1988 Predictions of What 2013 Would Be like Are Scarily Accurate

A "Los Angeles Times Magazine" story did a pretty good job of predicting the future. Still waiting on those robot cooks, though

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SCREENSHOT / DOCUMENTS.LATIMES.COM
SCREENSHOT / DOCUMENTS.LATIMES.COM

The future of L.A., as envisioned by Nicole Yorkin in a 1988 cover story for the "Los Angeles Times Magazine"

We may not have robots doing our cooking, but a 1988 magazine story predicting what life would be like in 2013 got a lot of other things right, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Times Magazine’s April 3, 1988, cover story, “L.A. 2013,” profiled a day in the life of a fictional family living in the year 2013. Jerry Lockenour stashed the magazine on a shelf, and 25 years later, found that it came in handy as a teaching aid for his USC graduate class on technology development and applications.

“I kept the article thinking it would be great to pull out 25 years later and see how we did,” Lockenour told the Times.

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The essay’s author, Nicole Yorkin, spoke with more than 30 futurists and experts, forecasting smart cars equipped with computers and navigation systems, video-chat systems and the smart card, “a personal portable computer about the size of a 3-by-5 card” that fits in the palm of your hand. Yorkin’s experts were right: luxury cars outfitted with GPS, Skype and smartphones have all become integral parts of modern-day life.

Well, they were right on some accounts. The essay’s prediction that robots would be our most essential appliances by 2013 (the fictional family from the future had a robotic household helper and robot dog) hasn’t yet come to fruition. Until then, there’s always our Aibos and Roombas — and even better technology on the horizon.

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