2020: A year of vision?

KPMG recently issued 20 Predictions for the Next 20 Years. They cover trends ranging from “Social and People” to “Political and Regulatory”. Five of the most interesting ones are:

1. There is (human) life on Mars

The next 20 years will see an increase in “space tourism” with commercial flights becoming available. People will start living and working in space as agencies such as NASA work with private companies to transport astronauts. We’ll also see the development of space-based industries such as space mining.

2. Mobility: everything changes

Technologies such as hyperloop systems will greatly reduce travel times, such as travel from New York to Washington DC in under 30 minutes. Scientific advances in space travel will also revolutionise international travel, enabling people to travel between Sydney and Singapore in less than 30 minutes.

3. The circular economy comes of age

This is a new economic model in which the value of any given product is extracted fully before the product is recycled and reused; the effect will be to dramatically reduce environmental impact, waste and energy use and improve the overall efficiency of products

4. Quantified health will reshape our lives

Emotion sensors will enable healthcare professionals to track people’s state of mind and to identify mental health issues in real-time. AI will be applied to data on individuals’ behaviours, from their social media posts to their physical activity, which could enable early interventions and preventing health issues from progressing.

5. The birth of augmented (super) humans

Brain computer interfaces (BCI) will significantly transform how we communicate – both with other people and with technology capable of accurately interpreting, storing, actioning and sharing thoughts and emotions. Computer-chips in the brain will allow us to download knowledge and skills. Exoskeletons will become commonplace.

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