What’s the future of X? That’s the question Amy Webb answers for organizations worldwide. Amy is a futurist and the founder of Webbmedia Group, a digital strategy firm that investigates emerging technologies. She is a lecturer on media and emerging technology at Columbia University, a 2014-15 Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and writes about the future for Inc. and Slate to name a few. Plus she published Data, A Love Story (Dutton/Penguin), a memoir about the world of online dating, consumer behavior and finding love (including her husband) via algorithms. Her TED talk about Data is one of the most-viewed TED talks of all time. And her next book, How Did We Miss That? about what the future holds and what you can do about it in the present, will be released in winter 2016.
I subscribe to Amy’s newsletter, Electronic Interestingness. Headlines read: “The Future of -ables,” “The Future of Digital Voyeurism” and “The Future of Getting Lost.” I open it as soon as it arrives in my inbox because it’s filled with fascinating and smart information.
I asked Amy to give us a quick look at the future, to tell us what’s coming in the next 25 years – 10 tweetable tips. (Qualification: These forecasts are primarily for developed economies such as North America, Western Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, Korea, Japan):
Near-Future (right now – 5 years)
Algorithmic Curation: machines acting as personalized digital news concierges determine more and more of what is written, what is designed, what is displayed and how we consume information , supporting or supplanting the work of journalists.
Powerful technologies continue to scan, analyze and archive our faces, as new faceprinting tools become available to law enforcement, retailers, airlines and hackers .
There will be calls for meaningful policy on privacy, ethics and security regarding our devices, our personal data and the Internet of Things . Unfortunately, on our current path, little action will result.
Mid-Future (5 – 15 years)
The block chain emerges as a ubiquitous new medium, fundamentally and forever changing the transaction of information. Bitcoin may or may not prove to be its first killer app.
Artificial, humanoid companions offer intimate conversations and compassionate care. Ambient companions assist in the background with task management, knowledge-seeking and information organization.
Our bodies start to become modular: we replace our damaged and diseased parts with lab-grown or mechanical alternates.
Far-Future (15 – 25 years)
Personal quantum computers running AI will assist in operating rooms, war rooms, board rooms and bedrooms.
Many genetic disorders will have been sequenced and eradicated; we will have combined synthetic biology with natural selection to prevent pests from spreading disease. But the law of unintended consequences reveals unplanned challenges.
Implantables start to replace wearables and second screens en masse. Our bodies and minds join a vast neural network of human-generated and human-machine created information.
Distant Future (25+ years)
Synthetic telepathy (brain-to-brain communication) is available in some form to the public. We direct message each other our thoughts.
This article was written by Denise Restauri from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.