"did you know....?" somewhat debunked
There was a featured YouTube video called Did You Know....?, so I checked it out. Of course, there are some "scary" predictions in there, such as:
"[For students in technical college,] half of what they learn in their first year of study will be outdated by their third year of study."
Answer to that: No crap. Any field of study labeled as "technical" offers classes where the information presented is obsolete is less than two years. What's important is the technique you learn, not the tech itself. For example, I have a college degree in Video & Radio Communications circa 1995. The technologies used back then (such as linear A/B roll and Amiga Lightwave for animation) are 100% obsolete, BUT, the techniques learned in video shooting and editing (such as continuity) are still very, very usable. In addition, the foundation of technology does not change, i.e. it all starts somewhere.
"Predictions are that by 2013 a supercomputer will be built that exceeds the computation capability of the human brain."
Answer to that: It already exists, except it's not a single computer. It's called the internet. Take one computer, network and/or distribute it to another computer of same type, and you have double the computational power. Network/distribute several computers and go from there. It already exists.
"Predictions are that by 2049 a $1,000 computer will exceed the computational capabilities of the human race"
Answer to that: Unlikely. Distributed computing will allow this (see above), but a single computer with no network connections and/or distribution most likely will not be able to compute that much information.
Let's say for the moment a computer did exist by that time that could do that. Where could it be used?
Here's a few examples.
1. Weather prediction.
One can only hope a computer will be developed one day that is smart enough to know when and where a tornado will strike well in advance, because if you weren't aware, we still cannot predict things like that unless they're almost on top of us.
In addition to advanced tornado prediction, other weather would be nice to predict too, such as lightning, tsunami, floods and earthquakes to name a few.
2. The complete picture of the nature of pain
We've only been able to scratch the surface concerning the nature of pain, but we don't yet fully understand it.
Proof we still don't understand the nature of pain: We still get headaches, and we still take pills to "cure" those headaches.
Future science will eventually render all pills obsolete. Maybe not in our lifetime, but it will happen.
In the not-too-distant future, methods other than pills will be introduced that will eradicate things such as migraines in seconds. But it order for it to work correctly, it must be administered using both technology and medical science combined. It could be something as simple as a headband. Put on the band, press a button, the band examines your head, finds the source of the migraine, then "cures" it instantly.
But we can't do this until we discover the true nature of pain - in all its forms. And we need better computers to get this information.
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