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Will technology lead us to an
immersive utopia or a
metaverse of madness?

Shubaa’s story

Everywhere Shubaa looks, she “sees” tech embedded in the world – the self-driving buses, the holographic gantries that process payments as you walk out of stores, and the drones tending to the vertical farms on the sides of towering skyscrapers.

At the fully automated food court, she notices a lag in the system as the student at the next table is ordering his mala noodle bowl, and makes a note to run a diagnostic check after the lunch hour rush. Later, she stops to recalibrate a glitching cleaning robot along the street.

Even while at home, Shubaa stays connected with the world. While lying in bed, Shubaa can shop, game and meet her friends, by simply donning a pair of smart goggles that transports her into a fully virtual universe.

Shubaa is a programmer whose team forms the backbone of the community, digitising processes and helping businesses move at lightning speed.

Most of the time, Shubaa sees the good that tech can do. But she can’t help but think about the swathes of people, such as older folk, who have been left behind by the very technology she helps enable.

Some people haven’t been moving fast enough to keep up with the dizzying pace of digitisation. Entire systems are online, and vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Instead of going outside for physical meetups, some people opt to stay ensconced in their homes, immersed in the virtual world, and slowly losing their grip on reality.

Food for thought

In 2053, what kind of processes will have been streamlined by digitisation? How will digitisation affect different communities?

As digitisation removes certain job industries, how will different jobs be affected? How might people transition to different jobs? Or might they get left behind?

What new forms of artificial intelligence might pop up and revolutionise the way we live, work and play? How might people’s lives be improved, or unintentionally worsened, by AI?

How will digitisation change the workplace and the work-life balance of the working adult?

How might the scams or cyber-attacks of 2053 look like? How will people’s lives be affected?