[Robert J. Sawyer] Science Fiction Writer
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Discovery Channel Canada

Inventing the Future:
2000 Years of Discovery

[Discovery Channel]

Discovery's Sunday Showcase
Inventing the Future: 2000 Years of Discovery
January 2, 2000, at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time

[Gill Deacon] Discovery Channel takes a two-hour look at the past 1,000 years and the next 1,000 years in this sweeping production that shows how far humanity and technology have progressed and how much further we can possibly go. Gill Deacon, co-host of "@discovery.ca", is your guide to the past millennium, while highly acclaimed science fiction writer Robert J. Sawyer (author of FlashForward and Factoring Humanity) speculates on the next one.

[Science Fiction Writer Robert J. Sawyer] In examining the last 1,000 years, we focus on scientific inventions and innovations that have changed the way humans have lived. From the clock, the Gutenberg printing press and the steam engine to photographic images, the bomb and the birth-control pill, we cover a wide range of creations that collectively have impacted the economic, political and social landscapes of life.

So what's in store for us in the next millennium? Through medical breakthroughs and a continuing respect for their physical beings, humans are expected to take greater control of their bodies. Sawyer says that it's conceivable the world will be rid of all sickness and disease at some point in the future.

Artificial intelligence has been with us to a certain extent for some time, but how far can it evolve? Sawyer foresees a new generation of highly advanced robots down the road.

How will humans fit into the solar system in the next millennium? Will space travel be commonplace? What will everyday life be like a thousand years from now? Sawyer believes that there will be generations of human clones in existence and that people will be able to travel to distant stars.

To find out whether Sawyer's predictions come true, we'll have to rely on the antiquated invention, the clock, because only time will tell.

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