The population of the United States is getting older. Unlike other countries with aging populations, however, the state of aging in the United States is in crisis. Healthcare and social reforms will likely be necessary in the coming decades to address structural issues with retirement, socio-economic inequality, and the high cost of healthcare. In the meantime, AI-enabled smart technologies and environments are being rapidly developed to assist overwhelmed caretakers, enable access to healthcare providers, address isolation and depression among older adults, and provide mobility to and from essential services in sprawling suburbs and rural areas. This study utilizes a participatory, intuitive logics approach to construct scenarios of aging in smart environments in 2050 that illuminate the uncertainties, challenges, and opportunities presented by the coming confluence of two mega trends: an aging population and increasingly sensed people and environments. The results include four scenarios including descriptions and key features, and with narratives available in the appendix. In the discussion, we reflect on five provocations distilled from expert interviews to illustrate what aging might look like in 2050 from a variety of socio-economic vantage points and mediated by technological capabilities and arrangements born of differing policy, economic, and societal conditions.
- Societal Futures
- Scenarios ; Aging ; Smart environments ; Futures ; Innovation