Technology in 2030: Top 20 big tech predictions
Here are ten predictions of technologies that will almost certainly eventuate in this decade, as well as ten more that could emerge based on industry research.
Jan 04, 2024 • 6 Minute Read
- Public Sector
- IT Ops
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Underneath any organization is a bedrock of technology, and a seismic shift can shake the very foundations of your business. As the World Economic Forum acknowledged in its Future of Jobs report, technology adoption will be a main driver of business transformation in the next five years, with over 85% of organizations stating adopting new and frontier technologies would be their primary change-driver.
The key to not only surviving a seismic shift, but thriving and differentiating from the competition, is to lead the way with technology. This requires two key elements of agile businesses: awareness of disruptive technologies on the horizon, and a plan to develop talent that can make the most of it.
10 technologies that will definitely emerge by 2030
Combining reports from the McKinsey Global Institute, World Economic Forum, and our own internal research at Pluralsight, we’ve combined a list of ten technologies we expect to disrupt and influence the global landscape for the next decade.
1. Applied AI
Organizations gain easy access to machine learning (ML), computer vision, and natural language processing (NLP). By 2030, using AI will be the expected cost of business. Python, PyTorch, and TensorFlow will continue to be high-demand tech skills.
2. Zero latency connectivity
By 2030, expect lightning-fast internet, essential for AI demands. Wireless low-power networks, 6G cellular, Wi-Fi 6 and 7, low-Earth orbit satellites, and more. While it won’t technically be “zero latency”, it will be as close as it can get.
3. ACES Vehicles
Autonomous, connected, electric, and shared vehicles (ACES) will be the norm. The road is quite literally clear for it, with cutting-edge AI for smarter vehicles, faster internet, superior sensor technology, increased investment in green technology, and maturing regulatory guidelines.
4. Biotechnology boom
Breakthroughs in AI will translate to a boom in biology, allowing organizations to respond to demands in healthcare, food and agriculture, consumer products, sustainability, and energy and material production. Molecular biology and gene therapy will also be areas of development.
5. Climate change mitigation technology
According to the World Economic Forum, 45% of organizations expect to adopt mitigation technology in the next five years. Expect renewable energies, drought resistant crops, early warning systems, sustainable fuels, electric vehicles, carbon removal tech, and sea walls.
6. Quantum computing
Quantum technology long-promised delivery is finally coming, and will be highly disruptive when it lands. Far more efficient than classical computers, quantum tech will be able to run solutions and solve problems that will lead to major advancements in aerospace, automotive, chemicals, finance, pharmaceuticals, and more.
7. Cloud and edge computing
Edge computing will be used to allow processing of data closer to their origins (ultra-low latency), achieve data sovereignty, and enhanced data privacy, reducing data transmission delays and costs. Expect more hyperscale remote data centers and cloud services than ever.
8. Immersive reality technology
Venture capitalists have been pumping billions of dollars into Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR) startups every year, with a vast amount of patents for these technologies. A desire to combine these technologies with remote work will likely lead to advancements in this space.
9. Digital-trust technologies and cybersecurity AI
Zero-trust architectures (ZTAs), digital-identity systems, and privacy engineering will be of paramount importance. With the rise of AI and its ability to be used by bad actors, “Cybersecurity or Die” will become the norm, with both defenders and attackers increasingly leaning on AI.
10. Low and no-code software development
A combination of AI pair programmers, low to no code platforms, infrastructure as code, automated integration, and generative AI tools will transform software development as we know it, particularly as these software tools mature.
10 technologies that will likely emerge by 2030
The above list are well researched trends, and dare we say, somewhat “safe”. Here are some bigger predictions that could eventuate based on research.
1. Instant, Multimodal AI Avatars
Imagine conversing seamlessly with a digital AI avatar that responds instantly with visual and auditory feedback (and all you have to do is have your webcam on). Building on our current AI capabilities of processing audio, visual, and text inputs, these advanced multimodal (and perhaps omnimodal) avatars will represent a pinnacle of efficiency.
2. Adaptive Predictive Artificial Intelligence (APAI)
APAI could revolutionize efficiency: autonomously streamlining supply chains, preempting patient health issues with targeted interventions, managing energy grids smartly, maximizing agricultural yields, and forecasting consumer behaviors. It's not just predictive; it's proactively transformative.
3. Lab grown food
Advancements in biotechnology and a desire for climate change mitigation may lead to strides in commercially available lab-grown food. According to Oxford, cultivated meat could be produced with 96% less greenhouse emissions and 96% lower water use.
4. Commercially viable DNA storage
Synthetic DNA has enormous potential due to high storage density, but the high cost and slow read/write times are a barrier to adoption. However, in the last three years we’ve seen a custom DNA writer that can write data to DNA at 18 Mbps. We may see jumps in this space by 2030.
5. AI-powered brain-computer interfaces
Brain computer interface (BCIs) research has been picking up this decade, with DARPA funding BCI technology through the BRAIN initiative since 2013, and Musk throwing his hat in the ring with Neuralink. There are public perception, ethical, and legislative barriers here, but the use of AI in conjunction with BCIs may advance this technology at a rapid pace between now and 2030.
6. Better batteries
Improving batteries has always been hampered by slow experimentation and discovery processes. AI is currently being used to advance battery development and make this process faster. There’s also a drive for this so we have more efficient electric vehicle batteries, a must if cars all go towards an ACES direction.
7. Improved weather prediction AI
As our climate changes, the need to predict disasters will become paramount. In 2023, scientists at the University of Texas created an AI tool that could predict earthquakes with 70% accuracy a week in advance. Expect this technology to mature in the next decade.
8. Preventative medicine
With strides in AI, doctors may be empowered to predict a patient’s health issues far in advance. Preventative action will be more common, and likely encouraged by governments and health insurance providers to avoid costly treatments further down the line.
9. Real time linguistic translation
Think Google Glass, but translating other languages that you are staring at or hearing in real time. We already have AI technology where you can take a photo with your phone and translate text, but this will be a step up from that. This would be a massive benefit not only for tourists, but for business interactions in different countries.
10. Adaptive PII detection
One of the biggest issues with AI use is when people put in personally identifiable information (PII) or sensitive information in it. With adaptive PII detection, this would be nipped in the bud before it becomes a problem, which is of benefit to both the user and the service providers.
More on the future of tech
If you're interested in emerging tech trends that you should expect a little sooner, such as the next 12 months, check out our article: "Tech in 2024: The top 10 tech trends to watch closely this year." Alternatively, check out our research on the current state of technology --- hottest skills, highest paying programming languages, and more --- in our Year in Tech 2023 article.