10 Tech Advancements Redditors Thought Would Shape The Future (& If They Were Right)

With the ongoing collapse of many cryptocurrencies, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the average person struggles to determine what tech advancements truly will shape the future. After all, Redditors were proclaiming for years that currencies Etherium and Bitcoin would change the world, but they’ve hitherto hardly made an impact.


With that in mind, it is worth revisiting some of Reddit’s finest speculation about which technologies would truly change things. This Reddit thread from two years ago is filled with suggestions about those potential technological advancements, and the long-term results have been truly fascinating.

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Deepfakes

There is something deeply terrifying about the idea of deepfakes, which are tools that allow people to create fake and realistic videos about someone else. “It is a perfect tool to create chaos and discord,” says Reddit user King_Prawn_shrimp. “Something that was once impossible to rationalize away will become yet another misinformation tool and a engine to sow doubt.”

Yet, deepfakes have yet to play a major role in society outside of being creepy. After all, people still believe in videos wholeheartedly, and even the legal system has yet to wrestle with the idea that videos can be completely faked. The technology is not widespread enough to create real hassle yet, so it really has not shaped anything except.

Battery Recycling

Android phone will charging battery and iQOO logo

The idea of being able to recycle batteries is an exciting one. After all, gathering lithium is as difficult as it is strenuous and expensive. That’s why people hope recycling can grow. “Every element in a battery can be extracted, and recycled into new batteries, especially the lithium,” says Redditor Fragraham.

In fact, Reddit is right that battery recycling is becoming more popular. Lithium-Ion recycling has already begun in North America, according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. It’s truly exciting, and it’s a tech with huge potential in 2022 and beyond.

Crops That Can Grow Anywhere

A farmer walks through their field.

The world population is constantly increasing, and that means that food will need to become more abundant and accessible. The idea of crops that can grow anywhere seems game-changing. “I think there are some good developments in this type, and this means draught and insects would no longer affect the growth,” says Redditor Zedfourkay. “This would decrease poverty and famine.”

Unfortunately, as most people can recognize, there are not currently many indoor gardens, nor is there corn growing out of every sidewalk. While there is a chance for progress in the future, it has not reached nearly enough widespread use to actually shape the future.

Biochips

Samsung Exynos chip on custom background

Animal and human testing have always been a horrifying part of medicine, but biochips offer an alternative. “We can test various drugs and treatments on your genetics without doing it on you. No animal testing. Whole cohorts of test subjects that are chips,” says Reddit user 10A_86. “We can find the cure or treatment for something and know it will work before prescribing it.”

Of course, given that human and animal testing is still ongoing in 2022, biochips have not yet developed to the point where the world hoped they would be. Those miniature artificial laboratories have yet to truly shape the future. While there is still a possibility going forward, they have not changed the game.

Automation

Carnegie Mellon's Robot Dog climbing stairs

Automation is something that terrifies many workers throughout the world. After all, why would executives pay for employees when they could have a robot complete labor faster and without pay? “There will be no need to for a lot of people to work in factories,” says Reddit user platochronic.

Yet even the most valuable tech companies have not yet automated everything. Some machines have taken jobs, but blue-collar workers are still able to find work with relative ease. U.S. unemployment remains at a low 3.7%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showing that automation fears are not yet entirely well-founded.

3D Printing

A 3D printer creating a print.

3D printers have always been a fascinating subject, and Redditors predicted that the technology would change everything. “Imagine downloading the blueprints of whatever you need, customize it and have it printed overnight and into your hands. What is now a hobby will soon be a common household tool,” says Reddit user mihaidesigns.

Yet while it is still a great tech gift for creative teens, 3D printing hasn’t exactly changed everything. After all, 3D printers remain expensive, and printing is a time-consuming and skill-based process. For most people, it is still not viable enough to actually use it for long.

The Tinnitus Cure

A gun is fired next to Archer's head.

There is nothing more annoying or unsettling than a loud and high-pitched buzz squealing on for decades at a time. Yet Reddit thought that the Hough Ear Institute could change that. “There’s currently a drug in stage 2 of testing that’ll cure hearing loss and Tinnitus by regrowing dead hairs in the ear,” says Redditor RandomPenguiness.

Unfortunately for those suffering from Tinnitus or other forms of hearing loss, the drug has still not completed development. It is not yet known how long the drug will take to actually get to markets, but it is currently far from shaping the future.

Psychedelic Treatment

A red pill on a green and yellow background.

Research has been ongoing for years about whether psychedelic drugs can have a positive impact on the lives of mental health patients. There has been speculation about treatment for psychosis, addiction, and a wide variety of other ailments, and things have been trending positively.

“We could see some possible results in as early as next 2-3 years,” says Redditor IamGroot_19. While two years have passed since IamGroot made that statement, the drug is not yet in use for mental health patients. Many hallucinogens remain Schedule I drugs, meaning that they are not approved for even so much as medical research.

Reusable Rockets

Launching Rockets From Colorado

Elon Musk, one of the richest tech billionaires, has been focusing on developing reusable rockets to help with space exploration when he isn’t working with Tesla or Twitter. “I feel like SpaceX being able to reuse rockets doesn’t get enough attention,” says Reddit user Jfonzy. “Costs for getting stuff into space will go down, meaning more possible space stations or even building a mega structure one day.”

In fact, Reddit was right in that SpaceX has completely changed the face of space travel. After all, reusable rockets have dramatically lowered the cost of development, and it also makes space tourism a distinct possibility. With a reusable rocket, Jeff Bezos — another billionaire — was able to visit space himself. It shows just how much those rockets are changing the future of the final frontier.

Optogenetics

Star Trek Prodigy Dal DNA

The idea of a non-invasive method for research and healing is an enticing one, and optogenetics allows it with ease. “Neuroscientists can control the behaviour of live animals using proteins and light,” says Reddit user Procrastinator91. “Can also be used to map the brain, learn about disease, provide pain relief, treat addiction…”

Yet, whether fortunate or unfortunate, optogenetics has not made its way from theory to reality yet. Right now, research is still ongoing, though it is making progress, and the worth of optogenetics developers is increasing. It will definitely need more than another two years before optogenetics arrives in hospitals and research stations everywhere.

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