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Dell: How tech will shape the future of our lives

By Ben Moore
Mon 23 Sep 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Dell Technologies has released The Future of Connected Living - new research exploring how emerging technologies will transform how we live by the year 2030. 

The research, conducted in partnership with Institute for the Future (IFTF) and Vanson Bourne, surveyed 4600 business leaders across 40+ countries. 

The findings detail a future brimming with opportunity as advancing technologies hold the potential to drive human progress across the world.

Emerging technology driving major shifts

IFTF and forum of global experts forecast that technologies such as edge computing, 5G, AI, Extended Reality (XR) and IoT will combine to create five major “shifts” in the coming decade. These shifts will have the power to change lives across the globe.

IFTF forecasts the following shifts between now and 2030:

  1. Networked Reality – Over the next decade cyberspace will become an overlay on top of our existing reality as our digital environment extends beyond televisions, smartphones and other displays.
     
  2. Connected Mobility and Networked Matter – The vehicles of tomorrow will essentially be mobile computers. We will trust them to take us where we need to go in the physical world as we interact in the virtual spaces available to us wherever we are.
     
  3. From Digital Cities to Sentient Cities – Cities will quite literally come to life through their own networked infrastructure of smart objects, self-reporting systems and AI-powered analytics.
     
  4. Agents and Algorithms – We will each be supported by a highly personalised “operating system for living” that is able to anticipate our needs and proactively support our day-to-day activities to free up time.
     
  5. Robots with Social Lives – Robots will become our partners in life, enhancing our skills and extending our abilities. Robots will share newfound knowledge to their social robot network to crowdsource innovations and accelerate progress, in real-time.

Anticipating change

Many businesses are already preparing for these shifts. For example, the survey of Australian and New Zealand businesses found that:

  • 75% of Australian and 76% of New Zealand business leaders expect they will restructure the way they spend their time by automating more tasks.
     
  • More than half of businesses surveyed indicated that they anticipate Networked Reality to becoming commonplace
     
  • 61% of Australian and 51% of New Zealand business leaders say they would welcome day-to-day immersion in virtual and augmented realities
     
  • 47% of Australian and 44% of New Zealand business leaders say they would welcome people being fitted with technology that controls computers with their mind (brain-computer interfaces), compared to 64% globally.

Navigating challenges

These major technology-led shifts may challenge people and organisations that are grappling with change, according to the research. Organisations that wish to harness the power of the new emerging technologies will need to take steps to effectively collect, process and deploy data to keep pace with rate of rapid innovation.

Additionally, concerns around the fairness of algorithms that do everything from decide how companies hire to who is eligible for loans must be addressed, as will growing concerns from the public about data privacy. Governments will need to learn how to work together to share and deploy their data if cities are to go from digital to sentient.

Australian and New Zealand business leaders are already anticipating some of these challenges:

  • 71% of Australian and 74% of New Zealand business leaders  surveyed say they consider data privacy to be a top societal-scale challenge that must be solved
     
  • 51% of Australian and 45% of New Zealand business leaders call for AI regulation and clarity on how it’s used

To execute the research, IFTF relied on its decades-long study on the future of work and technology, the latest Dell Technologies research, and experts from across the globe. The Future of Connected Living is the third and final part in a three-part research series that includes The Future of the Economy and The Future of Work, both of which were released earlier in 2019.

Dell Technologies has partnered with the independent futures research group, Institute for the Future (IFTF), to explore how emerging technologies will reshape our lives over the next decade.

The research builds on the organisations' collaboration in 2017 when IFTF distilled informed opinions from 20 experts from around the world and forecast the ‘next era of human-machine partnerships.’ A year later IFTF is forecasting how a new dynamic between human and machine will transform our lives in 2030. 

To execute this, IFTF relied on its decades-long study on the future of technology and its impact on humanity, alongside in-depth interviews with relevant stakeholders from across the globe.

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