Next 20 years will deepen human-machine partnership, study suggests

Photo by Andy Kelly

Technologies such as edge computing, 5G, AI, Extended Reality (XR) and IoT will combine to create five major “shifts” in the coming decade, according to Institute for the Future (IFTF).

Based on research conducted by Vanson Bourne in partnership with IFTF and Dell Technologies, the years up to 2030 is brimming with opportunity as advancing technologies hold the potential to drive human progress across the world.

The research surveyed 1,100 business leaders across 10 countries in Asia Pacific & Japan (APJ) including Singapore.

IFTF forecasts that over the next decade cyberspace will become an overlay on top of our existing reality as our digital environment extends beyond televisions, smartphones and other displays. 

Also, vehicles in the future will essentially be mobile computers. We will trust them to take us where we need to go in the physical world as we interact in the virtual spaces available to us wherever we are.

In addition, cities will quite literally come to life through their own networked infrastructure of smart objects, self-reporting systems and AI-powered analytics.

Further, we will each be supported by a highly personalised “operating system for living” that is able to anticipate our needs and proactively support our day-to-day activities to free up time.

IFTF also expects that robots will become our partners in life as they enhance our skills and extend our abilities. Robots will share newfound knowledge to their social robot network to crowdsource innovations and accelerate progress, in real time.

Findings show that many businesses in APJ are already preparing for these shifts, with 80% regionwide (77% in Singapore) expect they will restructure the way they spend their time by automating more tasks. About half or 49% of business leaders (53% in Singapore) would welcome machines becoming self-aware.

About four-fifths (78% surveyed, 85% in Singapore) expect that in 2030 they will be more concerned about their privacy than they are today. Three quarters (74% regionwide, 86% in Singapore) say they consider data privacy to be a top societal-scale challenge that must be solved.