In a recent interview for Linkedin, Udo Gollub, 17 Minute Languages CEO, astonished the public making some clear and certain predictions about what the next 20 years will bring. He also pointed out that their competitors are no longer other car companies but giants such as Tesla, Google, Apple, Amazon. The world is going to change in such a drastic manner, Zetsche argues, that the next 20 years will erase about 80% of current jobs.
- Software will manage to disrupt most traditional industries within the next decade – Uber is a software tool, that does not own any cars and that is now the biggest taxi company in the world. Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, without owning any property.
- IBM Watson now offers legal advice for everybody within seconds, with a remarkable 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. Young lawyers in the US remain unemployed. Specialists in the field will stick around, but the world will have 90% less lawyers.
- Artificial Intelligence Computers illustrate remarkable abilities of understanding the world. Watson manages to diagnose cancer 4 times more accurately than humans. Facebook owns a pattern-recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. By 2030, Zetsche argues, computers are expected to be more intelligent than humans.
- 2018 will bring the first autonomous vehicles for the public. Around 2020, you will not want to own a car anymore. People will be able to call a car, have it arrive right away and drive them to their destination, eliminating parking needs and spaces as well. Our kids will never get a driver’s license and will never get to own a car.
- Electric cars will become mainstream in the next 5 years. Electricity will become insanely cheap and remarkably clean, with solar production soon to follow. Cities will change entirely, as former parking spaces can be transformed into parks. Autonomous driving will reduce road accidents to one accident in 6 million miles (10 million km). This will save a million lives each year. Insurances will therefore become a hundred times cheaper.
- Most traditional car companies will probably become bankrupt, while tech companies such as Tesla, Apple or Google will go for the entirely revolutionary approach and will conquer the market. Real estate will change, as the possibility of working while commuting will allow people to move farther away, in order to live in more beautiful, distant neighborhoods.
- With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. Desalination of salt water is now much cheaper and the possibilities of everybody having the necessary clean water at virtually no cost are real.
- Health innovations are also underway. Companies are designing a device, a “Tricorder”, which works with your phone in order to take your retina scan or your blood sample. It could also analyze biomarkers, in order to identify nearly any disease. The low price will provide everybody all over the world with quality medical analysis.
- The cheapest 3D printer not only came down from $18,000 to $400 within 10 years, but its speed increased remarkably. Major shoe companies have already started 3D printing their shoes, while small airplane parts are also being printed in remote airports. 2018 will bring new 3D scanning possibilities for smart phones as well. China has already 3D printed and built a complete 6-storey office building. In the next decade, about 10% of our overall production will be 3D printed.
- New business opportunities will arise everywhere, with respect to what we will have in the future. Bitcoin might become the default reserve currency, while farmers in 3rd world countries could manage their fields using agricultural robots. By 2020, mobile phone apps will be able to tell by your facial expressions, if you are lying. Imagine political debates then…
- The average life span is currently increasing by 3 months per year. The exponential increase will enable us to exceed 100 years life spans in the future. Access to technology and education will also be enhanced. People in Asia and Africa can already buy smart phones for $10 and about 70% of the globe will own smart phones in the next decade. Services such as Khan Academy, enabling children to improve their learning, have expanded incredibly, as releases of software in different languages are projected for the near future. The release of the English version for free is also believed to help children become fluent in English in a short time.
It is not only businesses and industries that are being changed and that are sure to change in the next 20 years, but it is the entire social realm, with its traditional patterns. Improvements are to appear in numerous fields, making life better – opportunities related to health, technology, education, transport, energy and the very structure of our world.
Will even our infrastructure be digitally projected using a software and then 3D printed into existence in the next decades?