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How the technology will change in the next 5 years

July 4, 2020

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This story originally appeared in the World Economic Forum

How the technology will change in the next 5 yearsHow the technology will change in the next 5 years

By Saemoon Yoon, Community Lead, Technology Pioneers, Geneva World Economic Forum

We ask our group of 2020 technology pioneers to contribute to how technology will change the world in the next five years.

1. AI-optimized manufacturing

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Paper and pencil tracing, luck, long trips around the world and opaque supply chains are part of the current status quo, which leads to a great waste of energy, material and time. Accelerated in part by the long-term closure of international and regional travel by COVID-19, companies that design and build products will quickly use cloud-based technologies to intelligently aggregate, transform and present product and process data in a context-related manner. Production lines in their supply chains. With this ubiquitous data stream and the intelligent algorithms that process it, production lines can be continuously optimized to a higher level of product production and quality by 2025, reducing total manufacturing waste by up to 50%. As a result, we will enjoy higher quality products that are manufactured faster and at a lower cost to our bags and the environment.

Anna-Katrina Shedletsky, CEO and founder of Instrumental

2. A powerful energy conversion

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In 2025, carbon footprints are considered socially unacceptable, as is driving under the influence of alcohol today. The COVID-19 pandemic will have drawn public attention to the need to take action to address threats to our way of life, our health and our future. Public attention will drive government policies and behavior changes, and the carbon footprint will be the subject of research around the world. Individuals, businesses, and countries will look for the fastest and cheapest ways to achieve the “net zero” goal, which is to eliminate their carbon footprint. The creation of a sustainable “net zero” future is being built through a far-reaching energy transition that will significantly reduce global carbon emissions, and the emergence of a massive carbon management industry that captures, uses, and removes carbon dioxide. We will see a multitude of new technologies that aim to both reduce and eliminate emissions from the world and trigger a wave of innovation that can be compared to the industrial and digital revolutions of the past.

Steve Oldham, CEO of Carbon Engineering

3. A new era in arithmetic

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By 2025, quantum computing will be childhood, and a first generation of commercial devices will be able to address major real-world problems. One of the main applications of this new type of computer will be the simulation of complex chemical reactions, a powerful tool that opens new avenues in drug development. Quantum chemical calculations will also help to develop new materials with the desired properties – for example, better catalysts for the automotive industry that reduce emissions and help combat climate change. Currently, the development of pharmaceuticals and performance materials is highly trial and error, which means that it is an iterative process that is time-consuming and terribly expensive. Quantum computers will soon be able to change this. They will significantly shorten product development cycles and lower RD costs.

Thomas Monz, co-founder and CEO of Alpine Quantum Technologies

4. Paradigm shift in health care towards prevention through nutrition

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By 2025, health systems will pursue more preventive health approaches based on the development of scientific evidence that supports the health benefits of a nutritious, plant-rich diet. This trend will be possible thanks to a technology based on systems biology and artificial intelligence, which exponentially expands our knowledge of the role of phytonutrients in a given diet for human health and the functional results. After the 2020 pandemic, consumers became more aware of the importance of their underlying health and increasingly demand healthier foods to support their natural defenses. With a much deeper understanding of nutrition, the global food industry can respond by offering a wider range of product options to achieve optimal health outcomes. The healthcare industry can respond by promoting the intelligence of plants on Earth to live a more resilient life and encouraging people to take care of themselves to reduce unsustainable costs.

Jim Flatt, co-founder and CEO of Brightseed

5. 5G will improve the global economy and save lives

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We’ve seen a surge in delivery services because “daily” goods from vendors like Amazon and Instacart are needed – but this is limited. With 5G networks directly connected to autonomous robots, the goods would be delivered safely within hours.

Wifi cannot be scaled to meet higher capacity requirements. On-site hosting has led companies and classrooms to video conferencing and underlined the poor quality of the networks. Low latency 5G networks would address this network unreliability and even enable the provision of higher capacity services such as telehealth, telesurgery and emergency services. Businesses can offset the high mobility costs through business-promoting activities such as smart factories, real-time monitoring, and high-content real-time edge computing services. Private 5G networks make this possible and change the profitability of mobile services.

The use of 5G creates markets that we can only imagine – like self-driving bots combined with the economic viability of mobility as a service – and others that we cannot imagine, and enables future generations to invent thriving markets and prospering causes .

Maha Achour, founder and CEO of Metawave

6. A new normal in cancer management

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Technology drives data, data catalyzes knowledge, and knowledge enables empowerment. In the world of tomorrow, cancer will be treated like any other chronic health condition – we will be able to identify exactly what we are going to do and be able to overcome it.

In other words, there will be a new normal in the way we can deal with cancer. We will see early and proactive detection with improved diagnostic innovations such as better genome sequencing technology or a liquid biopsy that promises easier testing, higher precision and ideally at affordable cost. Early detection and intervention for common cancers will not only save lives, but also reduce the financial and emotional burden of late discoveries.

We’re also going to see a technology-driven treatment revolution. Gene editing and immunotherapy, which have fewer side effects, will have made more progress. With advances in screening and treatment going hand in hand, cancer will no longer be the damn “C” word that causes so much fear in people.

