At Gartner’s recent Digital Work Conference, vice president analyst Matt Cain shared several predictions about how tech trends of today will affect the way we live and work tomorrow.
Cain’s presentation, “2030: A Day in the Life,” illustrated what the world will be like when existing tech trends become more widely distributed and fully integrated into our daily lives. Cain’s predictions, while bold, were for the most part grounded in the familiar. As Cain put it, “There is no revolution here. This is all evolutionary from technology that exists in various forms today.”
Health and Wellness
Cain asked Digital Work Conference attendees to imagine an urban professional named Serena in the year 2030. He went on to describe the role technology would play in Serena’s work life and personal life.
For example, one area where Serena’s life majorly diverges from ours today is in health and wellness.
In Cain’s vision of 2030, Serena will begin her day by receiving biometrics from her smart mattress and smart wristband, which will tell her how she slept. That data is transferred to a personal blockchain that stores all her personal data.
Later in the day, Serena will receive a message from the city she lives in, asking for permission to access her personal data for a study they’re running. Upon receiving Serena’s permission, the city will uses APIs to access her health records in a distributed ledger.
Cain predicts that all of this will require a massive workforce, something which will transform both the public and private domains: “[In 2030,] data scientists make up a large portion of the municipal workforce. … A major industry has grown up around health history data maintenance, assessment, and guidance.”
Serena’s work life will also be different than ours today.
Cain predicts that AI-guided “digital sidekicks” will give employees assistance and focus, so much so that our jobs will be “unthinkable” without them. Using smart algorithms, tasks will be allocated to employees in such an efficient manner that most employees will end up working only 25 hours a week.
Work will be largely remote, with meetings often taking place in the metaverse. When commuting to the office is necessary, Serena will mostly use autonomous electric cars, which will allow her to work during the commute.
What about retail shopping? Cain doesn’t envision a world where brick-and-mortar stores have disappeared entirely. Instead, stores will take on a very different form.
Cain said that when Serena enters a store, biometric store sensors will identify her and look up her past transactions. Algorithms will determine her most likely purchase and make suggestions. For example, in her earbuds, she’ll be asked, “Curried chicken salad sandwich?” If she decides to order that, in-store robots will prepare her sandwich and the transaction will be settled in real time, using digital currency.
Cain doesn’t seem to share the fears many have that automation will spell a drastic reduction of the human workforce. For instance, there won’t be fewer convenience store employees in the future; it’s just that their roles will have changed. Convenience store employees will mostly be “data scientists, IoT specialists, robot programmers, and microservice integrators,” he said.
Just like the tech we use today, the jobs of 2030 won’t be radically different from jobs people currently have. The high-tech roles of today will just be more common and widely distributed and will play a more integral role in day-to-day lives.
Do you have predictions about how current tech trends will evolve? Share them in the comments below!