Impact of New Technologies by 2030

According to the 2012 report, Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds, published by the US National Intelligence Council, four technological arenas will shape global economic, social and military developments by 2030. These are information technology, automation and manufacturing technologies, resource and health technologies. technologies.

Information technology

Three IT-centric technological developments have the power to change the way we live, do business and protect us before 2030.

1. Solutions for storing and processing large amounts of data, including “big data”, will provide more opportunities for governments and business organizations to “know” their customers better. The technology is there, but customers can object to the collection of so much data. Either way, these solutions probably herald an upcoming economic boom in North America.

2. Social networking technologies help individual users form online social networks with other users. They are now part of the fabric of online existence, as major services integrate social functions into everything an individual could do online. Social networks allow useful and dangerous communications between diverse user groups and geopolitical boundaries.

3. Smart cities are urban environments that harness information technology-based solutions to maximize economic productivity and citizens’ quality of life while minimizing resource consumption and environmental degradation.

Automation and manufacturing technologies

As manufacturing has gone global over the past two decades, a global ecosystem of manufacturers, suppliers and logistics companies has formed. New manufacturing and automation technologies have the potential to change the way people work in developed and developing countries.

1. Robotics are used today in a range of civil and military applications. More than 1.2 million industrial robots are already in daily use around the world and applications for non-industrial robots are growing. The US military has thousands of robots on the battlefield, domestic robots vacuum houses and cut lawns, and hospital robots patrol hallways and distribute supplies. Their use will increase in the years to come, and with improved cognitive abilities, robotics could significantly disrupt the current global supply chain system and traditional job assignments along supply chains.

2. 3D printing technologies (additive manufacturing) allow a machine to build an object by adding one layer of material at a time. 3D printing is already being used to make models from plastics in industries such as consumer products and the automotive and aerospace industries. By 2030, 3D printing could replace some of the conventional mass production, especially for small series or where mass customization has a high value.

3. Autonomous vehicles are mainly used today in the military and for specific tasks, for example in the mining industry. By 2030, autonomous vehicles could transform military operations, conflict resolution, transportation and geo-prospecting, while simultaneously presenting new security risks that may be difficult to manage. At the consumer level, Google has been testing a driverless auto.

Resource technologies

Technological advancements will be needed to meet the growing demand for resources due to global population growth and economic advancements in today’s underdeveloped countries. These advances can affect the link between food, water and energy by improving agricultural productivity through a wide range of technologies, including precision agriculture and genetically modified crops for food and fuel. New resource technologies can also improve water management through desalination and irrigation efficiency; and increasing energy availability through improved oil and gas extraction and alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power and biofuels. Widespread communication technologies will make known the potential effect of these technologies on the environment, climate and health to increasingly educated populations.

Health technologies

Two sets of health technologies are highlighted below.

1. Disease management will become more efficient, more personalized and less costly with new enabling technologies such as diagnostic and pathogen detection devices. For example, molecular diagnostic devices will provide rapid means of screening for genetic and pathogenic diseases during surgeries. Easily available genetic tests will speed up the diagnosis of the disease and help doctors decide the optimal treatment for each patient. Advances in regenerative medicine will almost certainly parallel these developments in diagnostic and treatment protocols. Replacement organs such as kidneys and liver could be developed by 2030. These new disease management technologies will increase the longevity and quality of life of aging populations around the world.

2. Human augmentation technologies, ranging from prosthetic and motorized implants and exoskeletons to brain enhancements, could enable civilians and military personnel to work more efficiently and in previously inaccessible environments. Seniors can benefit from motorized exoskeletons that assist wearers with simple walking and lifting activities, improving the health and quality of life of aging populations. Advances in human augmentation technologies are likely to face moral and ethical challenges.


The US National Intelligence Council report states that “ a shift in the technological center of gravity from West to East, which has already started, will almost certainly continue as the flow of companies, ideas, entrepreneurs and capital from developed to developing countries. markets are increasing. ”I’m not convinced that this shift will“ almost certainly happen. ”While the East, especially Asia, is likely to see the majority of technology applications, current innovations are mostly taking place in the West. I don’t think it’s a safe bet that the center of gravity of technological innovation will shift east.

Source by Barbara Meynert

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