Sizhen Wang, CEO of Genetron Health

7. Robot sales

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In the past, robotics has reversed many industries, while some selected sectors – such as food retailing – have remained largely intact. With the use of a new robot application called “microfiltration”, food retailers will no longer look the same. The use of “hyperlocal” level robotics (as opposed to traditional supply chain applications) will disrupt this $ 5 trillion industry, 100 years old, and all of its stakeholders will experience significant changes. Retailers will operate an order of magnitude higher in terms of productivity, which in turn will lead to positive and attractive benefits in the online grocery store (something that is not yet known). This technology also enables wider access to food and a better proposal for the general consumer: speed, product availability and cost. Microfiltration centers are located in existing (and usually less productive) buildings at the store level and can be operated 5-10% cheaper than a brick-and-mortar store. We expect the value to be captured by both retailers and consumers, as well as online.

José Aguerrevere, co-founder, president and CEO of Takeoff Technologies

8. A blur of physical and virtual spaces

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One thing that the current pandemic has shown us is how important technology is to maintaining and facilitating communication, not just for work, but for building real emotional connections. In the coming years, we can expect this progress to accelerate as AI technology connects people on a human level and brings them closer together, even when they’re physically separate. The boundary between physical and virtual space will blur forever. We will begin to recognize the opportunities of global events – from SXSW to Glastonbury Festival – to provide fully digitized alternatives that go beyond simple live streaming to full experiences. However, it is not as easy as providing these services – data protection must be prioritized to create trust among consumers. At the start of the COVID 19 pandemic, we saw a lot in the news about the security concerns of video conferencing companies. These concerns go nowhere, and with increasing digital connectivity, brands simply cannot afford to offer users less than complete transparency and control over their data.

Tugce Bulut, CEO of Streetbees

9. Place individuals – not institutions – at the center of health care

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By 2025, the lines between culture, information technology and health will blur. Biotechnology, machine learning and the shared economy will create a framework for decentralizing the health continuum and shifting it from institutions to individuals. Key to this advance are advances in artificial intelligence and new supply chain delivery mechanisms that require real-time biological data that technical biology will provide as simple, low-cost diagnostic tests for individuals around the world. Corners of the world. As a result, morbidity, mortality, and costs in acute conditions such as infectious diseases will decrease because only the most severe cases require additional care. Less infected people will leave their homes, dramatically changing the epidemiology of diseases and reducing the burden on health systems. The cost and quality of care decrease accordingly, as cheap diagnoses transfer the cost of transmission and performance to the individual while increasing the profitability of care. The inseparable links between health, socioeconomic status and quality of life will gradually ease and the tensions that exist when health is equated with access to health facilities will dissolve. From day-to-day care to pandemics, these converging technologies will change economic and social factors to reduce the pressure on the global human condition.

Rahul Dhanda, co-founder and CEO of Sherlock Biosciences

10. The future of construction has already started

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The design becomes a synchronized sequence of manufacturing processes that enables control, change and large-scale production. It will be a safer, faster, and less expensive way to build houses, offices, factories, and other structures that we need to succeed in cities and beyond. Since the construction industry uses the Internet of Things, AI and image capture to create extensive data sets, to name just a few, this vision is already being brought to life. Using data to deeply understand industry processes improves the ability of professionals to trust their instincts in real-time decision-making, enabling learning and progress while gaining trust and acceptance.

Actionable data shines a light that we could not see before and enables executives to manage projects proactively and unreactively. With accurate planning and execution, construction professionals can control the environment, not the environment, and create repeatable processes that are easier to control, automate, and teach.

That is the future of building. And it has already started.

Meirav Oren, CEO and co-founder of Versatile

11. Gigaton-scale CO2 removal will help reverse climate change

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By expanding the technologies for negative emissions such as the removal of carbon dioxide, climate-relevant amounts of CO2 are removed from the air. This is necessary to limit global warming to 1.5 ° C. While humanity will do everything it can to stop emitting more carbon into the atmosphere, it will do everything it can to permanently remove historical CO2 from the air. If it becomes generally accessible, the demand for CO2 removal will increase and the costs will decrease. The CO2 removal is scaled to the gigaton level and becomes a responsible option to remove unavoidable emissions from the air. This enables the individual to have a direct and positive influence on the climate in relation to the CO2 content in the atmosphere. Ultimately, it will help prevent global warming from reaching a dangerous level and give humanity the potential to reverse climate change.

Jan Wurzbacher, co-founder and co-CEO of Climeworks

12. A new era in medicine

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Medicine has always tried to gain more knowledge and understanding of human biology in order to make better clinical decisions. AI is the new tool that enables us to extract more knowledge at an unprecedented level from all the medical “big data” that has never been fully used in the past. It will change the world of medicine and its practice.

