Mick Owar

Over the next 10 years, what industries are likely to boom?

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Dr Louise Metcalf

Dr Louise Metcalf , Associate Lecturer at Futureproofology

This is a kind of 'how long is a piece of string' question and there are so many answers that could be given! Endless! However there are some really certain bets that can make.

1. Quantum computing and efficient solar batteries - a lot of bots - one of the things that has held back everyone having the kind of robots we see in science fiction movies has been the sheer size of computers and batteries needed to get a robot to walk and talk like us. This has meant that many have moved on to using apps instead. BUT, enter quantum computing and efficient solar powered batteries... and it all changes. Suddenly we can fit much faster computers on to smaller devices, and let the sun power them, and the reality of robots being everywhere is beginning to appear.

Let's face it, right now there are no quantum computers (however we've just had a major breakthrough in getting some happen in Japan - https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/09/24/natio... so it is quite possible that we will all be using (or rather interacting) with quantum computers in the next 10 years.

Till then... just keep your eyes on the apps. Apps like Siri (your virtual assistant on iPhone) are advancing at an incredible rate, so much so that we are unlikely to be using keyboards in 10 years, and so much more! Our world we be automated around us.


2. Big data - you can't have automation without data being collected about you. I currently have an app that sends me deals for good coffee wherever I go in Sydney. For that automation I am handing over data on where I go. Our lives will become less and less private (and open up many avenues for the less scrupulous to do bad things with - so there will be laws needed!). If you have any kind of head for numbers, you want to be in the business of playing with big data these days. It is at the very beginning of its potential and it will rule us all in very subtle ways.

3. Education - online and certainly not with text books - I doubt that Universities or Schools of any kind can keep up with the kinds of technological change that is currently going on in education, so there will be new organisations, or possibly adhoc collections of clever people that pop up to create the education of the next 10 years. This will be education in virtual classrooms with virtual workspaces - it will be hands on. Want to be a GP? Meet your virtual patient on the very first day of your very first class. No text book needed!

4. Virtual reality - world, yes including where you work - It won't be just education that transitions in to a virtual space, it will be workplaces, coaches, shops, everything! Think second life plus those virtual reality headsets. Only medical professionals will be exempt from this at first as you can't take a virtual blood test... yet.

5. Medicine - the Dr within you - yes that's right! Dr's are moving internal! They will eventually be in a kind of second life too, but the first improvements we see in the medical space will be so tiny you can only see them with an electron microsope, these are nanobots, or similar that will be injected in to each one of us to monitor our health but also simply clean out our arteries! Don't believe me? See the latest research here: https://www.nature.com/subjects/nanomedicine

There are so many more I could list, but these are certainly where the most money is going and where the most progress is being made right now. However feel free to have other ideas! I am sure there are many!

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