The Data Transformers - Life and Times in 2050
According to industry research, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. By 2050, the amount will be mindboggling. The potential is not just for a better lifestyle but a massive opportunity to affect positive change in human society.
Imagine you wake up in the morning to the dulcet tones of your personal Jarvis (AI); hop in to the auto stylist for perfect grooming then breakfast in a connected kitchen that auto creates recipes basis your calorie requirement. Meanwhile, your Jarvis studiously informs you about your work schedule. Afterwards, either jump in to the teleportation pod and Hyperloop away to office or enter the virtual workplace from within your smart home.
Seems sci-fi right? This is actually what the future could be like.
From 1984 – 2017
Technology has come a long way since the mass adoption of World Wide Web in the 1980’s. If we map the pace of progress, the telephone took 75 years to reach 100 million users, the mobile took 16, while Facebook and WhatsApp took 4.5 and 3.5 years respectively. Pokémon Go took just a month. At this pace, such a future will be a definite reality in 2050, with what seems like technological utopia today becoming commonplace by then (or earlier). The near commoditization of these technologies has already begun as the adoption of virtual reality, machine learning, automation, artificial intelligence and robotics - though still nascent – grows rapidly.
Interesting times indeed.
What’s likely to be common to 2017 and 2050? The sheer amount of data generated, which when analyzed and managed, achieves a seamless decision making we see in pockets today and is envisioned above. According to industry research, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. By 2050, the amount will be mindboggling. The potential is not just for a better lifestyle but a massive opportunity to affect positive change in human society.
Future of Data: 2050
The 2011 thriller, In Time, imagines a future where ‘Time’ is the universal currency. Replace time with data and we have the future 33 years from now. As today’s visionaries constantly declare, data is the new currency for digital transformation today. What if this becomes the collective truth in 2050?
I visualize a global data bank which collects the digital footprint of every person in the world. An undivided world where data can be cashed in, transferred from a person to another – transparent, seamless and in real time.
Empowering the common man – From birth to death, data is something you will never run out of. So, as a currency it can be utilized to preempt an individual’s education, knowledge, work requirements and expertise. As robots and virtual assistants take care of necessary work (translate: everyday drudgery), we will have a wholly informed individual who understands (with the right data analytics) his place in family, industry, country and the world. Each will work according to their skills, so that no one feels left out or obsolete.
On top of this, machine to machine and machine to human interactions will become par for course by 2050; aided by a strong data led backbone where every action will be recorded, analyzed and utilized to make life seamless and transparent. This would drastically reduce human errors/chaos. The world would become infinitely smarter.
The Digital Nation - when every citizen is mapped better than Google Maps, we will have a data-led governance that starts at the citizen level, goes to state level and comes together at the national level. With data as the currency, Government’s will be able to use every bite of citizen data to make informed decisions for critical areas of urban living, education, healthcare, agriculture and climate change, impacting every citizen down to the last man in the queue. Since data will be the trusted, centralized currency based on individual permissions, issues of privacy and security will be managed on every level.
Replacing capitalism with ‘Datalism’ – Resources will be optimized to bear the burden of the entire human race. We are talking about a world with over 10 billion people, with 6 billion internet users and 1 billion social media observations daily. Computers will outnumber people 10:1, being 250,000 times faster than today.  Add in deforestation, depleting fossil fuels, reducing agriculture and increasing urban tech led lifestyle, we predict a completely new way of doing business. The focus would not just be on profit. We will have a data led, responsible business model, since the effect of each action would be felt in real time.
Not to mention new areas of doing businesses. Space will be an actual area of interest for the enterprises of the future – from moon hotels to Mars real estate, space economy will be the new frontier.
Data Fabric of a unified world - The world that we have envisioned would need a robust infrastructure background. The data centers of today will convert into data banks in future (with the global data bank at the center), with measured approaches to manage life critical, business critical, real time, and mobile data. Backed up with investment, coherent strategies, and top-notch human and machine talent.
In a true utopia, where it’s possible to overlook class, caste, race and cultural differences, this can create global knowledge sharing economies, making all nations equal.
So, as we stand at the dawn of the Data age and discuss dream downloads, human-robot marriages, 3D printed human skin and active VR contact lenses, one thing is clear, the future 33 years from now is something to look forward to.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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