Technological Tipping Points

This report from the 2015 World Economic Forum is a fascinating snapshot of how some very smart people view a world that is undergoing rapid transformation, driven by software, in virtually every aspect of human experience. Here are the results of what those surveyed expect to occur by 2025.

What’s surprising is that in just over a year, one can imagine that if the survey was given again to the same people, the outcome would be significantly different. For example #21 has already happened, #7 is getting close, #3 looks wildly optimistic and #13 looks promising – but needs more precise definition.


Tipping Points Expected to Occur by 2025 % agreeing
1 10% of people wearing clothes connected to the internet 91.2
2 90% of people having unlimited and free (advertising-supported) storage 91.0
3 1 trillion sensors connected to the internet 89.2
4 The first robotic pharmacist in the US 86.5
5 10% of reading glasses connected to the internet 85.5
6 80% of people with a digital presence on the internet 84.4
7 The first 3D-printed car in production 84.1
8 The first government to replace its census with big-data sources 82.9
9 The first implantable mobile phone available commercially 81.7
10 5% of consumer products printed in 3D 81.1
11 90% of the population using smartphones 80.7
12 90% of the population with regular access to the internet 78.8
13 Driverless cars equaling 10% of all cars on US roads 78.2
14 The first transplant of a 3D-printed liver 76.4
15 30% of corporate audits performed by AI 75.4
16 Tax collected for the first time by a government via a blockchain 73.1
17 Over 50% of internet traffic to homes for appliances and devices 69.9
18 Globally more trips/journeys via car sharing than in private cars 67.2
19 The first city with more than 50,000 people and no traffic lights 63.7
20 10% of global gross domestic product stored on blockchain technology 57.9
21 The first AI machine on a corporate board of directors 45.2

In any case it is clear that the underlying forces and trends that are the source of these projections are getting clearer, and, in many cases stronger, every year. The report is a touchstone to remind us how fast things are changing and well worth re-reading every year.

Original Article »


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