What will life look like in 2038? Twenty years from now is not the stuff of science fiction, but it still sounds like it: flying driverless cars, an internet cold war, a Chinese world order. Given the pace of change we are currently living through, the world really could look dramatically different from today. Remember, twenty years ago, social media and iPhones and the Tea Party did not exist, Barack Obama had just started dabbling in state politics, the Clinton administration was loosening up its oversight of something called derivatives, New Orleans was still dry and the World Trade Center was still standing.
2038, a podcast from New York Magazine and Intelligencer, will explore 8 different visions of how we can expect to live in two decades. Each episode will feature an expert in subject areas from business to technology to politics to climate science and beyond, laying out a very particular vision of where we’ll be in twenty years—and who will then defend his or her predictions in conversation with Max Read and David Wallace-Wells.
Missy Cummings is on the forefront of drone and driverless technology as a consultant and director of the Duke University Humans and Autonomy Laboratory. We asked her about the future of robotic-driving technology — from planes to trains to, yes, automobiles — and were a little surprised by her answer. The good news, though: Traffic will probably get better.