What the internet of 2050 will look like imagined by futurologists of today

For 50 years, the internet has changed the world we live in. From online shopping to online healthcare, we live online, and the future is set to be even more digital.

By João Marques Lima

Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

4 Mins

June 22, 2021 | 9:10 AM BST

In a recent report by Fasthosts that uncovers what the internet will look like in 2050, leading futurologists Dr James Bellini and Andrew Gill uncover how the internet will change over the next 30 years, and to better see how the digital landscape is set to evolve in the coming decades.

Here is a list of some of the key highlights:

Social Networks: An Eye Implant to View Our Social Media Feed

  • It is apparently only a matter of time before consumers seize control of their own data, brokered by AI agents through personal clouds.
  • The next generation of social networkers will be impacted by the acceleration in digital innovation, including the development of hyper-augmented reality and brain-to-computer interfaces.
  • By 2050 there will be implants placed over our eyes to access our digital world without the need for a display.

VR and AI: Brain Computer Interface Replaces Virtual Reality

  • Virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) will pave the way for a more streamlined online experience, whether for ecommerce, entertainment, or business.
  • Thanks to rapid developments in the field of brain-computer interface technology, by 2040 users will be able to send information and commands through mere brain signals.
  • By 2050 it is expected that consumers will be able to plug nanobots directly into the brain for full-immersion virtual reality that directly influences the nervous system.
  • We will soon see VR developments across a broader spectrum of senses, to simulate smell and taste as current technology does sight.
  • Data: Virtual Clouds Will Replace Hardware Data Storage
  • The cloud will be able to accommodate further personal assets that would otherwise have historically demanded local storage.
  • For increasing the capacity and capability of the cloud, green web hosting is set to be used universally by 2050. With this, companies will dramatically cut down on the size of their data centres in favour of cloud-based technology and reduce their environmental impact.

Design: 3D Printing Will Replace Old Ways of Shopping

  • The prominence of the 3D printer will continue rising significantly.
  • By 2040 all homes will have access to a device, laying the foundations for the DIY economy. A trip to the hardware store will be a thing of the past, in favour of simply ‘printing’ your desired appliance.

Security: Improving AI Could Spell Disaster for Security

  • Cybercriminals are the third most significant threat to humanity, after natural accidents and pandemics. Access to increasingly sophisticated technology could spell disaster.
  • While extreme computing brings countless benefits, it could also trigger major concern; as we become ever-more connected, those who intend to break through encryption barriers could use super-fast machines to do so in an instant and take an immediate hold over the lives of millions.

Payment: A Cashless Society is Only Around the Corner

  • The demise of cash has been long coming, and a total reduction of physical money is predicted before the turn of the next decade, with 60% of UK adults expecting a completely cashless society by 2030.
  • Customer Service: Algorithms which Predict Our Needs
  • As the world shifts towards digital platforms, customer service will follow suit. In-person customer service will be a thing of the past, with digital advisors placed to address concerns and queries, unless a situation requires complex human involvement.
  • As early as the next 5-7 years, we will begin to see a rise in digital agents. As these agents evolve, they will begin to think for us, renew our insurance for us, and screen advertising messages for us.

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João Marques Lima

Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

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