Brandon Suh, CEO of Lunit

13. Close the wealth gap

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AI improvements will finally make access to wealth creation accessible to the masses. Financial advisors who are knowledge workers were the mainstay of wealth management: they used personalized strategies to turn a small nest into a larger one. Because knowledge workers are expensive, access to wealth management has often meant that you need to be rich to maintain and grow your wealth. As a result, wealth management has been inaccessible to those who need it most in the past. Artificial intelligence is improving at such a pace that the strategies used by these financial advisors are accessible through technology and therefore affordable for the masses. Just as you don’t need to know how near-field communication works to use ApplePay, millions of people don’t need to know modern wallet theory for their money to work for them.

Atish Davda, co-founder and CEO of Equityzen

14. A revolution of clean energy supported by digital twins

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The energy transition will reach a turning point in the next five years. The cost of newly built renewable energy will be less than the marginal cost of fossil fuels. A global innovation ecosystem will have created an environment in which problems can be addressed together and will enable innovations to be deployed quickly. As a result, the offshore wind capacity will increase amazingly. We will have achieved this through an unwavering commitment to digitalization that has reached a pace that complies with Moore’s law and reflects the innovation curve of solar energy. The rapid development of digital twins – virtual replicas of physical devices – will support a transformation of the energy sector at the system level. Scientific machine learning that combines physics-based models with big data leads to more efficient designs, lower operating costs and, ultimately, clean, affordable energy for everyone. Being able to monitor structural conditions in real time and repair things before they break down results in a safer and more resilient infrastructure, and everything from wind farms to bridges to unmanned aerial vehicles is protected by a real-time digital twin.

Thomas Laurent, CEO of Akselos

15. Understand the hidden microscopic secrets on surfaces

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All earth’s surfaces contain hidden information that is important to prevent pandemic crises now and in the future. The built environment in which people spend 90% of their lives is loaded with natural microbiomes consisting of bacterial, fungal and viral ecosystems. Technology that accelerates our ability to quickly capture, digitize, and interpret data from microbiomes will change our understanding of the spread of pathogens. Disclosure of this invisible layer of data on microbiomes identifies genetic signatures that can predict when and where individuals and groups kill pathogens, which surfaces and environments are at greatest risk of transmission, and how these risks affect our actions and changes over time. We are only scratching the surface of the microbial data supply and will see that this will accelerate in the next five years. These insights not only help us prevent and respond to pandemics, they also affect how we design, operate, and clean environments such as buildings, cars, subways, and planes, and how we support economic activities without compromising public health .

Jessica Green, co-founder and CEO of Phylagen

16. Machine learning and AI accelerate decarbonization in high-carbon industries

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Over the next five years, carbon-rich industries will use machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies to dramatically reduce their carbon footprint. Traditionally, industries such as manufacturing, oil and gas have been slow to implement decarbonization efforts, while struggling to maintain productivity and profitability. However, climate change, regulatory pressure and market volatility are forcing these industries to adjust. For example, oil and gas companies as well as industrial companies are feeling the pressure from regulators, who want to significantly reduce CO2 emissions in the coming years. Technology initiatives have been crucial to drive decarbonization efforts in sectors like transportation and construction, and heavy industry will take a similar approach. As a result of the increasing digital transformation, carbon-rich sectors can use advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning and use real-time high-fidelity data from billions of connected devices to efficiently and proactively reduce harmful emissions and reduce the carbon footprint.

David King, CEO of FogHorn Systems

17. Data protection is omnipresent – and prioritized

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Despite the fast-paced regulatory environment we’ve seen in recent years, we now see only the tip of the data protection iceberg, both from a regulatory and a consumer perspective. Within five years, data protection and data-centric security will be in the commodity category, and the ability of consumers to protect and control sensitive data is considered a rule rather than an exception. As awareness and understanding increase, so does the proliferation of privacy protection and enhancement features, namely privacy enhancement technologies (PETs). By 2025, PET will become mainstream as a technology category. They will be a fundamental element of corporate data protection and security strategies and not an integrated additional component that only meets a minimum compliance threshold. While the world will continue to lack a global data protection standard, companies will adopt a data-driven security approach that offers the flexibility to adapt to regional regulations and consumer expectations. These efforts are led by cross-functional teams that represent data, privacy, and security interests within an organization.

Ellison Anne Williams, founder and CEO of Enveil

How will technology change the world in the next five years?

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It is exciting to see how quickly and transformatively today’s innovative technologies are being used to solve the world’s most pressing problems, such as feeding a growing world population. Improving access to and quality of health care; and significantly reduce CO2 emissions to stop the negative effects of climate change. Over the next five years, entrepreneurs, the investment community, and research and development organizations from the world’s largest companies will focus on developing and delivering solutions that solve these problems with tangible results.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has learned a difficult lesson from how vulnerable our world is today to human and economic shocks, it may have required global cooperation, data transparency, and rapid, top-level government to get immediate, perhaps for the first time in history Minimize threats to human life. History will be our judge, but despite the heroic determination and resistance of each country, we have underperformed the world. As a global community and through platforms such as the World Economic Forum, we must continue to make these issues visible, while recognizing and supporting the opportunities for technology and innovation that can be best and fastest addressed.

Robert Piconi, CEO of Energy Vault