To celebrate its 125th birthday, The Wall Street Journal got a bunch of big names to write down their thoughts on what tomorrow will be like for a package called “The Future of Everything.” Mark Zuckerberg wrote about how the internet needs to—and will—be accessible to everyone one day; Taylor Swift revealed musicians just need to keep surprising their fans to keep the music industry alive. Oh, and Tyra Banks predicted everyone will have a robot friend who they rely on to boost their self-esteem—so basically, society is doomed.
Not everyone’s predictions are as extreme as Banks’ though: Director Christopher Nolan thinks movie theaters are going to be swankier and AMC’s Josh Sapan believes quality TV will eventually dominate and leave little room for unoriginal series. OK, so maybe we aren’t doomed after all.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO
Sound bite: “Perhaps the most important change might be a new global sense of community. Today we can only hear the voices and witness the imaginations of one-third of the world’s people. We are all being robbed of the creativity and potential of the two-thirds of the world not yet online. Tomorrow, if we succeed, the Internet will truly represent everyone.”
Bottom line: Facebook (who else?) is going to save the world by giving everyone internet access.
Christopher Nolan, director
Sound bite: “The theaters of the future will be bigger and more beautiful than ever before. They will employ expensive presentation formats that cannot be accessed or reproduced in the home (such as, ironically, film prints). And they will still enjoy exclusivity, as studios relearn the tremendous economic value of the staggered release of their products.”
Bottom line: Movie theaters will be a lot prettier to lure the more couch-inclined to the cinema. (Warning to theater designers of the future: Some of us have really comfy couches.)
Taylor Swift, musician
Sound bite: “I think forming a bond with fans in the future will come in the form of constantly providing them with the element of surprise. No, I did not say ‘shock’; I said ‘surprise.’ I believe couples can stay in love for decades if they just continue to surprise each other, so why can’t this love affair exist between an artist and their fans?”
Bottom line: Musicians just have to pretend they’re dating their fans and then the industry will be saved.
Tyra Banks, model
Sound bite: “Plastic surgery will be as easy and quick as going to the drugstore for Tylenol. Emphasis will be on how unique and interesting one can look, as opposed to a cookie-cutter look. People will be vying for that cutting-edge, distinct look in the way that today celebs reach for baby names that defy convention.”
Bottom line: Who (will) run the world? Girls (who get a ton of plastic surgery and have babies until they’re 120).
Josh Sapan, AMC Networks CEO
Sound bite: “In the next five or 10 years, great TV will be discovered and appreciated more, good TV will be found to be good, mediocre TV will increasingly drown in the slushy middle, and imitative and bad TV—as it always has been, but maybe more rapidly—will be canceled.”
Bottom line: Goodbye, Rising Star.
Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios
Sound bite: “I’m not convinced that the flow of content when I tune in is going to be the same as your flow. It could be customized for you, Pandora-style. The concept of a strictly ‘linear’ broadcast, where they’re airing a rerun of Two and a Half Men and that’s your only option whether you like it or not—I suspect there will be a time when that isn’t happening anymore.”
Bottom line: Our televisions will learn that no, we don’t want to watch another Two and a Half Men marathon.
Read more from “The Future of Everything” at The Wall Street Journal.