Tech Tent: The world in 2031

Asia's Tech News Daily

Tech Tent: The world in 2031
© Getty Images

Will robots take over most tasks from manual workers over the next decade? Will we find innovative new energy sources to help us battle climate change? And will we really all be living in virtual worlds?

This week Tech Tent gets out its crystal ball and asks some big thinkers to work out what the world will look like a decade from now.

Tech Tent: The world in 2031
© BBC

  • Listen to the latest Tech Tent podcast on BBC Sounds

The Metaverse

If Mark Zuckerberg is to be believed, by 2031 we will all be living and working in the metaverse, a series of virtual worlds which will become the most important new technology platform since the arrival of the web.

He’s so convinced this is the future that this week Facebook announced it was going to create 10,000 new jobs in the EU dedicated to building the metaverse.

Tech Tent: The world in 2031
© Reuters

Emma Ridderstad, whose company Warpin is developing virtual reality software for training, is a believer in the metaverse.

“You will be able to do your shopping, you will be able to meet your friends, you will be able to work remotely with whomever you want, you will be able to share digital spaces, share music, share art,” she explains.

“You will also be able to integrate the digital objects in your physical world, making the world much more digital than it is today.”

  • Apparently, it’s the next big thing. What is the metaverse?
  • Zuckerberg wants Facebook to become online ‘metaverse’

You might, for instance, be able to attend a football match when you couldn’t make it to the ground – with your digital avatar sitting in your usual seat, dissecting the game with your neighbour’s virtual self.

But Dr Nicola Millard, principal innovation partner at the telecoms firm BT, strikes a note of caution.

She says the metaverse will have to convince users that it is worth spending time in cumbersome headsets or other gear – and that it can actually be useful.

“Does it help me connect? Does it help me collaborate? Does it help me to be entertained or educated?” she asks.

Dr Millard also warns that finding your way around this new landscape could prove tricky, especially if there are multiple multiverses run by different companies.

And if it does prove as powerful a platform as Mark Zuckerberg suggests, then do we really want it to be run by him, given the mounting concerns about the impact of Facebook on everything from democracy to the mental health of teenagers?

Emma Ridderstad says she hopes Facebook doesn’t end up ruling the metaverse and is confident that a range of companies, from gaming platforms to virtual reality businesses like hers, will be building this new world.

The future of energy

With COP26, the UN climate summit, soon to get under way, the world is focusing on decarbonising the economy – and that’s going to require plenty of innovation in the energy sector.

Dr James Dixon, author of a report by the Institution of Engineering and Technology called Energy Technologies for Net Zero, says one priority will be making homes more energy-efficient.

“How are we going to supply heating to buildings? It’s likely that a good chunk, between half and three-quarters of this, will be done by electric heat pumps, basically an air conditioner working in reverse,” he says.

The UK government has just announced incentives to householders to replace gas boilers with heat pumps, though environmental campaigners have said far too little will be spent on the scheme.

  • How much do heat pumps cost and how do they work?
  • Is UK green plan enough to halt climate change?

But Dr Dixon says a different clean fuel will play a key role.

“Every pathway to net zero between now and 2050 demands an enormous increase in the amount of hydrogen production we need,” he says – so scaling up hydrogen production is a must.

He says ridding industry of all use of fossil fuels won’t be feasible in the short-term, so there will also need to be plenty of innovation in carbon capture and storage.

As for transport, “virtually all of the pathways to net zero rely on a near 100% fleet of zero-emissions cars, probably electric vehicles.”

So extraordinary levels of innovation, and a willingness by consumers to adopt new products such as heat pumps and electric cars, will be needed in the battle against climate change.

Where next for AI?

The last decade has seen great advances in artificial intelligence, with computers learning to drive cars, provide instant translation from one language to another, and defeat the best human players of the complex Chinese game of Go.

Azeem Azhar, whose new book Exponential describes the way AI and other technologies are transforming the economy and society at breakneck speed, tells us there is more to come.

But he says the one thing we have learned is that automation does not inevitably lead to the destruction of jobs, pointing to what has happened during the pandemic.

  • AI cannot be an inventor, appeals court rules
  • Tech Tent: Can AI write a play?

“The more AI you had, the more employees you brought on board, whether you were a grocery delivery business, or an online bookstore. The ones with more AI hired more people because they became more competitive.”

He thinks that pattern will hold over the next decade.

He also sees AI reaching into our lives in all sorts of ways we may not notice – helping banks make better decisions about loans, or speeding up the search for the new materials we will need in a carbon-free world.

But it is in healthcare that AI promises to have the greatest impact. Azeem Azhar points to the speed with which Covid-19 vaccines were developed.

“We were able to identify vaccine candidates that would be effective against the virus really, really quickly – in a matter of weeks – because companies like Moderna had invested quite heavily in AI-based platforms for discovering such candidates.”

AI promises great improvements in our daily lives, but it also has the potential to cause great harm.

