5 Best Books About the Future: From Robots in Our Kitchen to General Abundance

Curious about what lies ahead? See the 5 best books about the future. Explore human potential, technology, and the gig economy. What future awaits?

March 15, 2024

Best books about the future
Author
Nika Zen
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Which questions arise when you think about the future? Will AI replace humans? Is Earth going extinct? What will computers be like in 100 years? One of the best ways to gaze into the future is by reading books about it. The authors can suppose what might happen tomorrow and help you prepare for it. 

To prove my point, let me give you an example. In his book "The Road Ahead” released in 1990", Bill Gates talks about the concept of personalized advertising – ads tailored to individual consumers. As you all know, this idea has become a reality in the 21st century, when online giants like Google and Facebook utilize user data to deliver targeted advertisements. 

So, for this article, I chose five books describing different scenarios of our possible tomorrow. But first, let's see my criteria for selecting these books.

How Did I Select These Books?

As someone who loves books, I usually dig around for good reads by checking out reviews and asking my friend for their recommendations. This time, I turned to social media to find gems available on Amazon. Then, I matched these recommendations with Amazon’s best-rated books talking about what awaits us in many years. The final cut? Books that promise to reshape our view of the future. 

The Future We Choose by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac

The Future We Choose by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac
By 2100, the air may become so polluted that we will not be able to breathe without wearing a respirator. Isn’t it time to think right now?

What is this book about. The Future We Choose by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac talks about the future of our planet. It provides two possible outcomes based on whether we follow the laws of climate change or not.

The first prediction talks about the condition of Earth after 25 years if we don’t meet the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement - a global pact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. In the second part, the authors discuss how we can unite and transform our planet to avoid this upcoming climate pandemic (like melting Arctic ice sheets leading to rising sea levels) and its impacts (poverty, hunger, refugee crisis).

What I liked about the book. What I liked the most about this book is its concept of  "stubborn optimism." Here, the authors say: “This work isn't just about wearing rose-colored glasses; it's about rolling up our sleeves and getting to work with the belief that every little bit we do matters.” 

Who is this book ideal for? The authors are not only talking the talk; they're walking us through how shifting towards greener energy and cutting back on our consumption isn't just good. It's crucial. The book is ideal for those who are concerned about global ecology and wants to deeper look at the problem. 

Rating on Amazon. 4.5-star average out of 1,125 ratings.

Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler

Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler
Can you imagine that centuries ago aluminum was one of the rarest and most valuable metals in the world? Deficit is situational - this is one of the many interesting ideas of the book.

What is this book about? Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler offers a glimpse into a world transformed by the relentless march of technology. The book is a journey into a future where technology elevates global living standards, particularly in developing nations. 

The writers show us a future where scarcity gives way to abundance, all because of big advancements in science, engineering, and innovation. They give one good example: "Imagine a giant orange tree packed with fruit. If I pluck all the oranges from the lower branches, I am effectively out of accessible fruit. From my limited perspective, oranges are now scarce. But once someone invents a piece of technology called a ladder, I’ve suddenly got new reach. Technology is a resource-liberating mechanism. It can make the once scarce the now abundant." This quote wraps up everything about the book.

What I liked about the book. I liked the fact that through this book, I understood how to engage with thought-provoking scenarios: will groundbreaking technologies be a privilege of the few, or will they become accessible to all? Can we apply them ethically? More than a collection of what-ifs, the book is a source of inspiration, urging us to contribute to a world where everyone has access to everything they need for a decent life.

Who is this book ideal for? Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think is a good read for those who think that our future is catastrophic (spoiler: it’s not). 

Rating on Amazon. 4-star rating and over 11,335 reviews.

AI 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future by Kai-Fu Lee and Chen Qiufan

AI 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future by Kai-Fu Lee and Chen Qiufan
Security sencor warning us about the nearby virus? A deceased pop-idol meeting with his fans? All this may become possible in 2041 with the help of AI.

What is this book about? AI 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future by Kai-Fu Lee and Chen Qiufan is a forward-looking journey into how artificial intelligence (AI) could reshape our lives within the next two decades.

Have you ever wondered how AI could impact us in the future? The book describes ten compelling scenarios this could happen. It illustrates AI's potential to revolutionize aspects such as employment, healthcare, gig economy, education, and social interactions, much like how computers and telephones did in the past.

What I liked about the book. I liked the fact that AI 2041 tries to clear the confusion surrounding AI by answering questions like: will superintelligent AI emerge as humanity’s greatest ally or its formidable foe? How can we ensure that autonomous AI systems align with our ethical standards? And where does the line between human and machine intelligence blur? These narratives stretch our imagination and challenge us to think critically about the AI-integrated future we wish to build.

Who is this book ideal for? AI 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future is a great choice for anyone curious about how AI may change our world in the nearest future. 

Rating on Amazon. 4.3-star rating from 1,489 reviews.

Physics of the Future: How Scientists Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 by Michio Kaku

Physics of the Future: How Scientists Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 by Michio Kaku
A year 2100. You wear contact lenses to go on the internet, and a robot is cooking eggs for breakfast in your kitchen. Sounds too naive? We will see.

What is this book about? Physics of the Future: How Scientists Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 by Michio Kaku is an insightful work that dives into how breakthroughs in physics like nanotechnology, quantum computing, and renewable energy will revolutionize our world by 2100.

The author talks about his visions of molecular computers, space elevators, and even human teleportation while addressing the challenges of resource scarcity and environmental threats. He also explores the possibilities of quantum computing, biotechnology, and beyond.

What I liked about the book. What I liked the most is how Kaku offers a glimpse into the future where brain sensors enable us to operate computers and manipulate objects through thought alone. He forecasts a world brimming with AI, where scientists can cultivate almost any organ and eradicate genetic afflictions just by thinking. Crazy, right?

Who is this book ideal for? Physics of the Future sheds light on the intricate bond between scientific innovation and human progress. It is a good read for nonfiction lovers and technology enthusiasts.

Rating on Amazon. 4.0-star rating from 17,385 reviews.

Death from the Skies! The Science Behind the End of the World by Phil Plait

Death from the Skies! The Science Behind the End of the World by Phil Plait
A comet the size of a grapefruit can make a huge damage to our planet. Will Earth stop being a thing in the future? This book has some answers. 

What is this book about? Death from the Skies! The Science Behind the End of the World by Phil Plait mainly delves into the cosmic phenomena that could lead to Earth's doom. The author provides a scientific foundation for these gloomy scenarios, from asteroid impacts and gamma-ray bursts to the dread of rogue black holes.

What I liked about the book. I liked that the book doesn't just lay out the potential end-of-world scenarios; it also explores the philosophical and existential questions they raise. How should the knowledge of Earth's eventual demise shape our lives today? And what does our reaction to these threats say about our survival instinct? 

Who is this book ideal for? Death from the Skies is more than a catalog of cosmic dangers; it's an invitation to understand our place in the universe and the significance of human existence. It's ideally suited for anyone with a curiosity about science, a passion for speculative fiction, or an interest in the philosophical implications of our cosmic vulnerability. 

Rating on Amazon. 4.6-star average out of 248 ratings.

If you're curious about the cool stuff tech can do, the big questions about space, or how we'll figure out right from wrong in the future, you are definitely going to love these books. They'll help you understand and shape what's coming next. Let's use this knowledge to move forward smartly.

Author
Nika Zen
F4P Editor

Being an editor at F4P, I have a great opportunity to do what I truly love - transforming words and ideas into captivating readings.

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