It took a global pandemic and stay-at-home orders for 1.5 billion people worldwide, but something is finally occurring to us: The future we thought we expected may not be the one we get.
We know that things will change; how they’ll change is a mystery. To envision a future altered by coronavirus, Quartz asked dozens of experts for their best predictions on how the world will be different in five years.
Below is an answer from Karen Chupka, an executive vice president at CES for the Consumer Technology Association, the organization that puts on the tech trade show CES every year.
Five years feels like an eternity compared to the past three months. Life has changed dramatically. For us, there’s going to be a faster adoption of technology, especially in new and emerging areas. Think about what’s happened already, how people have been doing meetings like this [via Zoom]. They’re doing online school around the world. One of the things all this experimentation has led to is that people will be willing to try new things. They’ll be doing virtual schooling—serving up education online is going to be the new normal in five years. We’ve seen the transition for how healthcare has changed, and data and AI mapping are going to help figure out the next thing. All the stuff we’re learning right now is how healthcare can change, and it’s all enabled through AI and data.
The other thing is, if you think about any depictions of anything futuristic, it all has voice activation. You might have thought, ‘Why would I need that?’ Right now, the desire to not touch anything has become ingrained. People want other ways of opening doors and performing simple actions like financial transactions. The adoption of voice tech and biometrics will happen faster. And there are other big areas where we’ll see things change. The whole human transformation for how we will go about our lives everyday will change dramatically.
There will also be things we haven’t thought about. In our own work world, knowing that in the next couple months we can’t get everyone back to work. If you are struggling right now because all your camps have been cancelled, and you want to go elsewhere to be with family, you can do that. There will be more flexibility where people can live and work than we’ve seen in the past, and it’ll happen faster, too.
To read more New Normal answers, click here.