Biases in algorithms could see computers denying jobs or insurance cover to minorities, and there are already warnings that putting facial recognition into military drones could create autonomous killing machines.

Tech Tent will continue to monitor the positive and negative impacts of technology – perhaps we will report back from the metaverse in 2031 on how accurate our experts’ predictions have been.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Miss Universe hopeful tests positive for Covid-19 in Israel

© Provided by Khaleej Times Miss Universe contestants arrive at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport. – AFP Organisers of the Miss Universe pageant said Monday that a contestant tested positive for ... Read more »

Covid Omicron variant: Saudi Arabia suspends flights, entry of travellers from 7 more countries

© Provided by Khaleej Times Reuters file Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior has announced the suspension of flights from seven more countries. In a statement issued on Sunday, a ministry ... Read more »

Newage Learning, infoShare Academy to launch software coding education programmes in GCC

© Motivate Publishing Sheikha Newage Learning and infoShare Academy have announced that they have entered into a strategic partnership, to create a software coding and cybersecurity learning centre. The partnership ... Read more »

Johor to lobby Putrajaya for Land VTL to Singapore at Second Link Crossing as well

© Provided by Malay Mail A bus ferrying the first 46 passengers from Singapore arrives at the Larkin Sentral Bus Terminal in Johor Baru November 29, 2021. — Picture by ... Read more »

Dubai: DHA to administer Pfizer-BioNTech boosters for residents aged 18 and above

© Motivate Publishing Dubai Vaccine Covid-19 booster The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) said on Sunday that it had begun administering booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to those aged ... Read more »

Goldman Sachs introduces new employee benefits - source

© Reuters/ANDREW KELLY People walk in the Goldman Sachs global headquarters in Manhattan, New York (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc on Monday introduced a slew of benefits for its ... Read more »

Queen Rania says she always leaves the UAE with the ‘fondest memories'

© Motivate Publishing queen rania uae Their Majesties King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan were welcomed by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the ... Read more »

The Halo games that weren't

© Illustration by Ollie Hoff for Polygon Ever since Halo debuted at Macworld in 1999, the franchise has been a staple of the game industry. Master Chief has become an ... Read more »

Iran says 'firmly determined' to salvage nuclear deal

© Provided by Khaleej Times AFP Iran is firmly determined to reach an agreement with major powers on salvaging its 2015 nuclear deal at talks that resume Monday in Vienna, ... Read more »

Jump Force Is On Sale For $6 Before It Goes Offline In August 2022

© Screenshot: Bandai Namco Luffy, Goku, and Naruto, the stars of Shonen Jump’s three biggest series, stand side by side in front of a green sky–ready to fight. Jump Force, ... Read more »

The NIOSH-Approved N95 Mask Deemed 'One of the Best' on Amazon Is 76% Off for Cyber Monday

© Getty Images The sale drops the price to just 70 cents per mask. © Provided by Health Getty Images Whether you’re flying home for the holidays or simply keeping ... Read more »

Football: PSG's Lionel Messi wins men's Ballon d'Or for seventh time

© Benoit Tessier, Reuters Lionel Messi won the men’s Ballon d’Or award for a record-extending seventh time at a ceremony in Paris on Monday. Messi, now 34, won the last ... Read more »

Global coalition seizes 145.3 tonnes of cocaine - Colombia's navy

© Reuters/COLOMBIAN NAVY FILE PHOTO: Cocaine packages are seen after the seizure of a semi submersible sea vessel loaded with cocaine hydrochloride in Tumaco BOGOTA (Reuters) – Military and police ... Read more »

Covid-19: Omicron poses 'very high' global risk, countries must prepare, says WHO

© Provided by Khaleej Times The Omicron variant is likely to spread internationally, posing a “very high” global risk where Covid-19 surges could have “severe consequences” in some areas, the ... Read more »

The best Cyber Monday deals at GameStop

You can save big on Halo: The Master Chief Collection, gaming headsets, and accessories at GameStop. GameStop’s launched its Cyber Monday sales, featuring huge savings on digital and physical copies ... Read more »

Omicron variant not a 'cause for panic', Biden says

© Oliver Contreras President Joe Biden cautioned Americans against panicking over a new variant of the coronavirus recently identified in South Africa. Bloomberg Live updates: follow the latest news on ... Read more »

EU shame as greenhouses gases rise by nearly fifth despite COP pledges

Figures published on Monday by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, show the bloc’s emissions have risen by 18 percent in the spring, compared to last year’s estimates. ... Read more »

Omicron: New Covid variant shuts borders across globe

© Provided by Khaleej Times People line up to get on an overseas flight at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on Friday. — AP A new, heavily mutated Covid-19 ... Read more »

I'm A Celeb: Where stars went as ITV show was off-air and how bubble was maintained

I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! was taken off air over the weekend as Storm Arwen wrecked havoc upon Gwrych Castle. This year’s celebrity contestants were removed from camp, ... Read more »

Saudi Minister of Education Discusses Scientific Cooperation with Japanese Ambassador

