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Robo-goats and Nosy Toothbrushes: One Futurist's Predictions

Mike Musgrove

Don't we all kind of expect by now that it's just a matter of time before computers become smarter than we are? One tech industry pundit is now throwing in his best guess for a year by which this will happen.

Futurist Richard Watson makes a living by telling companies like Coca Cola and McDonald's what lies down the road. In a new book called Future Files, he lays some of those predictions out for whoever wants to shell out a few bucks.

Watson predicts that, in the near-ish future, products such as radios and TV's will be "mood sensitive" and able to automatically tune into whatever you're in the mindset to watch or listen to. Your toothbrush will be able to sniff your breath and make an appointment with your dentist. And your clothes and shoes will contain GPS devices so you never get lost.

And, says Watson, when there's a disaster of some sort, "robo-goats" will be deployed to help find survivors stranded on, say, steep mountainsides.

Watson predicts that computers will be smarter than us by 2030. Personally, I'm still waiting on Segways to change the world, but I very much hope that the computers take our side when the robo-goats turn on us.

By Mike Musgrove  |  October 22, 2008; 2:30 PM ET  | Category:  Mike Musgrove
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