5 technologies that will be used by 5 billion people by 2050

Since 1996, the number of people using the Internet has increased About 40 million Humans are about 5 billion or 60 percent of the world’s population. Internet facilities are available in the city the slum The rice terraces of India, Vietnam and the favelas of Brazil.

That’s a huge change in 27 years-or mine complete lifetime

Venture capitalist Paul Graham recently posed the question on Twitter“What 36 million people Now use that will eventually be 5 billion?”

Here are my predictions for five technologies that could overtake the world by 2050, perhaps change the way we live as profoundly as the Internet, and solve our most vexing problems, almost always through creativity and innovation. no through regulation or government spending.


About 4.4 billion people live in big cities, myself included, and getting around isn’t easy or convenient. The pandemic has created budget problems for urban transit systems worse, brought about a steep decline in ridership. Meanwhile, the central government is providing huge New subsidy for urban rail system barely anyone There have even been pre-COVID uses, such as the proposed $2.5 billion streetcar in Atlanta.

Rail was a sophisticated technology – in the 19th century. I predict that the standard of urban mobility by 2050 will be electric mopeds and pedal-assisted bikes – distinct forms of street transit powered by apps.

The US electric scooter market is expected to double by 2030. And we are actually late adopters :TThroughout Asia, particularly India and China, mopeds are already common, competing with cars, rickshaws and low-end bicycles to provide point-to-point mobility, where rail falls short.

Some US cities have tried to ban e-scooter companies like Bird, Lime and Revell, but like Uber, these services are proving so popular that commuters won’t allow them to be outlawed.

Delivery drones

Since Amazon founder Jeff Bezos unveiled plans for delivery drones a decade ago, progress has been slow.

There are only a few thousand delivery robots operating in the United States today But that’s about to change: In December, Prime Air Successfully completed commercial distribution in College Station, Texas and Lockford, California.

above other On the global side, there is Meituan and Alibaba only Begin rolling out this service to customers.

In the US, delivery drones have been hampered by the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval process, and it’s a similar regulatory story in China. But I predict that this will not be true for much longer as this service brings enormous benefits to the convenience of customers and reducing the traffic problems caused by delivery trucks clogging our roads.

By 2050, I’m sure the urban skyline will be buzzing with what a flock of pigeons will look like carrying books, spatulas, bottles of vinegar, or anything else you can order on Amazon—not to mention, heart and kidney hospitals.

Language AI

Generative AI—a form of artificial intelligence that uses human prompts to create unique text and images—had a breakthrough year in 2022. From DALL-E to Lensa, people are using most of the image generators to roam the internet. But we’re entering the age of sophisticated text AI, which will revolutionize everything from customer service to poetry.

ChatGPT requires a prompt to generate large volumes of fairly sophisticated text. According to its developer OpenAI, it is capable of “answering follow-up questions, admitting its mistakes, challenging incorrect premises and rejecting inappropriate requests”.

Described as a “second brain”, ChatGPT will be free some people Time to allow, as technology always does, to do different things other To do the same work more productively.

Why spend hours researching the technologies described in this video when you can just ask ChatGPT to generate a personalized report? chatgpt One might write the first draft of a professor’s syllabus, suggest a story line for a TV show, craft part of a journalist’s article, or create website copy describing a product for sale. Language AI will change the way we do things much like search

Lab-grown meat

When factory farming first began in the 1920s, it was designed to minimize costs while maximizing production—Animal welfare be damned. But now that scientists can grow meat in the lab, there are 50 billion chickens and 300 million cows we raise and kill for food every year.

I personally find plant-based options like Impossible Burgers and Beyond Burgers boring. But when we can scale up the process of growing meat in labs, it will be a game changer. That’s when the era of factory farming will end, rendering the US Department of Agriculture largely useless while reducing the industry’s environmental footprint. We’ll finally be able to enjoy foie gras without worrying about ducks being force-fed to fatten up their livers.

I bet there always will be something Real meat demands, Just like Central Park has elevator operators and tall buildings with horse and carriage rides. But in general meat lovers will prefer more ethical food because it is easier to make, cheaper and tastier.

Health wearables

When Fitbit trackers debuted in 2009, they were the first to allow people to track their movements with a simple black wristband. Sure, the pedometer concept is an old one—there was a big step-counting craze in Japan in the 1960s—but FitBit pioneered the modern trend of using wearables to learn about your own personal health data, whether it’s step counting, sleep tracking, and continuous glucose. observation. By 2050, I predict that wearables loaded with sensors will eliminate the already dubious annual physical and send most of our primary care doctors the way of switchboard operators.

Before the advent of continuous glucose monitoring, people with diabetes had to prick their fingers throughout the day to measure their blood sugar. Now these tiny electrode devices under the skin can do that continuously. I think by 2050, even nondiabetics will be using these tools to monitor their insulin response, getting data about how their Organizations interact with the things in them – a business idea that is already working

About 540 million adults live with diabetes worldwide, a number that is expected to rise to nearly 800 million by 2045. The global prevalence of obesity tripled between 1975 and 2016. On one level, this is a free market success story: Fewer people are dying of starvation than before. In fact, they are now suffering the consequences of gluttony and abundance.

But in the next 27 years, we should expect better drugs and devices to help people manage their weight and health, identifying problems earlier and more accurately than ever before.


When French artists envisioned the year 2000 in 1900, they were too conservative with their predictions, unable to envision a world that ditched clunky propellers, electric cables, and heavy machinery in favor of sleeker, more efficient tools for household chores. , transportation, and food production. Everyone thought the blimps would be a really big deal.

No one anticipated the huge changes that would come, especially due to the exponential growth in computing power. Perhaps these predictions are also limited by our imaginations.

The details are hard to know, but I’m sure that by 2050 technological creativity will make mundane jobs obsolete, free us from the constraints of biology, and break down distance and time in a way that makes the constraints of the physical world increasingly irrelevant.

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Music Credits: “Stutter Island,” by Ros-E via Artlist; “Youth,” by ANBR, via Artlist; “Metaverse,” by Lux-Inspira via Artlist; “Polygon,” by Evgeny Bardiuzha via Artlist; “Lost” by Ramol via Artlist, “Still Need Syndrome” by Yarin Primack via Artlist.

Camera by Jim Epstein; Written by Liz Wolfe; Editing by Regan Taylor.