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Coming in 2018: Plugged-In Grandmas

And 9 other predictions, in AI, health care, the economy, and more
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2017 11:51 AM CST
10 Ways the World Will Change in 2018
Grandma may soon learn to use a bunch of life-facilitating apps.   (Getty Images/shapecharge)

(Newser) – At no time of year do more people whip out the "out with the old and in with the new" mantra than on Jan. 1, and LinkedIn has surveyed CEOs, economists, scholars, and "other bold thinkers" to see what changes they expect to see worldwide in 2018. These predictions cover everything from innovations in tech and upheavals in the economy to big moves in pop culture, politics, and public health, among other arenas. Here, 10 changes they see coming down the pike in 2018:

  • We'll take more breaks from our devices. Arianna Huffington sees a "digital detox" movement in our future.
  • #MeToo is going to be replaced by #OverIt. Meaning the tide will shift from recognizing inappropriate behavior to putting a system in place to more effectively deal with it.
  • The Bitcoin bubble will pop. Because good things can't be expected to last forever, especially when it comes to cryptocurrency. (Some are already seeing the signs.)
  • The American dream will be supplanted by the Chinese dream. The US political system has become "polarized and fragmented," Eurasia Group's president says. In China, though, citizens may start taking advantage of "extraordinary benefits."
  • AI hasn't been able to be terribly creative—but that may soon change. Bots may soon be able to master "clever sentence structures and amusing story arcs" to write killer speeches, stories, and blog posts. (Sorry, writers.)
Read on for five more predictions.

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  • You may have longer waits at the ER. Now that the GOP tax bill has been passed and ObamaCare's individual mandate has been eliminated, people who don't have insurance will increasingly avoid medical care and may end up in hospitals instead.
  • Grandma and Grandpa will become more plugged in. The older generations will immerse themselves more deeply in tech that allows them to enjoy safer living environments and stay independent.
  • Cars may be the cheapest they've been in years. This may happen across both the used and new car lots, making it "an auto buyer's market."
  • Polio may finally vanish. There were only 17 cases worldwide this year, and next year could bring zero—making it almost four decades since the last (and only) disease to be eradicated: smallpox.
  • Everyone will retreat further into their corners. People are afraid to share controversial opinions, Y Combinator's president says—meaning we won't be having open conversations and learning about others' perspectives.
Check out LinkedIn's entire list for a whole lot more prognostication. (Read more New Year stories.)

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