The entire Matrix franchise has 10 future technologies that might exist in real life and much sooner than you think. The first is:
1. A Simulation That’s Indistinguishable From Reality
The simulation hypothesis suggests that all of existence as we know it is a computer-generated reality.
Nick Bostrom of the University of Oxford stated that we may live in an ancestor simulation. This would involve a civilization wanting simulate how historical events acted out in the past. This is very similar to the premise of the Matrix franchise in which humans live out their lives in a simulation that takes place around 200 to 250 years in the past.
The potential precursor to a simulation is the Metaverse, which is the convergence of physical, augmented, and virtual reality in a shared online space. Similar to the Matrix, it could become so realistic, that someone could hypothetically live out their entire life in it without having any awareness that none of it was real.
Some people believe that we could have some form of a simulation that is indistinguishable from reality within the next 80 to 200 years.
2. Programmable Matter and Replication Technology
Programmable matter is matter that can reshape and reconfigure itself into any predetermined shape imaginable. And a replicator is a machine that can create an almost infinite variety of items using raw materials.
In Matrix Resurrections, a machine called an exomorphic particle codex is able to replicate conscious programs from virtual worlds and give them physical access to the real world. It works using magnetic force to combine particles and assemble them to make them look like those virtual beings.
This technology is very similar to programmable matter. And in the far future, there would definitely be a profit motive in almost every industry imaginable for this type of technology. It would enable humans to physically interact with environments that are hundreds of miles away. And humans would be able to physically interact with conscious virtual beings in the real world.
DARPA already announced in 2004 and 2007 that it would research and develop programmable matter in a multi-year program to potentially make something like this possible one day.
In Matrix Resurrections, there’s also the ability to replicate plants, fruits, and vegetables from the digital world. It works by using digital code and converting it into DNA sequences.
Several decades from now, we could have replicator machines that could accomplish the same task These machines could produce structures such as food, metallic objects, clothing, and human organs. Much like computer-assisted design software and 3d printers, they would likely use 3D models to assist with building physical items.
3. Virtual Characters With Artificial General Intelligence
Artificial General Intelligence is the hypothetical ability of an intelligent agent to understand or learn any intellectual task that a human being can.
Unlike today’s AI, Artificial General Intelligence is able to have characteristics such as intentional creativity, emotions, common sense, and consciousness.
Several programs in the Matrix franchise appear human and have this level of intelligence or higher. In Matrix Resurrections, the Smith program is one example. The new Morpheus program is another example.
Many AI researchers believe that Artificial General Intelligence is expected to exist anywhere from 2050 to 2080. So it’s probably reasonable to assume that virtual beings with general intelligence would exist in the Metaverse and other virtual environments well before 2100.
4. Brain Hacking
Brain hacking is the application of techniques and technologies to affect an individual's mental state, cognitive processes, or level of function.
In Matrix Resurrections, normal citizens are mentally possessed by Matrix code and are turned into violent swarms of bots. They lose all sense of self and they even go as far as jumping out of the windows of tall buildings to perform kamikaze attacks on the freed humans.
And in the other Matrix movies, code can be infused into food in order to control humans and conscious programs.
In the real world, brain hacking could potentially exist through the use of nanobots that alter the electrical signals in human brains.
In a few decades or perhaps longer, a high percentage of humans may wear small brain-computer interfaces on a normal basis to boost their memory and intelligence, connect themselves to the internet, and communicate with others telepathically. These interfaces could be hacked, wirelessly injected with malicious code, and cause undesired thoughts and behaviors in those individuals. Hackers may even have the capability to assume full control over people in order to achieve their objectives. Anti-virus protection for brain-computer interfaces could become a booming industry as a result.
5. 3D Holograms
A hologram is a three-dimensional image formed by the interference of light beams from a laser or some other coherent light source.
In Matrix Resurrections, there’s a hologram wall to hide the city where the freed humans are living. It also works using light patterns from lasers.
Also, freed humans who connect to the matrix can see the holograms of their colleagues while walking around in the Matrix. These colleagues are basically in spectator mode. They don’t have an avatar in the Matrix that can physically interact with anything. But, they can move around in the Matrix and freely communicate with freed humans.
By 2050, realistic virtual assistants in the form of real humans will likely be commonplace. When we wear augmented reality glasses or contact lenses, we could probably have those virtual assistants appear in front of us in any environment and look indistinguishable from real people. And by 2100, those virtual assistants could have human-level consciousness.
Nanotechnology is the manipulation and usage of materials and devices on the scale of atoms or small groups of atoms.
In Matrix Resurrections, it’s suggested that nanobots were used to heal the devastating wounds that Neo and Trinity had. And those nanobots also apparently brought them back to life. Nanobots also slowed their aging processes as well.
Bringing someone back to life is probably not possible and is just a far-fetched Hollywood idea.
However, when it comes to repairing tissue cells, nanorobots can theoretically attach themselves to the surface of white cells, travel through blood vessels, and arrive where the damage occurred where they can assist with the tissue repair process. Nanotechnology may even slow down the aging process, which could eventually help people live much longer lifespans.
7. Super-Intelligent AI
Artificial Super Intelligence is defined as any intelligence that greatly surpasses the cognitive performance of humans in virtually all domains.
In the Matrix franchise, the Artificial Super Intelligence is a single consciousness. And it gains power by creating a race of machines that destroys human civilization and imprisons the human race.
Matrix Resurrections takes place in the year 2274. And by that point, a real Artificial Super Intelligence could be trillions upon trillions of times smarter than humans and far more intelligent than what is portrayed in these movies.
If an AI has highly-evolved superintelligence and it wanted to imprison humans in a simulation, it probably wouldn’t leave so many loopholes available that allow humans to escape over and over again. Assuming it had adequate computational power, it may place humans in a simulation that is layered inside other simulations so that it’s practically impossible to escape.
Some AI researchers estimate that the first Artificial Super Intelligence could exist within 60 to 150 years from now.
8. Artificial Atmospheres
An atmosphere is a layer of gas or layers of gases that envelope a planet and is held in place by the gravity of that planet.
In Matrix Resurrections, there’s an artificial atmosphere over the city of Io. Water is pulled from the crust of the earth and the air is hydrated to create a balanced ecosystem.
As of today, engineers and scientists regularly produce artificial atmospheres in sealed chambers for testing specialized devices and equipment.
In the far future, we could build domes on other planets such as Mars that are made of silica aerogel. These domes could make regions of the Martian surface habitable for humans.
9. Skill And Knowledge Uploading
This technology involves using brain-computer interfaces to upload skill and knowledge programs to peoples’ minds. This is based on the assumption that digital programs can be converted to work in human brains.
For skill programs, body movements could be recorded using motion capture techniques. This program would integrate with parts of the human brain that involve motor control.
For knowledge programs, text, image, and video data would be integrated with parts of the human brain involving memory and strategic planning.
There are already techniques to speed up learning processes in humans using low-current electrical brain stimulation. However, skill and knowledge uploading is probably several decades away or more.
10. Brain-Computer Interfaces
A brain-computer interface is a communication pathway between the brain's electrical activity and an external device. In the Matrix movies, these devices are used to connect human beings to the Matrix simulation.
Companies such as Neuralink, NextMind, and Neurable are already building their own brain-computer interfaces. Even Facebook is building a wrist-based neural interface that could be made available by the next decade.
Within a few decades, we could gain the ability to fully control our digital selves and various objects in the Metaverse and other virtual environments using only our brain's electrical signals. We could also gain the ability to merge with AI.
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