Let’s all meet up in the year 2050 - won’t it be strange?
Where will you be in 2050? According to a new report on Australia’s digital future you could be working from your smarthome and communicating with the office via your eyeballs.
You’ll be gobbling up 200GB of data a month, probably having sex with robots, and sitting pretty on a household income of around $188,000 in today’s money.
Of course, IBM’s Snapshot of Australia’s Digital Future to 2050 also makes the wild prediction that the photographic film processing industry is in trouble, so who knows where these crazy cats are getting their information from.
Report author, IBISWorld’s Phil Ruthven, said they believed it was “the first report in the world to rate a nation’s entire industry classes against the impact of high-speed broadband”. He said:
We have predicted that by 2050 the new utility (broadband) will generate around $1 trillion in revenue for Australia, almost eight times higher than the $131 billion it generates today. By 2020, Australia will return to productivity growth of 1.7 per cent due in part due to the new utility, compared with the current 0.6 per cent of the five years to the end of 2011.
Some of the biggest industry beneficiaries are our lowest productivity growth industries today, including mining, health and education. Through these predictions it becomes obvious that high-speed broadband is essential for Australia’s economic growth – not a delete option.
Which is interesting but far less sexy than the predictions that human skin could become a touchpad interface with computers and that we’ll be able to control machines with our minds.
The bad news is the industries that “risk demise” in our new technofangled future – they’re mostly in publishing and broadcast. And film processing.
They’ve pretty much predicted the end of traditional media. And both free-to-air and cable television. And Motion Picture Exhibition, which must refer to those old thingies you used to go to with rows of seats where you couldn’t see over the head in front of you and couldn’t hear over the pain-in-the-arse teenagers behind you.
And books, which is a shame.
But there are now so many predictions about the year 2050, they can’t all come true. Here’s some other fantabulous things that are meant to happen by then:
If you’re rich enough you’ll be able to immortalise yourself by transferring your mind into a machine.
In Japan, you’ll be able to take a jaunty ride into space on an elevator. You’d trundle along at about 200kph for a week.
The world should have halved greenhouse gas emissions (let’s hope the space elevator is solar powered).
Oh, and we’ll have used up Earth and be colonising space for the next place to destroy
So a lot could happen in the next 40-odd years, but not all of it will. And I for one will eschew the sex with robots in return for a decent paperback, the weekend papers, and the occasional Motion Picture Exhibition.
And maybe a quick trip in the space elevator.
In the future we will Tweet with our eyes: @ToryShepherd
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