The concept of "digital asset" is undergoing rapid evolution. During the next 15 years we will see the emergence of new categories of digital assets that go beyond traditional cryptocurrencies (or personal data "traded" whether with or without our consent).
New digital assets that are still somewhat unusual today, such as emotional AI profiles or synthetic media rights, are already preparing the technological ground. They will affect not only industries and markets, but also our society, our personal interactions and our perception of value in a digital world.
The rise of emotional AI profiles
Artificial intelligence it is becoming more and more sophisticated in understanding and interpreting human emotions. But what happens when these skills are translated into unique profiles, designed to emulate or respond to people's specific emotional patterns? These profiles could become valuable digital assets, used in industries such as marketing, therapy or even entertainment.
Imagine a movie or video game that adjusts to your emotions in real time, providing a truly personalized experience.
Or a virtual assistant who, after years of interacting with you, has learned and memorized your emotional reactions to specific situations, being able to anticipate your needs or calm you down when you're stressed.
AI companions: no longer simple assistants, but digital assets
Those who are still today "Vocal Assistants" will become AI companions: digital entities that can learn, interact and grow with us. These digital assets could take on the role of personal assistants, coaches, advisors from time to time.
For some even friends, offering meaningful and personalized interactions. Think of a domestic robot that, in addition to carrying out daily tasks, learns your habits, keeps you company, tells you stories or helps you with household chores.
Synthetic media rights
With the advent of AI a million times more advanced, we may witness the creation of "synthetic" media. These may include artificially generated voices, images or videos that are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing.
A company could create a unique synthetic voice for its virtual assistant and claim exclusive rights to that voice, making it recognizable and distinctive. If it seems absurd to you, think about those who try to claim rights today on the shape of lettuce leaves.
Virtual ecosystems: digital assets far beyond games
The virtual worlds that today make the fortune of video games such as Fortnite, Roblox, Minecraft and the like will become entire digital ecosystems that can be owned, traded or licensed.
Convergence with augmented reality and virtual reality could increase the value of digital real estate, complete virtual worlds or complex simulations used for research or education. Completely invented cities, or superimposed on real ones, where we hold spaces or goods parallel to reality.
The power of quantum computing
Il quantum computing it is becoming a reality, and with it, access to this computational power becomes a valuable commodity. Companies will increasingly compete for supremacy in this sector.
They could also (and will) rent "time" on a quantum computer to perform complex calculations in seconds, rather than days or weeks. A bit like when the first computers were rented, before the "personal" computers that would invade everyone's homes.
Genetics: from data to (valuable) digital assets
As we become more adept at deciphering and manipulating genetic data, this data could itself become digital assets.
A pharmaceutical company could buy the rights to a specific rare genetic sequence to develop a new drug. I know that for some of you it is already possible, but I assure you that it is not. Not yet, at least. Which brings us directly to the next digital asset.
Personalized health profiles
With the advent of AI in medicine, we are seeing the emergence of advanced health profiles. These profiles, based on AI analysis of personal medical history and real-time health data, could become digital assets. Artificial intelligences that know all the clinical data relating to a specific sector and offer personalized advice or preventive interventions.
The fitness apps they could evolve: analyze your medical data and suggest super personalized workouts, also integrating food recommendations based on your DNA.
DAO: companies of the future
You know what one is DAO? A DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) is an organization driven by codified rules and managed by a blockchain, without centralized intermediaries. A company without directors, or rather: directed by algorithms (We talk about it here).
DAOs are already becoming increasingly complex, and over time their components become digital assets. If "the top" of a company becomes algorithms, someone could sell you those "at the helm" of the best companies.
Furthermore, a member of a DAO could sell his or her voting rights to another member, influencing the organization's future decisions.
Cognitive models: the mind as an asset
AI models of specific cognitive processes could become extremely valuable digital assets. Whether learning, decision making or creativity models, these assets could have applications across a range of industries.
A company could use the AI model of an expert's decision-making process in a certain field to train new employees or to develop specialized software.
In summary: a digital future waiting to be explored
Between now and 2040, several of these predictions on digital assets, or all, hardly any, will be confirmed.
Whether you like them or not (with their opportunities and also all the disturbing power they exercise over us), these "symptoms" of the digital future that awaits us give the measure of how many things will change, and how much.