© Provided by Ajel News Minister of Education Dr. Hamad bin Mohammad Al Al-Sheikh received here today the Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Iwai Fumio. During ... Read more »

New Covid-19 variant: BioNTech starts work on Omicron-specific vaccines

© Provided by Khaleej Times AFPcoro BioNTech SE said on Monday it had started work on a vaccine tailored to Omicron, the worrying new coronavirus variant detected in South Africa, ... Read more »

Malawi's president slams Omicron travel bans on African countries from the US and other governments as 'Afrophobia'

© Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images President Joe Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci discuss the omicron COVID-19 variant at the White House on November 29, 2021. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images Malawian President Lazarus ... Read more »

Jack Dorsey steps down as chief of Twitter, names Parag Agrawal as new CEO

© Provided by Khaleej Times Jack Dorsey announced on Twitter his decision to step down as CEO of the company. AFP Twitter announced Monday that co-founder Jack Dorsey was stepping ... Read more »

Tom Holland set to return as Spider-Man

© Bang Showbiz Tom Holland is returning as Spider-Man Tom Holland will remain as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man. The 25-year-old actor has played the iconic superhero for the last ... Read more »

Jen Psaki says South Africa turned down the US's offer of additional COVID-19 vaccine doses

© Alex Wong/Getty Images White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a daily news briefing at the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House November 19, ... Read more »

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Players Are Glitching To Get Shaymin Early

© Screenshot: Nintendo / Traiver / Kotaku A Pokemon trainer encounters a wild Shaymin early thanks to a new glitch. Some of Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl’s rarest Pokémon ... Read more »

UAE National Day holiday: Free parking announced in Sharjah

© Provided by Khaleej Times Photo: File Sharjah City Municipality announced free public parking in the city of Sharjah on December 1 and 2, on the 50th National Day Holiday. ... Read more »

Nearly 60% of multinational companies are now using at least 1 cryptocurrency for cross-border payments, study shows

© Nipitpon Singad/EyeEm/Getty images Bakkt crypto application. Nipitpon Singad/EyeEm/Getty images 58% of multinational companies are using at least one cryptocurrency, according to a study by Pymnts.   Bitcoin is the most ... Read more »

Check out 26 pitch decks that fintechs looking to disrupt trading, banking, and lending used to raise millions

© Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision. Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new ... Read more »

Kansas lawmaker Aaron Coleman, 21, is arrested for second time in less than a month for drunk driving

© Aaron Coleman for Kansas/Facebook Aaron Coleman, a community college student, is leading in a Kansas City political race – Aaron Coleman for Kansas/Facebook A 21-year-old Kansas lawmaker is facing ... Read more »

Old school chimes ring once again, thanks to cutting edge tech guy

  Ridgetown residents may have recently noticed music coming from the bell tower of Mount Zion Presbyterian Church.  It’s a sound that hasn’t been heard for quite some time. That is ... Read more »

Federal government introduces legislation to ban conversion therapy in Canada

© Michaela Neuman Photography LGBTQ people in Canada have been urging the federal government for many years to ban the practice of conversion therapy. The federal government today announced new ... Read more »

Bradley Cooper recalls being threatened at knifepoint

© Bang Showbiz Bradley Cooper has recalled his narrow escape Bradley Cooper’s “guard was down” when he was threatened at knifepoint in New York City. The 46-year-old actor was en ... Read more »

Mira Kapoor's hilarious social media banter with her sibling is absolutely relatable

The bittersweet chemistry shared between siblings is one of the priceless relations that anyone can share. Now, on Monday, Mira Kapoor took to social media to display the hilarious banter ... Read more »

Leonardo DiCaprio sells his Malibu mansion

© Bang Showbiz Leonardo DiCaprio has sold his Malibu property Leonardo DiCaprio has sold his beachfront mansion in Malibu for $10.3 million. The Oscar-winning star has sold the ocean-facing property ... Read more »

Royal Shakespeare Company makes masks mandatory at theatres

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) has re-introduced mandatory face coverings which must be worn in the theatre and during performances. © PA IanHolm1906extra-1.jpg The RSC announced that face coverings will ... Read more »

Not our job to enforce mask rules, worried retailers tell government

Retailers are worried about staff being abused as rules on mask-wearing are reintroduced and argue that it should not be the job of staff to enforce them, industry bodies have ... Read more »

Georgia sheriff asks judge to dismiss charges against him

ATLANTA (AP) — The use of a restraint chair by an Atlanta-area sheriff does not amount to excessive force under any clearly established law and federal charges against him should ... Read more »

Don't shield U.S. gun makers from liability for Mexico's violence | Opinion

If it weren’t for U.S. gun companies supplying a steady stream of weapons for Mexico’s criminal organizations, my then-16-year-old cousin Diego might not have been kidnapped in 2015. His mother, ... Read more »

U.S. CDC says all adults 18 and over should get COVID-19 booster shots

People receive COVID-19 booster vaccination in Michigan (Reuters) -The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said everyone aged 18 years and older should get a booster shot either six ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic