About 10,000 years ago, humans evolved a tolerance to cow’s milk; over the past 150 years, we’ve added 10 centimetres to our average height; and over the past 65 years, we’ve added 20 years to the average lifespan, mostly thanks to advances in science.
We’ve come so far in such an incredibly short period of time, so what will we look like in another 1,000 years?
In this episode of AsapSCIENCE, the boys run through some of the most exciting scientific breakthroughs that are being made today in order to propel our species into the future.
First off, we humans have a reason to be as smug as we are – our brains are so good, even the most advanced computer system doesn’t even come close.
In fact, in 2014 researchers used the K computer in Japan – one of the most powerful computers in the world – to simulate human brain activity, and it took 705,024 processor cores, 1.4 million GB of RAM, and 40 minutes to process the same amount of data processed by 1 second of brain activity.
But we might not always have an edge over the machines we create.
Scientists predict that in the future, computers will not only match the computational speed of the human brain, we’ll also develop artificial intelligence that can speak, interact, listen, and remember. Let’s just hope they don’t use all that information to turn against us.
And as computers grow progressively more human, so too will humans become more integrated with robots.
In the future, scientists predict that we’ll have minuscule robots called nanobots swimming around our bodies and enhancing our natural abilities. Known as transhumanism, this could see us no longer limited to what biology can be achieved, and the possibilities of that are pretty incredible to think about.
And it’s not just our own bodies that technology has the potential to completely change.
As the video points out, ‘utility clouds’ of microscopic robots could assemble themselves into entire buildings and them disassemble just as easily.
“Picture your house disassembling when you leave in the morning so that space can be used for something else,” says AsapSCIENCE.
In the next 1,000 years, the amount of languages spoken on the planet are set to seriously diminish, and all that extra heat and UV radiation could see darker skin become an evolutionary advantage.
And we’re all set to get a whole lot taller and thinner, if we want to survive, that is.
Why? I’ll let AsapSCIENCE explain that one in the video above, but let’s just say global warming is going to have a much bigger impact on our appearance than you might think.
A version of this article was first published in October 2015.