It’s 2020, Now What?

A look back at what happened last year and my predictions for 2020.

 

Carbon Neutrality

Plastic waste has become the forefront of climate concern amongst consumers. The pressure has been mounting over the last few years and will continue as we look ahead for 2020. Civilians are hyper-aware of the importance of managing their carbon footprint. This has seen a knock-on effect in demand for more ethical, sustainable businesses. This paired with global changes to law enforcement has forced conglomerates such as Amazon, Coca-Cola and Hyatt to become pillars for climate action.

Manufacturing company Siemens is just one company making great strides in carbon neutrality. They pledge to cut their carbon emissions in half and be completely carbon neutral by 2030 by using renewable energy in their factories.

Globally, the electric vehicle market share was at 2.2% within the first 10 months of 2019. This steady increase I expect will continue. Automakers are turning their full attention to reducing emissions and going electric. Tesla has been in the spotlight for some time now with its all-electric vehicles, but n0t all press has been good press. Research shows that the energy required to produce a car battery as well as charge it is arguably higher than CO2 emissions produced by diesel cars. I predict EVs will stay at the centre of attention this year, but there is potential for automakers to start expanding their research into other renewable energy sources to achieve a carbon-neutral market.

 

 

Deepfake Crackdown

This may seem like old news, but deepfakes will continue to be a hot topic in 2020. Opensource software has resulted in an oversaturation of manipulated videos online. While most of them are harmless and created for entertainment purposes, they are still problematic for misinformation.

Now people are encouraged to question the credibility of what they consume daily, responsibility has fallen on social media platforms (where deepfakes often circulate) to protect the public. This year they will be under more scrutiny than ever with the upcoming elections. Facebook has already taken action by declaring they will remove any videos from their platform that are modified by AI.

 

AI isn’t Scary

Contrary to what some Sci-Fi films might be telling you, artificial intelligence isn’t as much of a scary concept anymore. Society is assessing the skillsets that AI offers to better understand how they can be optimised to work alongside humans. A World Economic Forum report in 2018 claimed that automation will displace 75 million jobs but actually introduce 133 million new jobs by 2022. As we close the gap towards the year 2022, companies are focusing on harmonising working relationships and investing where necessary.

 

Data Scientists in Demand

I have the pleasure of meeting people from all walks of life, but many follow a similar trend. Data science adoption is booming across all industries. Businesses are realising that there could be value in their data and they want to use it to inform their decision-making process. If companies aren’t developing innovative ideas, they risk being lost in a sea of competitors. Healthcare, finance and retail are just a few of the sectors experiencing this massive shift in digital transformation.

Over the course of 2020, Data Scientists will see an even larger peak in interest from companies who are looking to hire. It’s important for Data Scientists to stay vigilant when accepting a new job role. They must make sure businesses understand the significance of their data and how they want it to inform decisions. Over 830,000 Data Scientist LinkedIn profiles are registered worldwide currently but there is still a talent shortage. Data Scientists are in serious demand and I don’t see that stopping any time soon. It’s never been a better time to be a Data Scientist!

 

I’ve got a feeling 2020 is going to be a good year. Don’t you?

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