AI and virtual reality might even replace doctor visits
-by Julie Fidler
It sounds like the script of a sci-fi movie, but this story is real. New research suggests that many Brits believe that robots will outnumber humans in 20 years and that many people will swap humans for computers when it comes to romance.
But this doesn’t just mean we’ll be surrounded by cyborgs as we walk down the street. It means that computers will be doing many of the things humanity depends on itself to do right now.
The findings come from a survey of more than 2,000 British adults. The research was inspired by predictions made by Imperial College London’s Tech Foresight research team ahead of London Technology Week, an event celebrating innovation with the UK’s capital city.
David Gann, vice president of innovation at Imperial College London, said:
“London’s technologists, scientists, medics and entrepreneurs are creating the future. No city in the world enjoys London’s quotient of talent, technology culture and capital. It is a potent combination.
London is an environment where ideas flourish, design and innovation is embraced, and new technologies are transforming our lives for the better. In London, we don’t stand still.”
Cloning Humans by 2036?
Half of the respondents said they believed the world’s first cloned human will be born by 2036. According to NPR‘s website.
“Several European countries, including France, Germany and Switzerland, have banned the creation of cloned human embryos for reproductive or therapeutic purposes. England, Singapore, Sweden, China and Israel allow cloning for research, but prohibit it for reproduction.”
The survey also found that, in the next 20 years, people expect:
- The fashion industry will be significantly changed by technology (57%)
- The first artificial intelligence (AI) machine will serve on the board of a large company (23%)
- Avatar girlfriends and boyfriends will be commonplace (19%)
- Communication devices will be embedded inside the human body (37%) 
Technology is also expected to dramatically impact healthcare over the next two decades. A large majority of people surveyed said that by 2036, they expect to no longer have to physically visit their doctor. About 62% of respondents said they think doctors’ appointments will be routinely conducted via virtual reality (VR).
Robots Outnumbering Humans by 2036
Here’s where it gets scary: 14% of respondents expect robots to outnumber humans by 2036.
According to Accenture’s 2016 Digital Multiplier Report, the digital economy is likely to spike global economic output by $2 trillion by 2020, thanks, in part, to the development of new technologies and the public’s adoption of them.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:
“London Technology Week shines a light on this hugely important sector of the economy and demonstrates how our city is open to trade, ideas and people from across the globe. Tech-savvy Londoners welcome new digital advances that are going to revolutionise the way that we live and it is crucial that we harness those ideas to help the capital work even better as a city.
As someone who has helped to run a successful business, I look forward to supporting the tech sector so it goes from strength to strength over the coming years.”
Too bad they didn’t take a survey of how many people want all of these developments.