8 years ago, when Yahoo! Groups was the most popular social network, I came across a service called EmailFuture.com that allows you to schedule and send emails in the future. I thought it would be fun to make some predictions about the future, compose some emails and schedule them to send in the next few Olympic years, to our Yahoo! group.

And I scheduled emails for 2012, 2016, 2020 and 2024.

Every Olympic year, our Yahoo! group receive my email from 2008. We got one this year too —

The mail sent from 2008, delivered on Jan 1, 2016.

— and here is the list of things that I have predicted about 2016 in 2008:

1. Oil prices hike.

The opposite happened.

In 2016, the crude oil prices are the lowest since 1990s. Reasons including the discovery of Shale Gas, and ISIS.

2. Solar energy becomes more desirable.

That became true.

The prediction about solar energy is becoming true. Climate change and global warming are pushing forward the search for clean and green energy sources.

Cochin International Airport in India becomes the world’s first airport to operate completely on solar energy. The airport has stopped paying for electricity, and actually started contributing energy back to the power grid.

The Solar Impulse 2 aircraft powered completely by solar panels, intends to achieve first circumnavigation of the Earth, has started from Abu Dhabi and reached Hawaii in 2014. Due to problems in batteries, the trip has halted temporarily and set to continue in April 2016.

UPDATE: Solar Impulse 2 has resumed it’s journey on 21st April 2016.

Facebook is working on an unmanned solar plane, which is intended to bring connectivity to remote areas.

3. Intel develops 15GHz “xD” processors — 16 core processing for personal computers.

No, that prediction failed.

That was an overconfident prediction.

Intel’s highest processor frequency in 2016 is 4.0GHz (turbo-boosted) and the maximum number of cores are 8, for personal computers.

Meanwhile, Intel has developed “Intel Many Integrated Cores” (MIC) architecture, which can have up to 61 cores, 244 threads, and 16 GB of GDDR5 memory (352 GB/s bandwidth) per coprocessor. Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors are based on the MIC architecture, and can have a maximum frequency of 1.2GHz.

Seriously, I don’t remember why I put the “xD” part in the processor name.

4. Minimum RAM for a PC is 4GB or 8GB.

That became true.

In 2008, I was writing that email on a PC with Intel Pentium III and 128MB RAM (actually it was 64MB, upgraded to 128MB) running Windows XP. That was more than enough to run Internet Explorer, Borland Turbo C++, and play Road Rash.

Today most of the personal computers come with a minimum 4GB of RAM, often 8GB.

5. Cryogenics is a business in EU and USA.

Cryo…what? Fail.

Oops, that word — Cryogenics — is not that popular yet.

From Wikipedia — “In physics, cryogenics is the study of the production and behaviour of materials at very low temperatures.”

I made that prediction inspired from a novel that I read at that time. The novel involves keeping a dead man’s brain in lower temperature (−196 °C), still keeping the braincells alive. Then the data in this brain is downloaded into an IC chip, and later uploaded to another person’s brain, so that the dead man’s mind reincarnate in a new body.

There are experiments going on. This is the latest news — Researchers Use Cryogenics To Restore Rabbit Brain. That means, the novelist has predicted it correctly.

Cryogenics is not yet known to be a business in EU or USA. So, my prediction failed miserably.

6. Outer-space tour companies exist.

Well, they existed even before I predict.

Really, I didn’t know in 2008 that space tourism companies existed. There were SpaceX, Excalibur Almaz, Golden Spike Company, Space Adventures, and Virgin Galactic.

But there were not many incidents of tourists visiting outer space.

Virgin Galactic is a space tourism company by the Virgin Group, that works on spaceplanes, and plans to become a regular space tourism company. Their first trip tickets were sold for $250,000. Unfortunately their first spaceplane was crashed during a test flight in 2014.

Well, I expect that space tourism will become more affordable in the decade of 2030s, and we can spend our weekend in Mars watching the 20th episode of Star Wars.

7. Minimal Prototype of AI is published

That became true.

Artificial Intelligence has advanced very much in the last few years. Machine Learning and Deep Learning are the next big things.

Google has open sourced TensorFlow, a software library for building machine learning and deep learning. In 2016 March, Google’s AlphaGo beat the world Go champion. Google’s self driving car is another example of AI.

There are many applications of Deep Learning — predicting diseases, bringing high quality user generated contents, detecting drunken tweets, identify fraud, detecting malware, and more.

For everyone else, there are Google Now, Apple Siri, and Windows Cortana. These virtual assistants are the existing examples of AI. All of them are activated by voice and has the ability of natural language processing.

8. Indian citizen stop involving in active politics

No, that was a big lie.

I thought that by 2016, people will stop involving in politics, and start to live for their families and enjoy life.

The opposite happened. More and more citizen are getting into active politics, mostly for money and power. As I understand now, this style of politics will continue for another 50 years in India.

9. More technology parks in India

True, it’s growing actually.

That became true. India has many technology parks in public and private sectors. Software products has become one of India’s major exports. The Government of India has taken keen interest in improving India’s I.T business infrastructure and encouraging startups.

Digital India, a programme initiated by the Government of India, to bring connectivity across the country, improve e-Governance services and provide universal access to digital resources. Startup India mission, another initiative from the Government of India, helps providing financial support and boosting entrepreneurship in the country.

Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Intel, Amazon, Oracle, Cognizant, Honeywell, IGATE and Capgemini, Xerox are some major companies that has their development and research centers in India.

10. Telephones (landlines) are outdated technology

Well, that became true.

Before 2008, mobile phones were not that affordable, and coverage was limited to urban areas only. 2008 was when iPhone and Android were released, but the term “smart phone” was not yet popular until 2010. Then we saw the mobile phone revolution. Now everyone has a mobile phone — a “smartphone.”

Apart from making phone calls, landlines were used to provide dial-up connection and broadband services, which is almost replaced by optic fibres.

Usage of landlines has declined very much in the last few years, and expected to completely extinct by 2025.

So, 6 out of 10 predictions turned out to be true today. Those were just random thoughts only. Nothing else.

What’s Next?

There are two more emails to come, in the next Olympic years, 2020 and 2024. I don’t even remember what I wrote in them. Let’s wait and see!

Update January 2020: unfortunately, Yahoo! has decided to delete all the emails and stop receiving new emails of users who hasn’t logged in in a while. Looks like I just lost the email scheduled for 2020. This is sad :(

Update 2 January 2020: Fortunately, one of my classmates still use her Yahoo! mail, and she got the email for 2020 and shared with me. I will write a post on my 2020 predictions soon.