Nobody is aware that the decade we left behind has been rather gray, with important setbacks in fundamental issues such as caring for the environment, inequality or international cooperation. But the new decade that is now beginning, we are going to reinvent it, we have to correct the previous errors, gaining momentum thanks to technology, which, although by itself does not improve the world, can be a powerful part of the solution due to its ability to convert actually, magically, what was once just a dream in our imagination. These are the main challenges that await us and that we will have to face.
- Health and Big Data. The intelligent use of data will transform the world of health. Heartbeat, respiration, the amount of oxygen in the blood, temperature or blood pressure are data that our body generates and that we can monitor and count, and that, treated with the appropriate algorithms, will provide us with innovative solutions in terms of telemedicine, continuous care, quality of life and greater efficiency of the health system.
- Environment. In a system built on the concept of throwaway, in an environment that pushes us to discard an object and buy a new one without even waiting for it to break, the generation of waste has become an increasingly difficult problem to manage. . However, access to technology should never mean a deterioration of the environment. Fighting against planned obsolescence, betting on eco-design, extending the useful life of devices, or building more modern and advanced waste treatment plants are trends that are going in the right direction and that we will have to consolidate. The digital future will be one of sustainable technology, or there will simply be no future.
- Education. The digital age has revolutionized the way we communicate, interact, search for information, and get answers. We now use the Internet massively, and students need the ability to navigate instant online streams of information, differentiating between fact and fiction, between what is true and false. With infinite information at the click of a button, it is no longer so necessary to turn our brain into an encyclopedia of data, now the most important thing is to develop reading comprehension and critical thinking, as well as the ability to analyze, synthesize and solve problems. without forgetting two key foundations that are teamwork and creativity.
- Industry 4.0 and new jobs. The digitization and automation of the production system will destroy many traditional companies, and many of the routine jobs that require low-medium level skills. Many experts predict that millions of new jobs will be created, as specialists in Big Data or Artificial Intelligence, but it will be essential that as a society we know how to efficiently manage the recycling of the many people, non-digital natives, who run the risk of being isolated in the new job market. Changes are taking place at breakneck speed, the number of robots installed will increase from 2.25 million in 2020 to 20 million in 2030, therefore we must react as soon as possible.
- G. This new generation of data transfer will be the basis and will be essential to make the deployment of new technologies a reality. The move from 4G to 5G will be a boost for devices connected to the internet (IoT) in terms of Speed, which will be 100 times faster; Capacity, 100 times greater, with the possibility of connecting a million people or devices in one square kilometer; and Latency, with instantaneous response times, less than 1 millisecond.
- Smart Cities. By 2030, it is estimated that the number of people living in cities will reach 5,000 million, 60% of the total, and it will continue to increase because there is no doubt that the future is urban. But this concentration of the population presents us with great and varied challenges; such as the new intelligent buildings and low energy consumption, the Robo-taxis, the messenger drones, the urban furniture connected to the network and the eco-towers for the generation of food.
- Connected and autonomous vehicles. Drivers will be freed from the task of directing the vehicle, the interior space will radically change and will be transformed, according to our taste or need, into a place to rest, work or surf the Internet; because essentially the car will cease to be just a car, and will become a shared living space, which also transports us.
- Social networks and cybersecurity. People spend on average more than seven hours per week on their social feeds, mainly Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, choosing, displaying content and sharing information that can sometimes be used maliciously. The digital world has many benefits for society, but it also entails significant risks, and being aware of this and educating the population in the rational and safe use of networks will be one of the major challenges in the new decade.
- Neurotechnology. Understood as the intersection of technology, medicine and psychology, it will allow us to understand our brain more and more, and develop skills such as controlling a computer with our mind, or designing devices that can read our thoughts. There will be great strides to prevent neurodegenerative diseases or treat motor diseases, but it will also pose an ethical challenge.
- Artificial intelligence. The ability for machines to think and learn on their own may be the most important advance of this decade. This incredible technology will grow at an exponential rate and it is difficult to set limits to what we can achieve, but its abusive and uncontrolled use also carries certain risks. More and more technologists, scientists and philosophers affirm that we should be extremely careful, and anticipate a strategy to face a future in which artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence, with the aim of maintaining control and not doing it. an inappropriate use of AI to develop weapons against humanity.
But undoubtedly the biggest challenge will be to prepare everyone so that no one is left off the hook of this technological train. It is perhaps our elders who are suffering the most from the digital divide, which is progressively disconnecting them from this new world. It is in our power to develop, in parallel to the great disruptive innovations, also simple, inclusive and accessible technology; because the excitement of learning takes away old age,… and brings us closer to youth.