The Future of Digital Society

Current situation and challenges

It is hard to imagine a world without the internet these days with over 50% of the global population being active internet users. In North America and Europe, the internet penetration rate is 95% as of January 2019.

With the average cost of sensors decreasing, there are currently over 17 billion devices worldwide connected to the internet, 7 billion of which are IoT devices (excluding smartphones, tables, laptops etc.). Until 2025, the number of IoT devices is expected to grow to 21.5 billion. This all results in a huge amount of data being transmitted everyday. In combination with cloud computing, this gives us access to basically unlimited computing power on demand. But there are questions to be solved:

When governments move our identity data into the cloud, followed by legal and financial data, who guarantees for the integrity and security of these data? How do we deal with all questions related to digital ownership? How do we establish trust while interacting on the internet rather than face-to-face?

Big Data comes with the challenge of data ownership and privacy. If companies or governments use our data to learn things about our preferences, behavior etc., our privacy might be at risk and we need to find innovative solutions for that.

Freigeist’s view on technologies

There is a wide range of opportunities resulting from the digital economy. Educational programs, trainings and even healthcare can be improved by using AR and VR.

The insights gained from big data can improve business intelligence, make manufacturing and logistics more efficient, help develop a smart grid for a more sustainable energy sector and gain new insights in the health sector. They will be vital for IoT, and can help governments with security, be it cybersecurity or intelligence, crime prediction or prevention.

For Cloud Computing, we need to provide a stable and save internet connection as well as data integrity and cyber security, especially with the prospect of digital identities. We will need new data anonymization technologies or new concepts of digital ownership to protect our connected devices from hackers and our data from data theft and manipulation. Promising approaches are distributed ledger technologies and security tokens which can establish “trustless trust”. However, to make them truly applicable, we need to make them energy efficient and sustainable.

In addition to that, we will need even better processors made out of nano-materials like graphene or stanene or entirely new concepts like quantum processors to deal with the increasing demand for computing power.

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