Our lives are transforming in ways that have never been seen before. Over the next decade, everything around us will become more intelligent; connecting and communicating in new ways.
Institute for the Future is exploring how emerging technology and human-machine partnerships will define the future of connected living in 2030.
Emerging technologies are enabling people and communities across the globe to augment, enhance, and optimize our lives; from autonomous vehicles to connected homes and digital cities. We won’t just live with our machines, we’ll work in immersive partnerships with them. Our researchers cite five key shifts we’ll see by the year 2030.
Machines’ shift, from unconnected tools to consumers will be profound. Advances in smart distributed ledgers and AI will enable machines to fulfill human tasks. Intelligent objects will shop and compare products based on quality and cost, as humans do. Laundry machines will negotiate with other appliances to prioritize hot water use, detect maintenance issues and even hire local contractors to resolve issues, if needed.
of business leaders would welcome people partnering with machines/robots to surpass our human limitations1
Autonomous vehicles will free us from the distractions of driving and serve as mobile living rooms. The vehicles of the future will also work as nomadic sensors for the Internet of Things; identifying the need for road maintenance, measuring pollution and environmental conditions, and imaging roads for safe travel.
of business leaders believe they will travel in a self-driving car by 20301
The cities of tomorrow will need to build their own networked infrastructure of smart objects, self-reporting systems, and AI-powered analytics in order to boost inclusion and support communities.
The confluence of 5G, wireless networks, the Internet of Things, and machine learning will create intelligent, data-driven city services. Efficient resource usage will be maximized, as well as infrastructure resilience for its people.
of people on Earth will live in urban areas in three decades2
By 2030, we will each be supported by a highly personalized “operating system for living.” The system will be context aware and anticipate our needs proactively.
People will have intelligent, machine-based agents that understand our needs. From dinner reservations to home renovations, our agents will communicate with web services, bots, and networked objects, creating conveniences, enhanced experiences and truly connected living.
of business leaders expect they’ll restructure the way they spend their time by automating more tasks1
From laboratory to factory, robots will be created to serve as our collaborators in social settings: augmenting certain skills as well as extending and enhancing our social abilities.
Tomorrow’s robots will be socially engaged with us and with each other. When one robot learns a task, it will upload that learning to an entire social network of robots, crowdsourcing information and innovation and accelerating progress.
of business leaders would welcome people partnering with machines and robots to surpass our human limitations1
Advances in computation and new energy sources will enable the distribution of smaller devices and sensors. These will inform us about our homes, cities, bodies, and the way we live.
Low-latency, high-bandwidth wireless networks will push computing power closer to the edge, improving processing times and bringing AI to countless connected devices.
5G will deliver hyper-fast wireless connectivity, virtually eliminating network delays. This will allow cities and towns to become more connected than ever.
Artificial intelligence is rapidly expanding in various application areas, allowing machine learning to be employed in everything from chatbots to self-driving cars.
New display technologies like flexible screens and breakthroughs in holograms will combine with gestural and haptic interfaces to enable unprecedented media experiences that stimulate all our senses.
Emerging technologies and rapidly accelerating human-machine partnerships are driving higher productivity and greater work-life harmony. Meanwhile, cities are becoming far more efficient, sustainable and livable.
In order to achieve this future, humans must lead with caution and overcome key barriers, such as data privacy, data siloes and algorithmic inequality.
The fact is, the future of connected living promises extraordinary things. Data, huge advances in processing power and software are all converging to create a new chapter in technology-led human progress.
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1. Source: 4,600 business leaders from companies with 250+ employees, across 40+ countries and 12 industries; Vanson Bourne and Dell Technologies, 2018
2. United Nations, 2018 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects, December 2018