Buckle up: 2025 is only seven years away.
Last week Aaron Proietti, founder of Adaptivity Enterprises and a self-proclaimed futurist, offered EntreFEST conference attendees in Cedar Rapids several thoughtful predictions of what to expect from the world in less than 10 years.
“The technologies that I’ve shown here are not inherently good or evil, but we will have bad actors. The hope is that the good actors will outnumber the bad actors, because the human element of regulators simply will not be able to keep up, public perception will not be able to keep up,” Proietti said.
Without further adieu, here are seven changes Proietti expects to see in the next seven years:
The 5G network will be installed as soon as late 2018, Proietti said – and he predicts the benefits will be greater than just a faster video download.
“By the time 2025 rolls around, we can expect 10 to 100 gigabyte per second download speeds on our mobile devices,” Proietti said.
That gives instantaneous service to devices like drones and autonomous vehicles, just by connecting these devices to the cloud. “They don’t really need a computer inside of them as long as they have a cell phone inside them,” Proietti said.
In related news, there will soon be so few landline phones on the network that it will no longer be economically viable to maintain the grid, he added. Never fear, true landline believers: Simply place Amazon Echo on your tabletop, and Alexa can serve as your non-mobile phone. Technology really does come full-circle.
“A lot of people have said that this revolution, the blockchain revolution, is as important to technological progress as the internet was in the 1990s,” Proietti said. “While the internet propelled telecommunications and computing processes, blockchain is the internet of transactions.”
Today, blockchain is mostly associated with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, but the technology has far more potential uses in the eyes of futurists. Blockchain technology acts as a distributed ledger that keeps digital records of each block transaction.
“Whether or not bitcoin is here to stay, blockchain is an extremely valuable technology that bitcoin sits on top of,” Proietti said. “By 2025, we can expect blockchain to be ubiquitous. Banks are already adopting it all over the place, Visa and Mastercard are realizing they can’t fight it, and they are becoming blockchain, and they are no longer going to be the ones who are just passing transactions through.”
While most of the U.S. is still stuck on what kind of responsibility rideshare startups have for gig employees like Uber drivers, Proietti believes the companies themselves will move quickly on to driverless vehicles by the time the U.S. standardizes contracting drivers’ benefits.
“We’re going to get better very fast. Our car technology will take off just like smartphone technology did,” Proietti said.
Over the course of the next two decades, he predicts the car market will have nearly 100 percent penetration of autonomous vehicles on the road – and as many as 350,000 public charging stations for electric cars in the U.S.
“We may very well see that gasoline cars are not allowed on the roads anymore, and very quickly the gas station model will change,” he said.
Speaking of electric: by 2026, Proietti predicts the mass adoption of electric vehicles.
“As we build more and more solar, the cost is coming down, which is great,” Proietti said. “It is expected that the first one penny per kilowatt hour contract for solar power will happen in the year 2024 – just around the corner.”
That’s one-fifth the cost of today’s fossil fuels, which are expected to stay flat at best, he added. Lithium ion batteries should also allow people to cheaply store excess solar energy for dark winter months and rainy days.
“Of the course of time, the cost of storage of renewable energy will be next to nothing, which is wonderful,” he said.
The cost of sequencing a human genome dived from $95,000 in 2001 to just over $1,000 in 2017. By 2025, estimates place the cost at about $10, he said.
“DNA is kind of the software of life, and to understand how we are built can help us improve longevity, improve our health,” Proietti said.
By 2030, the cost is predicted at one penny.
“You will have it as an app on your phone, and you will have an AI-powered, cloud-based engine that will tell you everything you need to know about yourself, or anyone around you, or anything you happen to pick up off the floor, essentially for free.”
Decline of absolute poverty
Under 10 percent of the world is living at $1.90 a day today, Proietti said.
“By some estimates, we are expected to fully eradicate absolute poverty by 2030,” he said. “We’re seeing similar trends with hunger and famine, but unfortunately there’s governmental issues causing hunger and famine to still persist.”
We should still expect to see a persistent global refugee crisis as dependency on oil lessens and more Middle Eastern and South American economies are disrupted.
Job rate rising (just not in coal)
Mundane and task-repetitive jobs will eventually be managed by artificial intelligence – leaving Earth’s human population to figure out what they are most passionate about.
“There are some industries like craft beer and recreational marijuana where the jobs are growing and growing,” he said. “Wouldn’t that be a great world, were your job is actually something that you love to do?”
“I don’t know what we do about health insurance, but that’s not for me to figure out.”