Wow, it’s been a long time since I wrote anything on this blog! I can’t believe it’s been over four years since my last post. So much has happened in the world since then: the COVID pandemic, the lockdowns, the war in Ukraine, the crypto boom, and of course, the amazing advances in AI. I think it’s a good time to look back at some of the predictions I made in previous posts and see how they hold up today. This post is a reflection on my past thoughts and forecasts, with some updates and insights on the current trends.
Five years ago, I shared my excitement about three things that will change our future: space exploration, life extension and artificial intelligence. Today, I want to revisit these topics and see how far we have come and what lies ahead. Join me on this journey of discovery and wonder!
The 5 Most Significant Achievements in Space Technology from 2018 to 2023 🚀
Space technology has been evolving rapidly in the last five years. Here are some of the most significant achievements in space technology from 2018 to 2023.
- SpaceX’s Starship and Falcon 9: SpaceX has made significant progress in its technology, especially with its Falcon 9 rocket. As of May 2023, SpaceX has achieved its 200th Falcon 9 landing, confirming the viability of its reusable spaceflight system. In terms of the development of Starship, SpaceX is making progress towards its next test flights. Repairs following the maiden Starship flight and preparations ahead of the second launch are ongoing at Starbase. Elon Musk has stated that SpaceX will spend $2 billion on Starship this year alone and his longtime dream is that it will travel to Mars.
- NASA’s Artemis I mission: Artemis I, formerly known as Exploration Mission-1, was the first major spaceflight of NASA’s Artemis program. It was an uncrewed Moon-orbiting mission that marked the agency’s return to lunar exploration after the conclusion of the Apollo program five decades earlier. The primary goals for Artemis I were to demonstrate Orion’s systems in a spaceflight environment and ensure a safe re-entry, descent, splashdown, and recovery prior to the first flight with crew on Artemis II. Artemis I was the first integrated flight test of NASA’s Deep Space Exploration Systems. As of May 2023, NASA’s Artemis II mission is making progress. Engineers recently completed a series of acoustic tests on the European Service Module for NASA’s Artemis II mission while inside the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida1. During the testing, engineers surrounded the service module with large speakers and attached microphones, accelerometers, and other equipment to measure the effects of different acoustic levels1. With this test complete, the team is on track to integrate Orion’s crew and service modules together later this year. The first crewed Artemis mission is now the focus of NASA’s beyond-Earth orbit human spaceflight programs. The approximately 10-day flight will test NASA’s foundational human deep space exploration capabilities, the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft, for the first time with astronauts and will pave the way for lunar surface missions, including landing the first woman and first person of color on the Moon
- NASA’s Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter: NASA’s Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter are part of the Mars 2020 mission, which aims to explore the geology and habitability of Mars. In 2021, Perseverance landed on Mars and began collecting rock samples for future return to Earth. Ingenuity became the first aircraft to fly on another planet, performing several aerial flights and demonstrating the feasibility of aerial exploration on Mars.
- NASA’s DART mission: NASA’s DART mission is the first demonstration of planetary defense, which aims to prevent asteroid impacts on Earth. In 2022, DART launched a spacecraft that crashed into an asteroid moonlet called Dimorphos, changing its orbit and speed. This mission tested the effectiveness of kinetic impact as a method to deflect potentially hazardous asteroids.
- NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST): NASA’s JWST is the most powerful and complex space telescope ever built. It launched into orbit in 2021 and began observing the distant universe with unprecedented sensitivity and resolution. JWST can study the formation of stars and galaxies, the evolution of planetary systems, and the origins of life.
The 5 Most Significant Achievements in Longevity Research from 2018 to 2023 🩺
One of the most exciting topics that I have always been passionate about is immortality. In my 2018 article I shared my optimistic vision of how we can stop aging by the year 2065. I based my prediction on the rapid development of science and technology in the 21st century, especially in the fields of biotechnology, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence. I believed that these tools would enable us to decode the secrets of longevity and manipulate our genes, cells, and organs to prevent or reverse aging. Some new advances have happened during the last five years. Here are five of the most important advances in life extension, immortality, and life sciences between 2018 and 2023:
- Cellular Reprogramming: A new study demonstrated that it is possible to partially reprogram old cells, allowing them to regain youthful function. Scientists used cellular reprogramming to reinstate youthful function and successfully rejuvenate old cells in the eyes of mice — successfully restoring vision in a mouse version of glaucoma.
- Tissue Regeneration: Tissue and organ regeneration company LyGenesis has shown that it can regrow functioning ectopic organs in a patient’s lymph nodes using cellular therapy
- Longevity Research: A study found that when omitting things that usually kill us, our body’s capacity to restore equilibrium to its myriad structural and metabolic systems after disruptions still fades with time. This incremental decline sets the maximum life span for humans at somewhere between 120 and 150 years.
- Investment in Life Extension: The rich are pouring millions into life extension research. Sam Altman, the chief executive of OpenAI, recently invested US$180 million into Retro Biosciences—a company seeking to extend human lifespans by ten healthy years.
- Advances in mRNA Technology: The medical promise of mRNA has been finally realized with the full approval of two rapid-response mRNA vaccines against COVID-19: Comirnity (BNT162b2) and Spikevax (mRNA-1273). mRNA vaccines are now being explored for a whole host of other diseases, including malaria, HIV, tuberculosis, and Zika. mRNA vaccines might also be used in cancer treatments tailored to individual people.
These breakthroughs are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the exciting advances being made in life extension and immortality research. Who knows what the future holds?
The 5 Most Significant Achievements in AI from 2018 to 2023 🤖
Artificial intelligence is the last topic that I want to talk about in this post. AI is probably the most powerful and influential technology of our time, as it can affect almost every aspect of our society and economy. AI can help us solve many problems that we face today, such as climate change, poverty, disease, or war. AI can also create new opportunities and industries that we can’t even imagine today, such as virtual reality, digital art, or synthetic biology.
Here are five of the most important advances in AI between 2018 and 2023:
- AI Adoption: The adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly taking hold across global business, according to a new McKinsey Global Survey on the topic
- Democratization of AI: AI will only achieve its full potential if it’s available to everyone and every company and organization is able to benefit. Thankfully in 2023, this will be easier than ever. An ever-growing number of apps put AI functionality at the fingers of anyone, regardless of their level of technical skill.
- No-Code and Low-Code Platforms: If there isn’t an app that does what you need, then it’s increasingly simple to create your own, even if you don’t know how to code, thanks to the growing number of no-code and low-code platforms. These enable just about anyone to create, test and deploy AI-powered solutions using simple drag-and-drop or wizard-based interfaces.
- Generative AI: Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence that can create various types of content, including text, image, video, audio, code, 3D models and synthetic data. It can create new and original content on demand, rather than simply analyzing or classifying existing data3.
- Making Generative AI a Force for Good: As generative AI gains pace, industry leaders are explaining how to make it a force for good. The future of AI looks bright with generative AI and large language models with socially beneficial use cases, including waste elimination and fraud detection.
I’m so excited to share with you some of the topics that I’m passionate about and that I will keep exploring in my future posts. I hope that you will join me in this journey of discovery and learning. I also hope that you will have fun reading my posts as much as I have fun writing them.
Thank you for your attention and support. Until next time!