Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist, best-selling author, popularizer of science and co-founder of string field theory. He spoke to the Wall St Journal about his visions for the future.
“By 2020, the word "computer" will have vanished from the English language,” predicts Michio Kaku. “Every 18 months, computer power doubles, so in eight years, a microchip will cost only a penny. Instead of one chip inside a desktop, we'll have millions of chips in all our possessions: furniture, cars, appliances, clothes. Chips will become so ubiquitous that "we won't say the word 'computer,' we'll simply turn things on."
In his latest book, "Physics of the Future," Kaku predicts driverless cars by 2020 and synthetic organs by 2030.
"If you could meet your grandkids as elderly citizens in the year 2100," he says, "you would view them as being, basically, Greek gods."
Another word he believes will disappear is "tumor." "We will have DNA chips inside our toilet, which will sample some of our blood and urine and tell us if we have cancer maybe 10 years before a tumor forms. When you need to see a doctor, you'll talk to a wall in your home, and "an animated, artificially intelligent doctor will appear." You'll scan your body with a hand-held MRI machine, the "Robodoc" will analyze the results, and you'll receive "a diagnosis that is 99 percent accurate."
In this "augmented reality”, the Internet will be in your contact lens. "You will blink, and you will go online," he says. "That's going to change everything." Students will look up the answers to tests while taking them. Actors will cheat from their scripts while performing onstage. Foreigners will translate their conversations with natives instantly. Job-seekers will identify "who to suck up to at any cocktail party" surreptitiously. And President Obama "will never have to have teleprompters in front of him," he jokes.