WHO To Identify Online Shopping As Addictive Disorder By 2024: Gartner
The virtual shopping cart from the Wal-Mart Stores Inc. app is displayed on an Apple Inc. iPhone at one of the company’s outlet in Shenzhen, China (Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

WHO To Identify Online Shopping As Addictive Disorder By 2024: Gartner


By 2024, the World Health Organization will identify online shopping as an addictive disorder, as millions abuse digital commerce and experience financial stress, predicts research firm Gartner.

Consumer spending via digital commerce platforms will continue to grow over 10 percent year-over-year through 2022, according to its top strategic predictions for 2020 and beyond.

The ease of online shopping will cause financial stress for millions of people, as online retailers increasingly use artificial intelligence and personalisation to effectively target consumers and prompt them to spend discretionary income that they do not have, it said.

The resulting debt and personal bankruptcies will cause depression and other health concerns caused by stress, which is capturing the attention of the WHO, Gartner said. By 2023, the number of people with disabilities employed will triple due to AI and emerging technologies, reducing barriers to access, Gartner predicted.

"People with disabilities constitute an untapped pool of critically skilled talent," said Vice President and Gartner Fellow, Daryl Plummer. "AI, augmented reality, virtual reality, and other emerging technologies have made work more accessible for employees with disabilities. For example, select restaurants are starting to pilot AI robotics technology that enables paralysed employees to control robotic waiters remotely," he said.

By 2024, AI identification of emotions will influence more than half of the online advertisements you see. Artificial emotional intelligence is the next frontier for AI development, especially for companies hoping to detect emotions in order to influence buying decisions.

By 2025, 50 percent of people with a smartphone but without a bank account will use a mobile-accessible cryptocurrency account, and by 2023, a self-regulating association for oversight of AI and machine learning designers will be established in at least four of the G7 countries, Gartner predicted.

By 2023, up to 30 percent of the world news and video content will be authenticated as real by blockchain countering deep fake technology. By 2023, individual activities will be tracked digitally by an "Internet of Behaviour" to influence benefit and service eligibility for 40 percent of people worldwide.

Through facial recognition, location tracking and big data, organisations are starting to monitor individual behaviour and link that behavior to other digital actions, like buying a train ticket, the firm said. The Internet of Things where physical things are directed to do a certain thing based on a set of observed operating parameters relative to a desired set of operating parameters is now being extended to people, known as the Internet of Behaviour, Gartner added.

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