As the world continues to grapple with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that the next year and beyond will be marked by significant changes and uncertainties.
Ross Dawson, a renowned futurist, based in Bondi Beach, believes that the pace of change will likely accelerate rather than a slowdown in the coming year.
Dawson has earned a reputation as one of the world’s most influential futurists, having delivered keynotes in over 30 countries and written five bestselling books. He has a track record of accurately predicting trends and has been credited by the New York Times with predicting the rise of social networks.
In the face of the profound uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, Dawson has identified six exciting ideas that he believes will shape the future in 2023 and beyond.
These include the continued rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning, the growing importance of remote work and collaboration, the transformation of the retail industry through the use of technology such as augmented reality and virtual reality, the increasing role of technology in healthcare, the shift towards a low-carbon economy through the adoption of clean energy technologies, and the growth of personalised learning.
AI is your buddy
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace will continue to expand, with tools such as ChatGPT and Stable Diffusion becoming increasingly common. These AI technologies will help office workers generate ideas, write documents, analyze situations, and make decisions. Those working in other industries will also find ways to utilize AI in their work. As a result, those skilled in using AI will likely outperform their peers.
Education turned over
The education system is in need of transformation, and the adoption of AI-powered tools can help facilitate this change. These technologies can provide personalized coaching and assistance to students, going beyond what a teacher can offer to an entire class. At the same time, AI can generate homework assignments that are good enough to earn top grades, making it more difficult for teachers to assign traditional essays.
The gig economy is the future
The gig economy, which was previously limited to roles such as Uber drivers and Airtaskers, is expanding to include a wider range of jobs and industries. Many people with full-time employment are also working on their own “side hustles” in an effort to start their own businesses.
Some larger companies are even implementing internal work marketplaces to allow their employees to take on additional projects and roles on a flexible basis. As a result, the traditional concept of a full-time job may become less common.
Falling in love with robots
The increasing sophistication of AI, including the ability to recognize and respond to emotions, may lead to more people falling in love with robots. This trend is already evident in China, where the AI chatbot Xiaoice has gained 600 million users for its virtual girlfriend platform.
Sustainability and environmental concerns will continue to be a major focus, with individuals and organizations using apps and data tracking to monitor and reduce their carbon emissions and waste. The energy transition to clean, renewable sources such as solar power is also underway, with a significant portion of households in Australia already having installed solar energy systems.
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology, which has been slower to gain widespread adoption, is expected to see more widespread use in the coming year.
Apple is rumoured to be releasing a VR/AR headset in the first half of 2023, which could lead to the development of iGlasses with a similar impact to the iPhone.
In the meantime, glasses with connected technology that can display information, directions, and images are expected to be released in 2023. These glasses may eventually be adopted by most people who wear eyeglasses before the wider adoption of AR glasses.