From Sci-Fi To Reality: 4 Futuristic Technologies You Didn't Know Already Exist

Though the technology sector is in a precarious position as global macroeconomic headwinds and geopolitical tensions pile on, the thirst for disruptive innovation has persevered. 

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The viral overnight success of artificial intelligence (AI) software ChatGPT has renewed confidence regarding the meteoric innovative prospects for 2023 and beyond. The tech-focused Nasdaq 100 index has risen 15.5% year to date, after witnessing the worst year since 2008 last year. 

With society on the verge of another massive technological leap, the gap between fiction and reality is slowly being bridged. Take a look at some futuristic technologies slowing making their way into our everyday lives. 

‘AutoGPT’ and AI Advancements 

Artificial intelligence has been the talk of the town over the past several months, ever since ChatGPT’s explosive launch. Big tech and startups alike have been racing to develop a rival software to compete with OpenAI’s product. Generative AI’s colossal popularity isn’t the first time the notion of intelligent computer software has been conceived. Sci-fi classics such as “Ex Machina” and "Her” have personified AI. Tech mogul Musk has issued grave warnings regarding the unchecked development of AI, stating it could lead to a “Terminator-like outcome.” But for now it’s mostly just improving productivity in businesses across the world.

But generative AI has been one of the biggest feats of technology this year, with ChatGPT crossing 100 million monthly active users within just two months of launch, making the startup the fastest-growing consumer application in history. Other artificial intelligence startups such as AI-powered marketing platform RAD AI have been gaining momentum steadfastly, with an annual revenue growth rate of 310% for it’s AI marketing platform built to understand emotion. Even more recently has been the invention of ‘AutoGPT,’ a program you can run to help complete specified tasks, conduct research, surf the web and more. 

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Integrated Robotics 

The “Transformers” movie series has been one of the most successful franchises of the last decade. Robot uprisings have been the central plot for many sci-fi movies for decades, but the possibility of a functional autonomous robot is now a possibility. Elon Musk’s electric car company Tesla Inc. launched the humanoid robot, the Tesla bot, last September. Musk compared this invention with Optimus Prime from The Transformers franchise, stating, "It really is a fundamental transformation of civilization as we know it.”

While sci-fi movies seem to make the uprising of robots a threat to society, startups are designing rudimentary robots to achieve basic human tasks.

In fact, during the Tesla bot debut last November, Musk stated, “This is literally the first time the robot was operated without [a tether] onstage tonight.” 

But this isn’t the only way you’ll start seeing robotics integrated into your everyday life. Soon, restaurants and robotic kiosks might be serving your food, smoothies, coffee and more. The California-based robotic and artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled food automation solutions startup Blendid launched self-service smoothie kiosks across several locations in the U.S. and constantly adding more. 

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Flying Cars & eVTOLs 

Flying cars have been predominantly used, in some capacity, across all iconic sci-fi films, be it “Star Wars” or “Back to the Future.” The fictional concept is soon coming to life, with startup companies edging close to commercially launching flying cars. German startup Volocopter has begun the production of electric flying taxis, after receiving a certificate from the German Federal Aviation Authority. The company is scheduled to roll out green air taxi services by 2024. 

Australia-based Alauda Aeronautics, on the other hand, is attempting to manufacture the world’s first flying race cars, which could make aerial Formula 1 a reality soon. The California-based Aska flying car startup is on track to commercially sell its A5 flying cars by 2026. The startup debuted its fully functional prototype in January at the CES 2023 Las Vegas event. 

Other companies like LIFT Aircrafts are already manufacturing their first eVTOLs. While they moreso resemble mini helicopters, there are other companies like Doroni Aerospace with a more car-like resemblance. 

Anti-Aging Technology

Cryogenic sleep therapy and suspended animation have been the main theme of many award-winning sci-fi movies, including “Interstellar” and the “Planet of the Apes” franchise. Billionaires are investing heavily to make this fictitious technology a reality, with Inc. Founder Jeff Bezos and Meta Platforms Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg backing several anti-aging startups. The Amazon and Blue Origin founder and the world’s third-richest man has backed biotech startup Altos Labs Inc., which specializes in cellular rejuvenation programming to restore cell health and theoretically reverse aging. 

This is not the only anti-aging startup Bezos has invested in. Back in 2018, Bezos, along with PayPal Holdings Inc Co-Founder Peter Thiel, invested in Unity Biotechnology, which aims to develop drugs targeting senescent cells. Last month, OpenAI CEO and ChatGPT founder Sam Altman invested $180 billion in anti-aging startup Retro Biosciences. The startup leverages cellular reprogramming to “increase healthy human lifespan by 10 years.”

As Silicon Valley billionaires pour money into making 90 the new 50, analysts expect anti-aging pills to hit the market as early as 2028. While the technology isn't ready to roll-out just yet, it has been proven successful in mice and could be here sooner than you think. 

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