Just back from the Digital Futures expert group meeting in Brussel. A (wild) bunch of people met for two days to discuss trends, expectations, likelihood and desirability. As you can imagine plenty of disagreement but also a few common understandings.
Some of the experts had an economic background, some a technical one, others a social interest. The first day was dedicated to identify trends, not all of them but some that people, because of their background and interest, were interested in. This is a list of some of them, in no particular order:
- Search engines are personalized
- Life expectation is 120 years in most places on the Earth (less diversity in life expectation)
- Internet will connect and “contain” information, objects and people
- People will communicate using different means (and tools), no more cell phones
- Innovation gets more regulated and the pace decreases
- Robots are taking the upper hand. They are becoming co-workers, some jobs no longer exist because of them
- Health care is self managed
- Production of many items is at the point of sale, end of outsourcing, transportation is for bits and skill
- Individuals get more power than institutions (dynamic aggregation as response to specific needs)
- public values have changed significantly
- stem cells are used to replace whole organs
- immortality is granted for the digital existence with the emergence of virtual identity over physical identity, and regulations start to address digital euthanasia
Along with these trends other, on the dark side, have been voiced:
- Privacy is a nightmare
- the society is much more individualistic
- computers have not made people’s life better
- the digital divide has widened. The interface to the digital society is seamless for some and completely opaque for others
- economic based on cheap availability of energy is gone
- there has been an intensification of conflicts
- nature is spoiled, desertification has increased and people are fighting for insufficient resources.
More in coming posts.