TECHBLOG by Peter Diamandis edited for brevity. The full blog can be accessed here: https://www.diamandis.com/blog/20-metatrends-2020s
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 tomorrow’s 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.
For those who are not fond of reading, watch Peter discussing some of these Metatrends when addressing Singularity University (2019):
20 Metatrends for the Roaring 20s
(1) Continued increase in global abundance: The number of individuals in extreme poverty continues to drop as the middle-income population continues to rise. 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, allow for ubiquitous, low-cost communications for everyone, everywhere–– not to mention the connection of trillions of devices. Today’s skyrocketing connectivity is bringing online an addition 3 billion individuals, driving tens of trillions of dollars into the global economy.
(3) The average human health span will increase by 10+ years: A dozen game-changing biotech and pharmaceutical solutions (currently in clinical trials) will reach consumers this decade, adding an additional 10 years to the human health span. Technologies include stem cell supply restoration, wnt pathway manipulation, Senolytic Medicines, a new generation of Endo-Vaccines, GDF-11, supplementation of NMD/NAD+, among several others. As machine learning continues to mature, AI is set to unleash countless new drug candidates, ready for clinical trials.
(4) An age of capital abundance will see increasing access to capital everywhere: In the past 5 years, humanity hit all-time highs in the global flow of capital 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.
(5) Augmented Reality and the Spatial Web will achieve ubiquitous deployment: The combination of Augmented Reality and 5G networks 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.
(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, in this decade every device becomes intelligent. Your child’s toy remembers her face and name and appliances respond to voice commands and anticipate your needs.
(7) AI will achieve human-level intelligence: As predicted by technologist Ray Kurzweil, artificial intelligence will reach human-level performance by 2030. AI algorithms and machine learning tools will be increasingly made open-source 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. 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” platforms will enable humans to partner with AI in every aspect of their work. AIs will become entrenched in everyday business operations, serving as cognitive collaborators to employees — supporting creative tasks, generating new ideas, and tackling previously unattainable innovations. In some fields partnership with AI will become a requirement, for e.g., in future, making certain diagnoses without the consultation of AI may be deemed malpractice.
(9) Most individuals adapt a JARVIS-like “software shell” to improve their quality of life: As services like Alexa, Google Home and Apple Homepod expand, such services will 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. These AI-enabled software shells will learn your preferences, anticipate your needs, shop for you, monitor your health, and help you problem-solve.
(10) Globally abundant, cheap renewable energy: Advances in solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, nuclear and localized grids will drive humanity towards cheap, abundant, and ubiquitous renewable energy. The price will drop below 1 cent (US) per kilowatt-hour resulting in the displacement of fossil fuels globally. As the world’s poorest countries are also the world’s sunniest, the democratization of storage technologies will grant energy abundance to those bathed in sunlight.
(11) The insurance industry transforms from “recovery after risk” to “prevention of risk:” A new generation of insurance providers will leverage the convergence of machine learning, ubiquitous sensors, low-cost genome sequencing and robotics to detect risk, prevent disaster, and guarantee safety before any costs are incurred.
(12) Autonomous vehicles and flying cars will redefine human travel: Faster and cheaper autonomous vehicles and ride-sharing flying cars will be fully operational in most major metropolitan cities. The cost of transportation will plummet, 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 reshaped by this future of human travel. Your kids and elderly parents will never drive.
(13) On-demand production and on-demand delivery will birth an “instant economy of things:” Urban dwellers will learn to expect “instant fulfilment” of their retail orders as drone and robotic last-mile delivery services carry products from local supply depots directly to your doorstep. Riding the deployment of regional on-demand 3D printing farms, individualized products can be obtained within hours, anywhere, anytime.
(14) Ability to sense and know anything, anytime, anywhere: We’re rapidly approaching the era wherein 100 billion sensors (the Internet of Everything) monitor and sense (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. In this future, it’s 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 AI-enabled personal assistants to make most of our buying decisions. Your AI might make purchases based upon your past desires, current shortages, conversations your AI has heard or by tracking what catches your attention. As a result, the advertising industry—which normally competes for your attention will have a hard time influencing your AI.
(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 fish anywhere, on-demand, with far higher nutritional content, and a vastly lower environmental footprint than traditional livestock.
(17) High-bandwidth Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) will come online for public use: It is 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, who will regain sensory capacity and motor control. BCI pioneers are now attempting to supplement their baseline cognitive abilities, a pursuit with the potential to increase their sensorium, memory and even intelligence.
(18) High-resolution VR will transform both retail and real estate shopping: Lightweight, high-res, 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 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 you’re viewing online? No problem! Your AI can populate the property with your virtualized inventory and give you a guided tour
(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 company’s waste will become another company’s profit centre.
(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 ultimately cure hundreds of inheritable genetic diseases.
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