Robots don’t take over the world and kill us all.
In the future, robots don’t replace us. We replace them.
Here is my prediction.
It’s 2017, and a typical conversation at my day job is the one questioning how early parents should allow their children to have iPads. It’s becoming more and more common for toddlers to know how to operate them, and some public schools have even stopped teaching children cursive. Some believe iPads are way too addictive for toddlers. Others, like the popular entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, believe that the earlier you can get your kids working with technology the better. They believe that the future is tech. The conservatives believe that tech will be our demise. There is no consensus yet as to who’s tending to be right.
Automatic/ electric cars are really making a splash nowadays, and while the computer industry is becoming a saturated market, dominated by Apple, Samsung, LG, and Google, in the background, the next big thing is being created. At this point, few companies are seriously working on robotics. It seems that the popular belief is that robots won’t have much use in our society for another 20–30 years. Statistics show that 87% of U.S. manufacturing jobs lost between 2000 and 2010 were from factories becoming more efficient through automation, but at this point, robots are just not talked about in mainstream media or in common conversation. The occasional video from American company Boston Dynamics shows up on our social media feeds, but nothing has made the majority feel like they’re on the edge of the next wave of technology.
In 2021, Boston Dynamics debuts the Almanac 1 (A1). The Almanac 1 did to the robotics industry what the iPhone 4 did to the cell phone industry- it showed us the potential. Some argue that the A1 was revolutionary because of its .009% failure rate. The A1 was the first robot that understood plain, broken or drunken English. It was also the first instance in which mainstream society saw the power of machine learning on a large scale. A1’s of a particular geolocation learned from each other. If 10 out of 15 farmers in the same area told their A1 to rake leaves, the other 5 would actually ask their farmers if they’d like them to rake leaves too. The same logic was actually beneficial in cities. If the majority of A1’s were told to shovel snow, the others would ask their owners for permission to do the same task. I always thought that the A1 was successful because of it’s relatable design. Up to this point, robots were typically built at the same ratio as humans, but they were much heavier than humans and harnessed much more power, which would invoke a subtle amount of fear. The A1 was only 4ft. It weighed 40lbs and once a day it would fold into a compact form to charge on a hover-board-like charging port. The A1 wasn’t intimidating, and humans knew they could break them in half if necessary. This is why the A1 changed everything.
By now, 60% of all minimum wage jobs have been delegated to Almanacs. With the debut of the Almanac 3 (A3), came the introduction of “uses”. Uses are like what apps were to the first iPhones. In 10 minutes, an employer could upload a Chinese use that would give Almanacs the ability to speak Chinese, for example. This is what really started forcing everyone to pursuit creative, medical, or technological careers. There was really no need to learn about anything else. There was no need for teachers, or postmen, or retail employees anymore. Almanacs had uses that enabled them to do just about anything. Use-Developers became the hot new commodity. A company named BuchaBot even made a use that would enable an A3 to make Kombucha on-demand. It was the most downloaded use of 2024.
Some would say that this doesn’t need to be included, but I believe the event I’m about to mention was actually the precursor to the biggest technological revolution since the Internet. In 2025, a 17 year old named Jarrod Blank got ran over by a Tesla automated school bus and lost both legs and his right arm in the accident. Tesla paid a huge fine, but in an attempt to regain their good reputation, they offered Jarrod free Limbzo’s. Up to this point, the idea that Tesla was working on bionic limbs was just rumored. With the school bus scandal, they finally debuted them to the public with Jarrod being the first to test them out. Jarrod got his two legs and his arm replaced, all by Limbzo’s, and the country was so impressed that it almost completely forgot about the accident. Kids continued to ride the Tesla school buses, and Jarrod went on to get into Stanford. He had no hard feelings, and he was recorded in an interview with Fox5 saying that he was “thankful” and that he “felt like ironman”.
In early 2026, the first government-encrypted use was created and titled — “END”. For the first time in history, Almanacs could kill humans, but only if they were END-enabled, which was a use that could only be uploaded by the government. In the fall of 2026, the US went to war, and the world experienced its first taste of robot-warfare. US citizens were mostly against the war, and in an effort to protest, about 70% of them publicly burned their Almanacs.
