Technology experts in one global survey believe so, and had other perspectives about sustainability and trends that will shape the future.

In a global online survey of around 22,000 technologists aged from 18 to 64 across the USA, the UK, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Germany, France, China, India, Japan and South Korea between 17 November and 18 Dec 2021, respondents shared their perspectives on top trends in science, technology and design.

According to GT Lim, Country Leader, 3M Malaysia, which commissioned the survey, the findings can guide innovation by experts in their fields. “In Malaysia, as the government and stakeholders continue to drive and support the innovation ecosystem and adoption of high technology and innovation and all matters essential to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we hope that the findings shared offer more wholesome and actionable insights too.”

Key findings:

  • Science and technology
    The top problems to focus on over the next five years include: Public health; humanitarian crises; extreme weather crises; ecological disasters; and a cure for dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Mainstream virtual reality
    VR technology is expected to be a normal part of everyday lives sooner than other advancements, especially in gaming and entertainment
  • AI interests and concerns
    While respondents were excited about AI, many were concerned about data privacy and want more transparency on how the technology is being used in society
  • Sustainability
    Respondents felt single-use plastics are a bigger threat to the environment than fossil fuels and fast fashion
  • Real-life vs tech
    Respondents indicated that, in the shadow of the global COVID-19 pandemic, tech-driven innovations were being met with some resistance as many were trying to decrease tech in their life and seek in-person socialization and hobbies

The survey kicks off the firm’s new 3M Futures platform that showcases global science/technology trends and research via curated content, VR demos and relevant expert insights to help shape a better tomorrow.