Over the next decade, waves of exponential technological advancements are stacking atop one another, eclipsing decades of breakthroughs in scale and impact.
Emerging from these waves are 20 “Metatrends” which include augmented human longevity, the surging smart economy, AI-human collaboration, urbanized cellular agriculture and high-bandwidth brain-computer interfaces… just to name a few.
This is where master entrepreneurs and their teams must see beyond the immediate implications of a given technology, and capture second-order, Google-sized business opportunities on the horizon.
metatrends for the 2020s
(1) Continued increase in global abundance: The number of individuals in extreme poverty continues to drop… Everyday goods and services are being digitized and becoming fully demonetized, available to the rising billion on mobile devices.
(2) Global gigabit connectivity will connect everyone and everything, everywhere, at ultra-low cost: ubiquitous, low-cost communications for everyone, everywhere–– not to mention the connection of trillions of devices.
This Metatrend is driven by the convergence of: low-cost space launches, hardware advancements, 5G networks, artificial intelligence, materials science, and surging computing power.
(3) The average human healthspan will increase by 10+ years: stem cell supply restoration, wnt pathway manipulation, Senolytic Medicines, a new generation of Endo-Vaccines, GDF-11, supplementation of NMD/NAD+, etc.
This Metatrend is driven by the convergence of: genome sequencing, CRISPR technologies, AI, quantum computing, and cellular medicine.
(4) An age of capital abundance will see increasing access to capital everywhere: Capital abundance leads to the funding and testing of ‘crazy’ entrepreneurial ideas, which in turn accelerate innovation.
This Metatrend is driven by the convergence of: global connectivity, dematerialization, demonetization, and democratization.
(5) Augmented Reality and the Spatial Web will achieve ubiquitous deployment: The combination of Augmented Reality (yielding Web 3.0, or the Spatial Web) and 5G networks will transform how we live our everyday lives…
This Metatrend will be driven by the convergence of: hardware advancements, 5G networks, artificial intelligence, materials science, and surging computing power.
(6) Everything is smart, embedded with intelligence: The price of specialized machine learning chips is dropping rapidly with a rise in global demand. Combined with the explosion of low-cost microscopic sensors and the deployment of high-bandwidth networks, we’re heading into a decade wherein every device becomes intelligent. Appliances respond to voice commands and anticipate your needs.
(7) AI will achieve human-level intelligence: Through the 2020s, AI algorithms and machine learning tools will be increasingly made open source, available on the cloud, allowing … to supplement cognitive ability, augment problem-solving capacity, and build new ventures…
This Metatrend will be driven by the convergence of: global high-bandwidth connectivity, neural networks, and cloud computing.
(8) AI-Human Collaboration will skyrocket across all professions: The rise of “AI as a Service” (AIaaS) platforms will enable humans to partner with AI in every aspect of their work, at every level, in every industry. …supporting creative tasks, generating new ideas, and tackling previously unattainable innovations.
(9) Most individuals adapt a JARVIS-like “software shell” to improve their quality of life: …services will eventually travel beyond the home and become your cognitive prosthetic 24/7.
…AI-enabled software shells will learn your preferences, anticipate your needs and behavior, shop for you, monitor your health, and help you problem-solve in support of your mid- and long-term goals.
(10) Globally abundant, cheap renewable energy: Continued advancements in solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, nuclear and localized grids will drive humanity towards cheap, abundant, and ubiquitous renewable energy.
…as the world’s poorest countries are also the world’s sunniest, the democratization of both new and traditional storage technologies will grant energy abundance to those already bathed in sunlight.
(11) The insurance industry transforms from “recovery after risk” to “prevention of risk:” Today, fire insurance pays you after your house burns down…a new generation of insurance providers will leverage the convergence of machine learning, ubiquitous sensors, low-cost genome sequencing and robotics to detect risk, prevent disaster, and guarantee safety before any costs are incurred.
(12) Autonomous vehicles and flying cars will redefine human travel (soon to be far faster and cheaper): Fully autonomous vehicles, car-as-a-service fleets… The cost of transportation will plummet 3-4X, transforming real estate, finance, insurance, the materials economy, and urban planning. Your kids and elderly parents will never drive.
This Metatrend will be driven by the convergence of: machine learning, sensors, materials science, battery storage improvements, and ubiquitous gigabit connections.
(13) On-demand production and on-demand delivery will birth an “instant economy of things:” …Further riding the deployment of regional on-demand digital manufacturing (3D printing farms), individualized products can be obtained within hours, anywhere, anytime.
This Metatrend is driven by the convergence of: networks, 3D printing, robotics, and artificial intelligence.
(14) Ability to sense and know anything, anytime, anywhere: the Internet of Everything… Global imaging satellites, drones, autonomous car LIDARs, augmented reality (AR) …are all part of a global sensor matrix, together allowing us to know anything, anytime, anywhere.
This Metatrend is driven by the convergence of: terrestrial, atmospheric and space-based sensors, vast data networks, and machine learning.
(15) Disruption of advertising: we will begin to both trust and rely upon our AIs to make most of our buying decisions… As a result, the advertising industry will have a hard time influencing your AI.
This Metatrend is driven by the convergence of: machine learning, sensors, augmented reality, and 5G/networks.
(16) Cellular agriculture moves from the lab into inner cities, providing high-quality protein that is cheaper and healthier: This next decade will witness the birth of the most ethical, nutritious, and environmentally sustainable protein production system devised by humankind.
This Metatrend is enabled by the convergence of: biotechnology, materials science, machine learning, and AgTech.
(17) High-bandwidth Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) will come online for public use: Technologist and futurist Ray Kurzweil has predicted that in the mid-2030s, we will begin connecting the human neocortex to the cloud …beyond assisting those with motor function loss, supplementing baseline cognitive abilities…
This Metatrend is fueled by the convergence of: materials science, machine learning, and robotics.
(18) High-resolution VR will transform both retail and real estate shopping: …Need a new outfit? Your AI knows your detailed body measurements and can whip up a fashion show featuring your avatar wearing the latest 20 designs on a runway. Want to see how your furniture might look inside a house you’re viewing online?
This Metatrend is enabled by the convergence of: VR, machine learning, and high-bandwidth networks.
(19) Increased focus on sustainability and the environment:Breakthroughs in materials science, enabled by AI, will allow companies to drive tremendous reductions in waste and environmental contamination.
This Metatrend is enabled by the convergence of: materials science, artificial intelligence, and broadband networks.
(20) CRISPR and gene therapies will minimize disease: …gene-editing technologies continue to advance in precision and ease of use, allowing families to treat and ultimately cure hundreds of inheritable genetic diseases.
This Metatrend is driven by the convergence of: various biotechnologies (CRISPR, Gene Therapy), genome sequencing, and artificial intelligence.
biotechnologies (CRISPR, Gene Therapy) • genome sequencing • surging computing power
artificial intelligence • machine learning • neural networks • materials science • VR
specialized machine learning chips • high-bandwidth networks • low-cost space launches
3D printing • ubiquitous sensors • augmented reality • renewable energy
global high-bandwidth connectivity • battery storage improvements • cloud computing
AI as a Service • quantum computing • cellular medicine • hardware advancements
AgTech • low-cost microscopic sensors • goods and services being digitized, demonetized