In 2028, the Almanac series become solely owned and operated by the government. No US citizen could purchase any more Almanacs, and all previous models were recalled. Other companies attempted to create their own human-friendly robots, but none could compare to the Almanac models.
Also in 2028, a desperate Apple Inc debuts their most revolutionary product since the iPhone, the Apple Eargo’s, a feather-weighted ear-shaped device that molded to the shape of an individual’s ear upon application. The Eargo had both a microphone (found closer to the bottom tip of the Eargo) and a speaker (placed inside of the Eargo lobe), that enabled owners to both talk to and listen from the same device. The Eargo also featured the first “Hallo” technology- 3,000 white lasers shooting (2ft wide by 2ft high) displays out from the Eargo to give the owner visual holographic imagery. It wasn’t uncommon to see teens with holographic screens in front of them, scrolling a social media timeline while waiting in Starbucks.
The Eargo made everything truly hands-free.
In 2029, a new company called Roba debuted the best-selling product of the year- the Doggie 1. The Doggie 1 was a solar-powered robot dog that omitted heat or cold upon command, was made of bullet-proof material, and came with a free built-in 911 use. The Doggie could only be charged by natural sunlight. Doggies could be charged faster when they’re running in the sun vs when they’re just walking in the sun.
In 2031, senior citizens first began replacing their deteriorating human limbs with Limbzo’s. It wasn’t uncommon to see 80-year olds sprinting through parks or winning marathons.
In 2032, a 100% female-ran company called Utous debuted the “Fight Back”, a female-sized bionic arm. Utous became the most funded start-up of all time, raising $1.5 Billion in just 9 months. Utous ran their famous 3-minute ad-campaign that featured the stories of real women who used their Fight Backs to knock men unconscious who tried to rape or abduct them. The Fight Back campaign became the most viral campaign of all time by the end of 2032.
The Fight Back and many other bionic products featured the ability to upload uses again. The most commonly downloaded use on the Fight Back was the “Call My Boyfriend” use, with a “911” use coming in second. Many people commonly spoke about how absurd it was that women would first think to call their boyfriends instead of calling the police in these kinds of situations.
By 2034, 76% of Americans had at least one bionic limb. Most women had Fight Backs, while most men reported having 3 bionic limbs or more. The second-highest grossing bionic-limb product of 2034 was the Nator 2’s, a bionic-penis that was sold only online by an anonymous seller than only accepted orders made in Ethereum cryptocurrency.
In 2038, human workers began replacing robots in many fields. For the first time in 20 years, humans had the majority of employment again (53%). I think this was due to the introduction of MLT (modular limb technology).
Utous debuted a modular hand that featured a removable index finger. An attachable pink gel pen and an attachable bottle of eyeliner were included free in the product packaging.
Many nostalgic service industry companies were reintroduced, like gardening and cleaning companies. All of their employees were “bionically-ambidextrous” with multiple modular limb models. The expensive housekeepers would often start cleaning dishes with a standard bionic-arm limb, then detach the standard limb and attach a fancy dust bunny or broom to their arm. The most expensive housekeepers came with up to 10 different attachable limbs which were all typically used on the right arm. The left arm was typically always designated for the latest edition Fight Back.
In 2043, the common conversation involved parents questioning how young was acceptable for their toddlers to get their first set of bionic limbs. Doctors argued that toddlers who learn to walk on bionic limbs, started walking 8x faster than toddlers who learned on standard human limbs. Studies showed that toddlers who started walking faster got higher test scores than those who hadn’t. At this point, the surgeries on adults had been completely acceptable by society standards. Jarrod Blanks 8-month old son, Kyle Blank, became the spokesperson for the toddler Utous model limbs called “Walk Firsts”.
It’s 2050, I’m 60 years old, and trying to convince my daughter to wait for more research studies to come back before she takes my grandson in to get his first set of Walk Firsts. He’s 6 months old. They say I’m just older and that I don’t understand technology. Maybe they’re right.
*All of the images and companies used are used completely out of context, as this article is based on my personal future predictions.
— I’m a coder, designer and podcast host
@FeleciaGenet on Twitter & Instagram.