When will you be able to buy a 4D-printed coat that becomes waterproof when it starts to rain? When will the government start collecting taxes via the blockchain? When will an augmented reality movie win a Golden Globe award? When will you work for a company with a robot on its board of directors? When will you own a quantum computer?
Let us know in a new survey from the World Economic Forum.
As the Chair of WEF’s council on the Future of the Digital Economy and Society, these are some of the questions my colleagues and I focus on when we think about what software will look like and where it will take us in 5, 10, or 20 years. In 2015, we surveyed more than 800 executives and experts on when they thought 21 “tipping points” would occur – moments when specific technological shifts would hit mainstream society, such as robotic pharmacists, reading glasses connected to the internet, and 3D printing. We compiled this data into a new report, “Deep Shift: Technology Tipping Points and Societal Impact,” to illustrate society’s expectations for the future. And in the process, we also found that it got people thinking about the types of software changes that are coming and how to prepare for them.
It’s two years later, and software-driven technology has continued to jump forward. We’ve seen more mainstream applications for blockchain emerge, as well as big strides in virtual reality and augmented reality. Advances in neural networks and quantum computing are challenging our basic conceptions of how the world works, while 4D printing is already a reality.
WEF will be issuing a new set of predictions and we invite you to be a part of it. Click here to take the survey and tell us: how do you see the future?