In the decade ahead, waves of exponential technological advancements are stacking atop one another, eclipsing decades of breakthroughs in scale and impact.
Emerging from these waves are 20 metatrends likely to revolutionize entire industries (old and new), redefine tomorrows generation of businesses and contemporary challenges, and transform our livelihoods from the bottom up.
Among these metatrends are augmented human longevity, the surging smart economy, AI-human collaboration, urbanized cellular agriculture, and high-bandwidth brain-computer interfaces, just to name a few.
It is here that master entrepreneurs and their teams must see beyond the immediate implications of a given technology, capturing second-order, Google-sized business opportunities on the horizon.
Welcome to a new decade of runaway technological booms, historic watershed moments, and extraordinary abundance.
Lets dive in.
(1) Continued increase in global abundance: The number of individuals in extreme poverty continues to drop, as the middle-income population continues to rise. This metatrend is driven by the convergence of high-bandwidth and low-cost communication, ubiquitous AI on the cloud, and growing access to AI-aided education and AI-driven healthcare. Everyday goods and services (finance, insurance, education, and entertainment) are being digitized and becoming fully demonetized, available to the rising billion on mobile devices.
(2) Global gigabit connectivity will connect everyone and everything, everywhere, at ultra-low cost: The deployment of both licensed and unlicensed 5G, plus the launch of a multitude of global satellite networks (OneWeb, Starlink, etc.), allow for ubiquitous, low-cost communications for everyone, everywhere, not to mention the connection of trillions of devices. And todays skyrocketing connectivity is bringing online an additional three billion individuals, driving tens of trillions of dollars into the global economy. This metatrend is driven by the convergence oflow-cost space launches, hardware advancements, 5G networks, artificial intelligence, materials science, and surging computing power.
(3) The average human healthspan will increase by 10+ years:A dozen game-changing biotech and pharmaceutical solutions (currently in Phase 1, 2, or 3 clinical trials) will reach consumers this decade, adding an additional decade to the human healthspan. Technologies include stem cell supply restoration,wnt pathway manipulation, senolytic medicines, a new generation of endo-vaccines, GDF-11, and supplementation of NMD/NAD+, among several others. And as machine learning continues to mature, AI is set to unleash countless new drug candidates, ready for clinical trials. This metatrend is driven by the convergence ofgenome sequencing, CRISPR technologies, AI, quantum computing, and cellular medicine.
(4) An age of capital abundance will see increasing access to capital everywhere: From 2016 2018 (and likely in 2019), humanity hit all-time highs in the global flow of seed capital, venture capital, and sovereign wealth fund investments. While this trend will witness some ups and downs in the wake of future recessions, it is expected to continue its overall upward trajectory. Capital abundance leads to the funding and testing of crazy entrepreneurial ideas, which in turn accelerate innovation. Already, $300 billion in crowdfunding is anticipated by 2025, democratizing capital access for entrepreneurs worldwide. This metatrend isdriven by the convergence of global connectivity, dematerialization, demonetization, and democratization.
(5) Augmented reality and the spatial webwill achieve ubiquitous deployment: The combination of augmented reality (yielding Web 3.0, or the spatial web) and 5G networks (offering 100Mb/s 10Gb/s connection speeds) will transform how we live our everyday lives, impacting every industry from retail and advertising to education and entertainment. Consumers will play, learn, and shop throughout the day in a newly intelligent, virtually overlaid world. This metatrend will be driven by the convergence ofhardware advancements, 5G networks, artificial intelligence, materials science, and surging computing power.
(6) Everything is smart, embedded with intelligence: The price of specialized machine learning chips is dropping rapidly with a rise in global demand. Combined with the explosion of low-cost microscopic sensors and the deployment of high-bandwidth networks, were heading into a decade wherein every device becomes intelligent. Your childs toy remembers her face and name. Your kids drone safely and diligently follows and videos all the children at the birthday party. Appliances respond to voice commands and anticipate your needs.
(7) AI will achieve human-level intelligence:As predicted by technologist and futurist Ray Kurzweil, artificial intelligence will reach human-level performance this decade (by 2030). Through the 2020s, AI algorithms and machine learning tools will be increasingly made open source, available on the cloud, allowing any individual with an internet connection to supplement their cognitive ability, augment their problem-solving capacity, and build new ventures at a fraction of the current cost. This metatrend will bedriven by the convergence ofglobal high-bandwidth connectivity, neural networks, and cloud computing. Every industry, spanning industrial design, healthcare, education, and entertainment, will be impacted.
(8) AI-human collaboration will skyrocket across all professions: The rise of AI as a Service (AIaaS) platforms will enable humans to partner with AI in every aspect of their work, at every level, in every industry. AIs will become entrenched in everyday business operations, serving as cognitive collaborators to employeessupporting creative tasks, generating new ideas, and tackling previously unattainable innovations. In some fields, partnership with AI will even become a requirement. For example: in the future, making certain diagnoses without the consultation of AI may be deemed malpractice.
(9) Most individuals adapt aJARVIS-like software shell to improve their quality of life: As services like Alexa, Google Home, and Apple Homepod expand in functionality, such services will eventually travel beyond the home and become your cognitive prosthetic 24/7. Imagine a secure JARVIS-like software shell that you give permission to listen to all your conversations, read your email, monitor your blood chemistry, etc. With access to such data, these AI-enabled software shells will learn your preferences, anticipate your needs and behavior, shop for you, monitor your health, and help you problem-solve in support of your mid- and long-term goals.
