5G was the winner for social media (followed by AI and self-driving cars), while renewable energy was the winner for our survey respondents (followed by 5G).
The what and the why
The cool thing about comparing survey data with social conversation around the tech is that we can start to look at both what people think and why they think it.
We found a lot of positive mentions on social media making predictions about cities that will have 5G coverage in 2020, as well as the tech that will make use of it. It feels very much within reach for many countries around the world, and is probably a sensible choice for a transformative theme in 2020.
Online conversation is driven by climate change fear, as well as big pledges made by politicians and particular countries (India and Australia). This is clearly a global issue, and while the effects of climate change may feel a long way off for many of our survey respondents, they’re still putting renewable energy high up the list in terms of transformative tech for 2020.
Given the breadth of technology AI can add to, there’s a lot to pick out of the online conversation around it. One of the biggest stories coming from the social data we analyzed was around how Hong Kong protestors were using lasers to avoid AI-driven facial recognition technology – one popular tweet termed this “cyber warfare”.
Self-driving cars has been a big topic for a long time in future-gazing speculation. Will they become a widespread reality in 2020? Much of the conversation we found related to 5G, which is understood to be the tech that will enable self-driving cars to become a reality in all our lives. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics is rumored to be using autonomous vehicles to help with accessibility, as well as other AI-powered technology.
Looking at our survey data in Qriously, we broke down each of the technologies by the countries that favored them most as a technology that would change the world in 2020. The results varied from country to country.