New Scientist (sub required) has a whole issue which looks 60 years ahead
“The internet, global warming, artificial intelligence and genetic engineering were all on our radar in 1956. But our ideas about how they might pan out bore little resemblance to how they have actually evolved, particularly when it comes to their social ramifications. Ubiquitous information has not created rationalist utopias, ecological catastrophes have not culled our population and we have neither super-human machines nor people, though we’re getting there.
Can we hope to do any better at predicting the future today? One way to proceed is to simply extrapolate: in other words, look at what’s happening now and assume that the trends you see will continue. This works well when you can expect a system to remain governed by the same principles. Celestial dynamics don’t vary much, so we can predict with confidence that Halley’s comet will return to our skies in 2061.
As systems get more complex, however, accurate prediction becomes more difficult. Long-term weather forecasting, for example, is fearsomely hard. When we think about social change, it becomes harder still. There are far more factors to take into account and they unfold in complex and interacting ways. Linear extrapolation invariably fails: it’s the kind of thinking that leads people to jokily ask “where’s my jetpack?”, a question borne of post-war trends in transport and the space race – none of them relevant today.”