Blog

2019 TECH TRENDS REVIEW: THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE BIZARRE

Mon Dec 12 2019 Michael McQueen

In a recent address at the World Economic Forum, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau argued persuasively that the “the pace of change may never have been this fast, but it will never again be this slow.”

As another year draws to a close, it’s worth pausing and taking stock of just how much has changed in the space of 12 months - while recognizing that the coming year will see changes of even greater scale and significance.

In this 2019 Tech Trends Review, I explore the good, the bad and the bizarre. In other words, which breakthroughs have been most positive and hopeful, which trends are slightly more concerning (in my humble opinion), and which new technologies have been downright strange.

 

THE GOOD

  1. As loneliness reaches epidemic levels amongst the elderly, new AI-powered robotic technology is aiming to make a difference https://www.wsj.com/articles/on-demand-grandkids-and-robot-pals-technology-strives-to-cure-senior-loneliness-11550898010 
  2. New nanoparticle technology promises to reduce symptoms for sufferers of celiac disease by up to 90% https://futurism.com/neoscope/nanoparticle-tech-celiac-disease-human-trial 
  3. A construction company in Austin Texas has begun work on affordable 3D-printed houses for the homeless that take only 27 hours to build https://www.dwell.com/article/community-first-village-3d-printed-affordable-homes-icon-524fc3ad 
  4. Apple take significant steps to protect users’ privacy by tightening rules around how Siri records and stores recorded conversations  https://www.foxnews.com/tech/apple-tightens-privacy-rules-on-listening-to-siri-recordings 
  5. Scientists edge closer to achieving viable nuclear fusion power production which is safe and produces zero carbon emissions https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/05/nuclear-fusion-could-solve-the-world-s-energy-problems-and-scientists-just-got-closer-to-making-it-work

THE BAD

  1. Airbus announce plans to fit their A350-900 aircrafts with sensors that will track, amongst other things, how often you visit the bathroom https://www.fastcompany.com/90402595/airbus-a350-900-planes-have-sensors-that-track-bathroom-use 
  2. The UK is considering plans to conduct genetic sequencing on all children born in the country https://futurism.com/neoscope/uk-children-full-genome-sequence-birth 
  3. China has banned 23 million people from purchasing travel tickets as part of their ‘social credit’ population monitoring system https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/01/china-bans-23m-discredited-citizens-from-buying-travel-tickets-social-credit-system 
  4. Amazon is sued for illegally recording children’s voices and conversations on Alexa-enabled devices https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-48623914 
  5. New AI technology demonstrates the ability to write an entire fake news story after being given just a few words https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/the-ai-that-can-write-a-fake-news-story-after-being-given-just-a-few-words-20190215-p50xxv.html 

THE BIZARRE

  1. Russian farmers have begun strapping virtual reality goggles to dairy cows in order to reduce anxiety and improve milk production https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/27/us/virtual-reality-russian-dairy-farm-cows-trnd/index.html 
  2. New AI algorithms could predict and prevent marital arguments before they even start https://www.wsj.com/articles/ai-could-prevent-marital-arguments-before-they-even-begin-11570807573 
  3. Modern cars are collecting 25 gigabytes of data per operating hour including monitoring how much you weigh and what you listen to https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/20/opinion/car-repair-data-privacy.html 
  4. Plans are underway for paid advertising in space using giant billboards made up of micro satellites https://astronomy.com/news/2019/01/billboards-in-space 
  5. US pharmacy giant Walgreens begins rolling out smart refrigerator doors that use facial recognition to customize display ads for customers as they walk past https://slate.com/technology/2019/02/cooler-screens-walgreens-freezer-smart-shopping-tracking.html 

______________________________________________________________________

Michael McQueen is a trends forecaster, business strategist and award-winning conference speaker.

He features regularly as a commentator on TV and radio and is a bestselling author of 8 books. His landmark book How to Prepare Now for What's Next is a guide to thriving in an age of disruption.

To see Michael speaking live, click here.

For more information on Michael's keynote speaking topics, visit www.MichaelMcQueen.net/programs 

To access your copy of the Towards 2030 report, please enter a few details below for verification. Don’t worry, we take your privacy very seriously and this information will not be shared with anyone.