Predictions for 2020 and Beyond

CCS Insight tips exciting developments in the connected word

Yesterday in London, CCS Insight drew more than 400 delegates from around the globe and notable figures from the technology world to its largest Predictions event to date. Our team once again took to the stage to unveil our latest crop of predictions for the coming years.

From the future of the 5G market to the rise of bias testing in artificial intelligence, this year’s event navigated a broad range of developments in the industry.

We highlighted lessons from the deployment of 5G networks so far, explored how technology will change the way we live over the next decade, and examined how artificial intelligence, the digital workplace and security are transforming industries. We were joined by executives from Amazon, Intel, Qualcomm, Sunrise and TCL to discuss trends in the connected world.

In today’s Daily Insight, we share 10 of our favourite predictions. A free report summarizing findings from our consumer survey of consumer attitudes toward 5G, highlighted during the event, is also available to download. Simply click the button below.

Here are 10 CCS Insight predictions for 2020 and beyond.

  1. By 2021, algorithmic and anti-bias data auditors emerge to tackle “pale, male and stale” artificial intelligence. Skilled women and ethnic minorities are underrepresented in the artificial intelligence industry and there is an overwhelming amount of data, the fuel for artificial intelligence, that excludes women, ethnic minorities and others. Additionally, regulatory pressure is growing. In 2019 an algorithmic accountability bill was introduced to the US Congress that would require certain algorithms to be regularly reviewed for signs of bias. The need to resolve data and compliance challenges sparks the emergence of “artificial intelligence economy” firms such as algorithmic auditors and companies that help source high-quality, diverse and unbiased training data.
  2. By 2021, Amazon buys 5G mobile spectrum for its own use in at least one market. This allows Amazon to take end-to-end control of the technology when using it for various applications including Amazon Web Services, warehousing and delivery. It mirrors Amazon’s desire to oversee every aspect of its operations, for example its development of drones and robots for last-mile delivery.
  3. In 2020, Apple launches its “Apple Privacy” brand. The company’s stance on protecting its users’ private information prompts it to adopt a formal brand, Apple Privacy, and communicate it more directly to consumers. The move follows prominent scandals involving companies such as Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. Apple’s belief that personal data should remain on the device and not be used for advertising or shared with third parties becomes more visible on its products and services.
  4. Samsung launches Galaxy Glasses in 2022. After years of development Samsung unveils Galaxy Glasses. The product offers a wide variety of capabilities, including video viewing, audio, notifications and turn-by-turn directions within users’ line of sight. It grabs a 50% share of the nascent market for augmented reality glasses. In 2023, Apple’s first augmented reality glasses arrive using a new VisionOS platform. Apple’s debut product sets a new benchmark for smart glasses and rapidly becomes the market leader.
  5. By 2025, one in 50 households in affluent markets owns a domestic robot. The success of robot vacuum cleaners sees households embracing more-advanced products to help with household chores and other functions such as security, entertainment, monitoring pets and providing companionship. Amazon becomes a major player in this area, having unveiled an Alexa-powered robot, which evolves its highly successful Echo devices with the addition of mobility.
  6. Brain–computer interfaces evolve beyond medical applications into commercial offerings by 2027. The ability to control devices using your brain is improved. They develop to a point where they can be used as an additional user interface for several commercial applications. Usage eventually spreads from business environments to consumer settings.
  7. “Deep fake” detection technology emerges by 2021. The era of neural disinformation arrived in 2019 as “deep fakes” — doctored and convincingly realistic videos created with artificial intelligence — made the rounds on social media. These videos and fake content bots like Grover take society’s current challenges with fake news to a whole new level. In a landmark case, a celebrity sues a news organization, hosting provider or software creator for damages caused by a faked video. The ubiquity of these videos and the need to tackle the risks they pose to elections, governments and businesses mean that security and fake-detection systems, currently in research, gain commercial popularity. Also based on neural networks, the technology uses techniques such as digital watermarking to help spot manipulation and validate authentic content.
  8. By 2023, a lack of diversity in data sets pushes a wearable device maker to pay users for their data. Users of wearable devices in underrepresented demographic groups are given incentives to share their information. The move aims to improve the quality of research and data for training of artificial intelligence models.
  9. Environmental pressure sees virtual reality displace 20% of business travel by 2029. The use of the technology for enterprise collaboration is prompted by the spiralling cost of business travel and the advent of more environmentally aware young people in the workforce.
  10. Oversupply of 5G smartphones in 2020 sees prices plummet. By the end of 2019 there are more than 50 5G devices on the market, despite 5G still being in a very early phase of maturity. Supply outweighs demand, leading to widespread price cuts. Competition among semiconductor suppliers and the advent of second-generation chipsets drives down prices even further in 2020. The additional impact of subsidized devices accelerates uptake of 5G subscriptions, especially in China and Japan. By 2022, adoption of 5G outpaces that of 4G during the first three years of each technology’s existence.