(10) Globally abundant, cheap renewable energy: Continued advancements in solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, nuclear, and localized grids will drive humanity towards cheap, abundant, and ubiquitous renewable energy. The price per kilowatt-hour will drop below onecent per kilowatt-hour for renewables, just as storage drops below a mere three cents per kilowatt-hour, resulting in the majority displacement of fossil fuels globally. And as the worlds poorest countries are also the worlds sunniest, the democratization of both new and traditional storage technologies will grant energy abundance to those already bathed in sunlight.
(11) The insurance industry transforms from recovery after risk to prevention of risk:Today, fire insurance pays youafteryour house burns down; life insurance pays your next-of-kinafteryou die; and health insurance (which is really sick insurance) pays onlyafteryou get sick. This next decade, a new generation of insurance providers will leveragethe convergence of machine learning, ubiquitous sensors, low-cost genome sequencing, and robotics to detect risk,preventdisaster, and guarantee safety before any costs are incurred.
(12) Autonomous vehicles and flying cars will redefine human travel (soon to be far faster and cheaper):Fully autonomous vehicles, car-as-a-service fleets, and aerial ride-sharing (flying cars) will be fully operational in most major metropolitan cities in the coming decade. The cost of transportation will plummet 3-4X, transforming real estate, finance, insurance, the materials economy, and urban planning. Where you live and work, and how you spend your time, will all be fundamentally reshaped by this future of human travel. Your kids and elderly parents will never drive. This metatrend will bedriven by the convergence ofmachine learning, sensors, materials science, battery storage improvements, and ubiquitous gigabit connections.
(13) On-demand production and on-demand delivery will birth an instant economy of things:Urban dwellers will learn to expect instant fulfillment of their retail orders as drone and robotic last-mile delivery services carry products from local supply depots directly to your doorstep. Further riding the deployment of regional on-demand digital manufacturing (3D printing farms), individualized products can be obtained within hours, anywhere, anytime. This metatrend isdriven by the convergence of networks, 3D printing, robotics, and artificial intelligence.
(14) Ability to sense and know anything, anytime, anywhere:Were rapidly approaching the era wherein 100 billion sensors (the Internet of Everything) is monitoring and sensing (imaging, listening, measuring) every facet of our environments, all the time. Global imaging satellites, drones, autonomous car LIDARs, and forward-looking augmented reality (AR) headset cameras are all part of a global sensor matrix, together allowing us to know anything, anytime, anywhere. This metatrend isdriven by the convergence ofterrestrial, atmospheric and space-based sensors, vast data networks, and machine learning. In this future, its not what you know, but rather the quality of the questions you ask that will be most important.
(15) Disruption of advertising:As AI becomes increasingly embedded in everyday life, your custom AI will soon understand what you want better than you do. In turn, we will begin to both trust and rely upon our AIs to make most of our buying decisions, turning over shopping to AI-enabled personal assistants. Your AI might make purchases based upon your past desires, current shortages, conversations youve allowed your AI to listen to, or by tracking where your pupils focus on a virtual interface (i.e. what catches your attention). As a result, the advertising industrywhich normally competes foryourattention (whether at the Superbowl or through search engines)will have a hard time influencing your AI. This metatrend isdriven by the convergence ofmachine learning, sensors, augmented reality, and 5G/networks.
(16) Cellular agriculture moves from the lab into inner cities, providing high-quality protein that is cheaper and healthier: This next decade will witness the birth of the most ethical, nutritious, and environmentally sustainable protein production system devised by humankind. Stem cell-based cellular agriculture will allow the production of beef, chicken, and fishanywhere, on-demand, with far higher nutritional content, and a vastly lower environmental footprint than traditional livestock options. This metatrend isenabled by the convergence ofbiotechnology, materials science, machine learning, and AgTech.
(17) High-bandwidth brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) will come online for public use: Technologist and futurist Ray Kurzweil has predicted that in the mid-2030s, we will begin connecting the human neocortex to the cloud. This next decade will see tremendous progress in that direction, first serving those with spinal cord injuries, whereby patients will regain both sensory capacity and motor control. Yet beyond assisting those with motor function loss, several BCI pioneers are now attempting to supplement their baseline cognitive abilities, a pursuit with the potential to increase their sensorium, memory, and even intelligence. This metatrend is fueled by the convergence ofmaterials science, machine learning, and robotics.
(18) High-resolution VRwill transform both retail and real estate shopping:High-resolution, lightweight virtual reality headsets will allow individuals at home to shop for everything from clothing to real estate from the convenience of their living room. Need a new outfit? Your AI knows your detailed body measurements and can whip up a fashion show featuring your avatar wearing the latest 20 designs on a runway. Want to see how your furniture might look inside a house youre viewing online? No problem! Your AI can populate the property with your virtualized inventory and give you a guided tour. This metatrend isenabled by the convergence of: VR, machine learning, and high-bandwidth networks.
(19) Increased focus on sustainability and the environment:An increase in global environmental awareness and concern over global warming will drive companies to invest in sustainability, both from a necessity standpoint and for marketing purposes. Breakthroughs in materials science, enabled by AI, will allow companies to drive tremendous reductions in waste and environmental contamination. One companys waste will become another companys profit center. This metatrend isenabled by the convergence ofmaterials science, artificial intelligence, and broadband networks.
(20) CRISPR and gene therapies will minimize disease:A vast range of infectious diseases, ranging from AIDS to Ebola, are now curable. In addition, gene-editing technologies continue to advance in precision and ease of use, allowing families to treat and ultimatelycurehundreds of inheritable genetic diseases. This metatrend isdriven by the convergence of various biotechnologies (CRISPR, gene therapy), genome sequencing, and artificial intelligence.
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This article originally appeared ondiamandis.com. Read theoriginal article here.
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20 Technology Metatrends That Will Define the Next Decade - Singularity Hub
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