World Economic Forum asked its Technology Pioneers community how tech will change the world by 2027. 17 predictions from leaders of startup businesses provide insight to the trends that are shaping many industries, not only the tech sector. The predictions vary from the future of banking, education, and data processing to the role of artificial intelligence in many industries.
Here are the 17 tech predictions that startup leaders believe have an opportunity to change industries or even the world by 2027.
The data industry will become more inclusive and affordable
- Data industry, in this case referring to the massive ad tech business that captures user data and processes it for marketers as well as other data processing, is about to change. The CEO of Databento believes the change comes from startups, not from regulators. Lower costs and data ownership are the key drivers for the development.
Central bank digital currency will revolutionize the financial system
- The founder of Fluency believes digital cash – central bank digital currency (CBDC) – will be in the core of the new financial system. Blockchain technology will be applied to CBDC. The key promise is the lower barrier of entry to the financial services markets that will make services available to all people.
Human potential will be re-directed towards more meaningful objectives
- Documents are easy to store on computers, but computers don’t understand the content of the documents. If documents could be transformed into something that computers could process, like tables and fields in databases, an entire world of new applications would open up. Of course, many technologies exist already that can describe data but none of them is universal. The startup believes the best place to start is to make all agreements meaningful for databases.
The quantum internet is coming
- Quantum computers are expected to make a giant leap in processing power, but what about quantum networks? When quantum-powered routers and repeaters can move bits faster than ever before, LANs can grow into large networks, and eventually into the new internet.
Web3 technologies will revolutionize the world of commerce
- When we think about Web 3.0, decentralized systems and protocols are strong candidates that are driving the move towards the next web. Even centralized financial institutions can be regarded as potential targets for decentralization. What about e-commerce? Amazon, Ebay, and country-specific big online retailers tend to dominate. The co-founder of Boson Protocol believes in completely decentralized online trading where everyone can manage his or her own e-commerce solution.
Credit will become accessible to those ignored by traditional financial institutions
- Freelancing, gig-work, digital nomad lifestyle – the trend has many names and forms, but the key point is that internet has made it possible to create online services that let people easily hire and provide professional services, and also provide low-skill services like food delivery. The founder of Vahan believes that the online services that manage these transactions will adopt financial services as well. It will make financial services available to people who haven’t had access to banking services.
In the future, our focus will be on the human experience
- The co-founder of Emerge, a startup that develops products for the metaverse (capability to feel touch), is optimistic that human experience will be at the center of virtual worlds. Let’s all make an effort that this vision comes true because as we have learned about some aspects of social media, good intentions can easily turn sour on the internet.
Technology will bring the best opportunities to the best talent
- This prediction comes from the founder of Onloop, a startup that creates collaboration software and services for remote teams. The founder believes that the best talent of the world doesn’t have to move to Silicon Valley to get a job, but can work from the home town. I started remote working in my last corporate job without telling anyone because there was no such concept as remote work 20 years ago. Today, it is a normal policy in many corporations, and for a good reason.
Grid flexibility will phase out fossil fuels and jumpstart the clean energy transition
- Electric grid was originally designed to push energy to the paying customers. It was one way only. Energy production and transfer becomes more complex as wind, solar, and other energy sources are added to the mix because they don’t produce energy at the same rate constantly. The grid will develop into an intelligent two-way system where energy consumers can also be energy producers.
AI will reinvent how we think about education
- Artificial intelligence is regarded as a tool that allows more personal education for each child.
Building will dynamically respond and adjust to support human wellness and comfort
- Smart home features are often an afterthought even in new buildings, but when smartness is designed into the building from the beginning, smart features have more impact on living conditions in the long term.
Battery powered construction will underpin sustainability efforts
- Construction industry consumes massive amounts of traditional energy in factories and on construction sites. If the energy consumed on construction sites are produced by batteries powered by solar, it would be a giant leap towards sustainability.
Remote sensing data streams will accurately monitor natural ecosystems
- Forests, marshlands and other ecosystems are already monitored, but the increasing accuracy of satellite images and other technologies like Lidar provide ever more accurate data about the status of the environment.
Supply chain intelligence will solve the food crisis
- Artificial intelligence can and will be applied to software products that manage logistics across world. Improved capability to take, for instance, weather into account can be valuable. I wonder if supply chain AI in 2027 could prepare for a similar event like the war in Ukraine?
AI will power clinical decision making in fertility clinics around the globe
- Artificial intelligence in clinical decision making will make faster and more accurate decisions.
Advanced manufacturing and fashion technology could digitally transform the apparel industry
- Fashion industry produces massive amounts of waste not only during manufacturing but also as products that no one wants to buy. Local, on-demand manufacturing is the more sustainable answer to the problem.
People will eat more nourishing food
- New developments in key food ingredient alternatives, for instance, for sugar and salt can make all food more healthy.