Isaac Asimov predicted the advent of YouTube way back in 1980

In an interview with David Letterman, the science fiction writer Isaac Asimov made several predictions about science, space, and communications.

It takes a genuinely smart and dedicated person to write and edit more than 500 books in a single lifetime. Science fiction writer Isaac Asimov did just that. In an interview with David Letterman, Asimov shared that he does nothing much apart from writing and sleeping, a lifestyle that had helped him write about 221 books by the time the 1980 interview took place. He also had a very curious and astute mind, making a lot of bold predictions of the future, including the arrival of YouTube. Isaac Asimov was mainly a science fiction writer but he also liked to write mysteries, limericks, and history and annotate The Bible. He also made a very interesting prediction about access to television, which some see as a prediction about YouTube.

In the interview, when the science fiction writer was asked if he could see any monumental breakthroughs in the area of communication, he shared that there are several already underway when it comes to communications, especially in terms of communication satellites and optical fibers. He added that he believes that a lot of communication will be using laser beams over electrical currents or radio waves. According to Asimov, this would make it a million times easier to send messages through the air. This would make it possible for everyone to have their own television channel, just like we all have telephone numbers. 

Asimov added that closed-circuit television will become popular, and everything from education to research will be done by means of communication devices. This might be the closest someone would have come to predicting the current scenario of content consumption and distribution. He also boldly predicted stem cells. A YouTube user @folk-talleyfamilyvideos2796 commented, “I work for a biotech company that uses stem cells to produce insulin for people with Type 1. This guy hit it out of the park 40 years before we were in the clinics. Unreal,” proving just how spot on his prediction was.

The best part is, that he got to see some of his visions come to fruition while he was alive. When asked if he has ever written about things and seen them come true he answered that he has occasionally. He says that he described a spacewalk in 1952, and a few years later, it was done and turned out to be exactly the way he had described it. He also described pocket computers in 1950 and got the appearances right. He also talked about space stations getting energy down to Earth in 1940 and got it almost right, he made a little error in terms of putting them in Mercury’s orbit instead of the moon’s to get closer to the sun.  He hilariously adds that he was never trying to predict anything, just trying to write so he could pay his way through college. 







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