The Next Revolutionary Change

The Communications Revolution (including the Internet and, even more profoundly, the future Grid and Mesh) has brought us extraordinary change, but there is a less obvious revolution in the wings that I believe will be every bit as catastrophic in its impact on humanity.

The coming Transportation Revolution will bring a decentralized and networked robotic transport system, as well as personal vehicles with speeds in excess of 300 miles per hour. Imagine purchasing an item online and having it delivered to your doorstep in just a few hours or even minutes, or taking cheap weekend trips to the furthest points on the planet, or driving across the entire continental United States in less than ten hours.

I am not exactly sure yet how we will get there. NASA is funding research into a future transportation grid of personal flying cars, coordinated by advanced AI overseers. Marshal Brain expects transportation to become fully automated, starting with airplanes by 2015. Teleportation of objects appears to be physically possible, though so far only a few fundamental particles have been successfully teleported in experiments. Hybrid engine/battery systems and fuel-cells point the way to more energy-efficient vehicles. Atom lasers (as opposed to the photon lasers used today) have been successfully demonstrated.

Computer science, artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology, medicine, cognitive sciences, and much more continue to fascinate me, but the convergence of a communications revolution and a transportation revolution that will combine many if not all of the above progress is of particular interest to me. On frontierchannel.tv I will often highlight those trends that appear to have the most bearing on this particular convergence.

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Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet. His first published poem, "Roadside Freak Show," arrives on August 21, 2017 in Impossible Archetype.  His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (richardleis.com), on Goodreads (richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).