AI: Futures of the Past

Predicting the future is a tough job. Psychics and prophets are far too busy dealing with love lives and Armageddon to think about minor things like societal change or technological advances. That leaves the future in the hands of the artists and writers.

Unfortunately, without the miraculous powers of prophecy, sometimes the predictions are less than perfect in hindsight. 1984 thankfully passed without complete totalitarian domination and sadly 2001 has passed without a manned trip to Jupiter. We still have four years to get our hoverboards, though. Fingers crossed.

Villemard 1910 - En L'An 2000 - L'avenue de l'Opéra


What is your favorite future? When is it? Have we already missed the mark?



The ART Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Mad Art Lab community. Look for it to appear Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 3pm ET.


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Ryan Consell is a skeptical artist, tap-dancing armorer, juggling scientist, rock-climbing writer, sword-fighting math teacher, uni-cycling gamer, fire-spinning academic and devout nerd. He has a Masters in Applied science, most of a bachelors in Fine Arts, and a very short attention span. He is the author of How Not to Poach a Unicorn and half of the masochistic comedy duo that is Creative Dissonance. Follow him on Twitter @StudentofWhim


  1. April 12, 2011 at 5:53 am

    Sadly we have missed out on the future of the Terran Trade Authority books that I loved when I was a kid ( with its slightly optimistic timeline that a Lunar Station would be operational this year, a commercial passenger flight to Mars would run in 2015 and we’d have faster-than-light travel by 2027.

    And no fan of futures that didn’t happen should miss out on the Paleofuture blog at

  2. April 12, 2011 at 9:09 am

    That is an awesome site. Thanks Shockstrut.

  3. April 14, 2011 at 7:44 am

    The future of the Culture ( ). I don’t think we’ve missed it yet…

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