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Arthur C. Clarke Predicted Computers of Today in 1974

by Sean P. Aune | December 29, 2013December 29, 2013 6:00 am PDT

Arthur C. Clarke, best known for writing 2001: A Space Odyssey, was definitely a forward thinker when it comes to computers.

HAL 9000, the computer from 2001, is still an iconic image in pop culture of a computer with an unblinking red eye. While we still aren’t up that level of technology, Clarke did have some pretty spot on predictions on where actual computers would be in the future. In a 1974 interview recently republished by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Clarke describes where computers might be in the year of his popular novel, and you have to give him points for being pretty spot on. Considering this was 27 years ahead of the date, it’s almost uncanny how he predicts the growth of the Internet into homes, banking online and purchasing movie tickets through your computer. While some of these features didn’t become popular until the latter part of the decade, we think we can forgive Clarke for being a tiny bit premature in his estimates.

If someone can be this accurate 27 years out, you have to wonder how dead-on some of the predictions we see these days are. Are we heading towards a world filled with touchscreens? Who knows, perhaps we are. I certainly won’t dismiss “crazy” predictions anymore after watching this.


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Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...


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