The 2020s: 20 science and tech predictions for the new decade

Here's what the future really could look like.

future science

It’s the dawn of a new decade — and that means a new era of science and technology to excite and delight. Here at Inverse, we know that predicting the future is a fool’s errand — heck, we can’t even predict the weather all that well. But we can look at the trends already in motion and map out a forecast for the future.

These are our top 20 predictions for science and technology for the 2020s, from artificial intelligence passing the Turing test to what we expect from the NASA Mars 2020 mission, and everything we see on the horizon for gene-editing.

What did we miss? Email us your suggestions.

Watch this space in the weeks ahead for more predictions for the 2020s.

astronaut

19. In the 2020s, tiny biosensors could make a 911 phone call from Mars

When you’re far from home, you need to know if you’re sick before you feel it.

hyperloop

18. Hyperloop, Elon Musk’s vacuum-sealed transit system, may get a speed boost

Hyperloop appears primed to hit jetliner speeds in the next decade. Will it?

robot olympics

17. In the 2020s, we will have a real Robot Olympics

And it’ll be a lot cooler than the regular Olympics.

smoke billowing from industrial plant

16. A woeful prediction: Air pollution levels will remain constant in the ‘20s

Continued innovation and funding are going to be needed to curb CO2 emissions.

Tesla solar panels

15. Solar panels will continue to decline in price in the 2020s

The sun is set to shine on solar energy.

space travel moon

14. Humans return to the Moon

Mars is cool, but space agencies might be gearing up for a lunar return.

killer robots

13. Killer robots may roam the Earth

Autonomous weapons are edging closer to reality.

old age couple

12. We’re gonna live a whole lot longer

Are our bodies our masters, or can humanity gain the upper hand?

self-driving cockpit

11. If you hope to see a self-driving car this decade, keep dreaming

The technology has improved over time. But driving alongside humans is too damn complicated.

Will the 2020s be the decade of gene-edited humans?

10. We’ll witness CRISPR gene-editing trials on humans

Inverse predicts these trials will continue to pick-up pace in the US.

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Media via Adrienne Bresnahan / Getty Images, PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek/Shutterstock.com, Inverse, SpaceX, Olympics/Boston Dynamics/Wikimedia/Thor Benson, Carol Yepes / Getty Images, Tesla, SkyPics Studio/Shutterstock.com, Shutterstock, Stockbyte / Getty, SERGII IAREMENKO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty, andriano.cz/Shutterstock.com, Jolygon/Getty Images