Cisco Futurist Discusses Internet of Things, Tech Predictions, More on Talk2Cisco Broadcast

July 30, 2010 - 31 Comments

The next 50 years could bring such astounding technology advances as self-aware machines, the end of aging and ‘printable’ human organs, Cisco Futurist Dave Evans postulated during the live Talk2Cisco broadcast this week.

In an animated half-hour conversation with viewers, Evans shared his thoughts on the art and science of being a futurist, speculated on the implications of the explosion of data and described his vision for a future Internet of Things — when trillions of networked computers could free people to focus their energies on pressing issues like climate change or resource shortages.


Check out some of the highlights of the program (with timestamps) below, and let us know what you think.

 1:37  Advances in technology for the next 50 years: thinking machines, the end of aging and quantum computing

 4:30  New era of human evolution

 6:38 – On predicting the future

10:23 – When machines become sentient  

12:45 – Dave’s track record as a futurist

16:22 – The art and science of predicting the future

18:29 – The Internet of Things, when more things are connected to the Internet than people

20:25 – How the Internet of Things could help address climate change

24:07 – Technology won’t replace humans, but could allow us to focus on things that are essential to our species

26:05 – The explosion of data, and the challenges of managing it

You can follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveTheFuturist and you can keep on with Talk2Cisco at @talk2cisco or on You can  also learn more about Dave’s current work at IBSG’s Innovative Solutions page.



In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.


  1. This is great work. Very impressive, indeed. I myself am involved in developing a couple of measurement concepts and should use your work as a reference, I shall certainly cite you. Have you made any updates to these? Also, is there a way you could either possibly post a video taking us through this line by line? Perhaps even on YouTube? Thanks and great work!
    android operating system

  2. @ Dr. D N Moharana, Thanks for the kind words. Glad you enjoyed it.

  3. This video blew my mind. Thanks for the discussion so far. I am glad to see people are as excited about future technologies as I am. Keep blogging continue…

  4. That was a fantastic (and certainly animated””) video. I feel very enriched. Thanks! I look forward to watching more.”

  5. Hi Jamie,Nice Details and Video sharing.I like it

  6. You know…..that really makes me dream. While the ability to halt aging seems far fetched, how many things that we have today were unattainable only 50 years ago?Intriguing post….

  7. Wow. It’s pretty amazing and a great video. It reminds me of futurists from the 1950’s who predicted flying cars, atomic powered cars, and moonbases by 1975! These predictions, however, may be a lot more accurate.

  8. To say that in the 1980’s we didn’t have mobile phones, laptop computers, iphones, ipods, mp3 and 4 players – most of these advancing so much further in the last 10 years, then we can only expect nothing more than a continuation of acceleration. That is in all areas including the technology boom.

  9. I was born in 1950. My great-Aunt was born in 1888 and died in 1985. In her lifetime she went from horse and buggy to a man on the moon. Can you imagine how adaptable she had to be in her lifetime? My life has also been full of great changes and (God willing) a lot more to come. One of my favourite fascinations is the fax machine 🙂 I know…old technology…but the vision of paper flying through the air from machine to machine is still one of my favourite pictures in my head. Hey, don’t forget…when I was first taught to wite it was with a lead pencil and I graduated to using a pen dipped in an ink-well. I well remember when the first biro was seen. This was an amazement to all of us at the time. And the bloody things used to leak all the time in pockets and make a heck-of-a-mess.

    • Wow! This is great! Makes me wish that I lived in the future when the world has futuristic technologies already available. Though I cringe at the fact that someday…we might lose all our resources. we keep on inventing and making new technologies… but will all of that still “fit” on Earth?

  10. This video blew my mind. It’s all exciting stuff especially when we’re standing on the verge of the reality of what is predicted here. Are we concerned that there may come a time when my fridge will say ‘Hey Kirk you’re almost out of milk, shall I order you some more’? How far is too far?

  11. On the question about Global Warming, I was not convinced by your answer, how well can technology help in preventing us from Global Warming.

  12. there is one question its not answered, how well can technology help in preventing us from Global Warming?toko susu

  13. I love this kind of stuff (who doesn’t) but I have to admit that as I get older I wish things wouldn’t change so quickly.

  14. @Douglas. Well said.

  15. @Susu Bayi, please see my response to Sam.

  16. Good information, technology can solve alot of our issues and aid humankind, we must use it for good purposes and keep on the right track.

  17. @ Robert. Thanks… it depends on how you look at it, and how you define sentient… are we not simply sensing / pattern matching machines – granted, hugely complex. I would submit that this is highly philosophical, but ultimately if we could replicate th

  18. Very interesting information! Thanks!

  19. Amazingly deep insight. The predictions of future are really impressive to me. However, I suppose that the part of When machines become sentient”” is a little bit out of reality. The differentiated boundary between humans and machines is just the sense, which machines are definitely not capable of sensing, narrowly speaking.”

  20. Thanks for the discussion so far. I’m glad to see people are as excited about future technologies as I am. It’s ironic that technological advancements — e.g. the industrial revolution, the invention of the car — created some of some of the problems (global warming) we are now trying to solve. But I’m also hopeful that people will continue to be inventive and that technology can help make our lives better. Like one of the other commenters, I too remember when a fax machine seemed like a miracle.

  21. @Sam. Agreed. This is a highly complex question, but some thoughts… technology can be used to offset / prevent global warming.One example: Imagine if every cell phone had a sensor in it that could detect climate conditions / changes. We could very rapi

  22. Cisco is great I have owned stock with them for many years

  23. no comment

  24. Good post Jamie Beckett, Thank you for all these interesting information, you have a very important blog.

  25. Fascinating stuff. Man, I’d like to work as a futurist for a big corp. Talk about a dream job. Just to read, learn and imagine – and getting paid for it! And the math and statistics behind all that, trend analysis etc. is something I’ve always found truly fascinating. How our reality can be modeled and predicted by fitting real-life phenomena into mathematical models and actually getting precise results.I wonder how far can we take this kind of prediction models? If the universe is truly deterministic, we could actually glimpse the future. Kind of scary actually.

  26. Very interesting information! Thanks! I like to study new technologies

  27. As a business litigation attorney, I often find myself sorting through the detritus of the data explosion that you mention. I have found that the ease by which people may create and transmit data has also increased the proportion of junk data to useful data. Moreover, since data is often saved indiscriminately, I frequently find that the junk data makes a reappearance during the discovery stage of litigation and muddies an otherwise clear case. For instance, a quickly written and ill-conceived email could spell liability for a company. While I believe that the explosion of data is, on balance, a very good thing, I have witnessed instances where the retention of junk data has cost companies millions of dollars. In order to keep up with the data explosion, we need to be able to manage not just the quantity of data, but also the quality of data being retained.

  28. Evans is very cool speaker!

  29. Cisco is always my favt netwoking brand, Evans shared his thoughts on the art and science of being a futurist, speculated on the implications of the explosion of data and described his vision for a future Internet of Things

  30. Very impressive predictions in this program, hope that we can evolve also as a society, solving social problems like food and habitation.