We may not be living on Mars or traveling to work using jet packs, but there’s no doubt the coming decade will bring many exciting technological advances. In this article, I want to outline the 25 key technology trends that I believe will shape the 2020s.
1. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. The increasing ability of machines to learn and act intelligently will absolutely transform our world. It is also the driving force behind many of the other trends on this list.
2. The Internet of Things (IoT). This refers to the ever-growing number of “smart” devices and objects that are connected to the internet. Such devices are constantly gathering and transmitting data, further fueling the growth in Big Data and AI.
3. Wearables and augmented humans. What started with fitness trackers has now exploded into a whole industry of wearable technology designed to improve human performance and help us live healthier, safer, more efficient lives. In the future, we may even see humans merge with technology to create “augmented humans” or “transhumans.”
4. Big Data and augmented analytics. Big Data refers to the exponential growth in the amount of data being created in our world. Thanks to augmented analytics (highly advanced data analytics, often fueled by AI techniques), we can now make sense of and work with enormously complex and varied streams of data.
5. Intelligent spaces and smart places. Closely linked to the IoT, this trend is seeing physical spaces – like homes, offices, and even whole cities – becoming increasingly connected and smart.
6. Blockchains and distributed ledgers. This super-secure method of storing, authenticating, and protecting data could revolutionize many aspects of business – particularly when it comes to facilitating trusted transactions.
7. Cloud and edge computing. Cloud computing – where data is stored on other computers and accessed via the internet – has helped to open up data and analytics to the masses. Edge computing – where data is processed on smart devices (like phones) – will take this to the next level.
8. Digitally extended realities. Encompassing virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality, this trend highlights the move towards creating more immersive digital experiences.
9. Digital twins. A digital twin is a digital copy of an actual physical object, product, process, or ecosystem. This innovative technology allows us to try out alterations and adjustments that would be too expensive or risky to try out on the real physical object.
10. Natural language processing. This technology, which allows machines to understand human language, has dramatically changed how humans interact with machines, in particular giving rise to…