Military robots
    • 2015 - one third of US fighting strength will be composed of robots - US Department of Defense, 2006[8]
    • 2035 - first completely autonomous robot soldiers in operation - US Department of Defense, 2006[8]
    • 2038 - first completely autonomous robot flying car in operation - US Department of Technology, 2007[8]
  • Artificial intelligence

Biology and medicineEdit


Computing Edit

Culture and leisureEdit

Demographics Edit




Politics and economicsEdit



See alsoEdit


  1. See editions of this calendar.
  2. Robots may force chefs out of the kitchen, China Daily
  3. Robots get bookish in libraries, BBC News
  4. 4.0 4.1 Robotic age poses ethical dilemma, BBC News
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Latest Forecast Results, TechCast
  6. 2003 Robotic Nation, Marshall Brain
  7. Interview: Helen Greiner, Chairman and Cofounder of iRobot, Corp
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Launching a new kind of warfare, Guardian Online
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 The Coming Merging of Mind and Machine, Ray Kurzweil
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 Interview with Arthur C. Clarke, November 30, 2001
  11. *Template:Citation
  12. Robots rule OK?, BBS News
  13. "DOE labs, universities and second sight partner to speed development of 'artificial retina': Restoring sight through science" (14-Oct-2004).
  14. Trials for 'bionic' eye implants, BBC News
  15. Люди-супермонстры, и не только
  16. Dick Pelletier, "Regenerative medicine could cure most diseases by 2020"
  17. The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant
  18. The Blue Brain project is the first comprehensive attempt to reverse-engineer the mammalian brain, in order to understand brain function and dysfunction through detailed simulations
  19. Cory Doctorow, "Thought Experiments: When the Singularity is More Than a Literary Device: An Interview with Futurist-Inventor Ray Kurzweil"
  20. Net pioneer predicts web future, BBC News
  21. Cray Signs $200 Million Contract to Deliver World's Largest Supercomputer to Oak Ridge, Cray Inc. Press Release
  22. Japanese supercomputer breaks the petaflop barrier
  23. NEC claims 10-Petaflop supercomputing breakthrough
  24. Taking on the Challenge of a 10-Petaflop Computer, Riken News April 2006
  25. The Technology Lane on the Road to a Zettaflops
  26. RoboCup Official Site
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 U.S. Census Bureau International Database
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 The World at Six Billion, Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat
  29. 29.0 29.1 Population, Health and Human Well-being — Demographics: Life expectancy at birth, both sexes, Earthtrends database
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 The World in 2030, Ray Hammond
  31. ASPO Newsletter 85, Jan 2008
  32. World oil supplies are set to run out faster than expected, warn scientists, The Independent
  33. 'Peak oil' enters mainstream debate, BBC News
  34. Prediction: $1 Trillion U.S. Carbon Market By 2020
  35. Arctic summers ice-free 'by 2013', BBC News
  36. Abrupt Ice Retreat Could Produce Ice-Free Arctic Summers by 2040, NCAR Press Release
  37. Arctic could be ice-free by 2020, beating predictions by 30 years
  38. Great Barrier Reef coral cover could drop below 10% by 2098
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 Report of the National Intelligence Council's 2020 Project
  40. Billion millionaires by 2025 ?
  41. Top 10 GDP Countries 2000-2050, Goldman Sachs
  42. The World in 2050, PWC
  43. GM to Launch Self-driving System
  44. [1]
  45. George Knapp, "[ The ultimate public-private partnership Bigelow, NASA now working together on space hotel]," Las Vegas Mercury (Thursday, July 08, 2004).
  46. [2]
  47. [3]
  48. Russia will develop space elevators
  49. Robert Z. Pearlman, "NASA Confirms New Moon Vehicle is Orion" (23 August 2006).
  50. [4]
  51. Mars 2007 Missions and beyond, NASA
  52. David L Chandler, "Design choices may hurry humans to Mars" (01 September 2005).
  53. Zonk, "Visiting Our Red Space Neighbor" (Sep 09, 2005).
  54. Slideshow: The Next Mother Lode: Mars
  55. Mark Baard, "The Final Capitalist Frontier" (11.17.04).

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

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