Looking Through the Glass Lightly: 2032 Predictions

By Anne Ahola Ward Anne Ahola Ward has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on December 22, 2021

During times like these, we can find contentment by looking to the future. Very few things in life are truly ‘forever’ including predictions, themselves.

Humans are resilient. We can get through any situation when it’s not permanent. I believe in humans and that our future will be brighter than it seems today. Why do I think this? Because of my passion for technology and all the goodness that can come from having it in our lives. 

Anne Ahola Ward
Anne Ward ponders your certainly tech future.

Just like anything that’s freshly piercing the zeitgeist, people are going to continue to talk about the metaverse and Web3 in the coming weeks and months. Some of the chatter will be hopeful, and some will be scary. It’s ok! It’s normal to talk about things before they become part of our everyday lives. Web3, i.e. the decentralized web is nothing new, it’s actually where we started out… Back in the 1990s, we had a choice, there was a battle between the centralized and decentralized web, the cathedral and the bazaar. Open source could have won, and actually did temporarily, but it didn’t prevail. It’s truly wonderful though that the only constant in technology is change.

To understand what’s coming it’s helpful to understand where we’ve been. Web 1.0 was a bunch of static web pages, you had to click from one to the other. I remember feeling pure excitement when stumbling upon a fresh new webring.

Then came Web 2.0 where we went from static to dynamic, the rise of user-generated content (social media) and centralized services spread their wings. Those wings began to feel like claws. We flew so high and that we choked and sickened ourselves on limitless vats of bilious content. Google took the lead because their search results were more than just laundry listings of sites like Yahoo! or Ask Jeeves. We consumed and consumed until we couldn’t anymore and now we’re finally ready to wake up. Web 3.0 is the promise of a more democratic internet with the power given back to the people, where there’s more truth because of increases in transparency. Autonomous. Egalitarian. Possibly unfettered?

Enough waxing, here are my predictions for 2022:

  • Work from home will become work from everywhere. People may stop taking vacations for a week in favor of working from paradise for a month. Always connected, always on.
  • Middle manager and office manager jobs are likely to shrink as more collaboration tools come into the remote working mix, but no alarms there, tech jobs will only continue to increase as will remote education.
  • Codeless coding will become a thing with increased tools and frameworks, people who want to code will be able to do so with more assistance than ever before. Mix tools like Figma and Anima, you can get a fairly robust site in React without being a full on developer. Coding will never go away!
  • As internet coverage increases, poverty will decrease in those areas as it helps to facilitate remote work. The future is here, but it’s not yet evenly distributed. Access will continue to increase in 2022. We will start to see more venture capital spent in the developing world.
  • DAOs will start to become franchised, think like McDAOnald’s. We’re lovin’ it!
  • Online education is already teaming up with existing accredited schools to allow masters degrees 100% online in such things as Electrical Engineering, for a *massive* cost savings.  This trend will continue and accelerate, due to the explosion of traditional college costs.

And because I find it even more gratifying, these are my 2032 predictions:

  • Surgeries will be done by taking pills full of nanobots. We’re closer to this than you may think. “Scientists at Berkeley Lab and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have demonstrated the first self-powered, aqueous robot that runs continuously without electricity.”
  • We will be able to read the minds of our pets. If neuralink can soon read the human brain’s thoughts, it is a matter of time before this can be done for animals too. Does your cat really love you? Let’s hope so!
  • AI will cure loneliness and guarantee digital immortality between virtual assistants and advances in humanoid robots. People will be able to mix and match and merge what they like and remove what they don’t. Do you want life advice from an AI programmed with data of Voltaire’s writings mixed with your favorite business leaders? That can happen, it will happen.
  • Screens, as we know them, will go away, they’ll roll up and go in your pocket or we’ll see text we need either in our glasses or projected. Hard cased laptops will become a thing of the past as waterproof rollable screens and keyboards will begin to dominate.
Inflection point via Wiki Media
Inflection. Via Wiki Commons

Our society has never stood still, it only feels that way to us right now as it did last year. Every small change feels like a blow to our humanity when the changes don’t seem good. But that will come along. We’re not living the new normal, because we’re not done with “here” yet. What we’re living right now in 2021 is an inflection point, because it’s only the beginning.

When you reach an inflection point mathematically it means you’ve reached concavity, i.e. changed directions in your life. Inflection means the course of your life has been altered. Children today will remember their lives in terms of pre and post-pandemic. It’s the current equivalent of where were you when JFK was shot? When Elvis died?

The great tech singularity that Vernor Vinge forewarned us about already happened sometime around the year 2000ish, but it’s hard to see from the inside. The changes are already upon us. What are your predictions? Leave them in the comment section below.

The future is now, what will you do with it?

By Anne Ahola Ward Anne Ahola Ward has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Anne Ahola Ward is a Tech Columnist at Grit Daily. She was dubbed “The Mother of Startups” by CNN, she is an Entrepreneur, Futurist, and published O’Reilly author. Ward is a Silicon Valley tech industry leader who frequently speaks on the topics of privacy, technology trends and social media at conferences and on television.

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