Generation Alpha, some of them not yet born, are poised to be the generation with the richest experience in the technology space.
Those born in 2010 or after were given their name by Mark McCrindle, a social researcher out of Australia, but some are giving them the moniker Generation Glass as a nod to them entering the world completely immersed in the technology the rest of us had to learn- this technology being the whole of their lives rather than simply an extension of it. It’s no coincidence that when they got their start, the iPad was introduced and Instagram was born.
A fascinating report produced by consultancy Wired and Hotwire, called Understanding Generation Alpha, speaks to the technology that will define this generation – and consequently affect the rest of us. In the report, they talk about how smart devices (Alexa, Google Home), voice interaction, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies are molding Generation Alpha stating, “They are born into a landscape in which devices are intelligent, everything is connected and physical and digital environments merge into one. As they grow up, technologies that appear new or unusual to older generations will be a normal part of their lives.” This immersion in technology, not only Artificial Intelligence, but AI that has been programmed with emotional intelligence is what will shape how they learn, communicate, and interact with the world they will be creating for themselves.
It’s for these reasons that, while the debate over screen time continues to simmer for older generations, for Generation Alpha, it’s hard to quantify too much of something you have always known, always carried with you, and that you use for everything from homework to entertainment. For this generation, technology is not only convenient, but interwoven into every part of their lives – a blurred line between digital worlds and “the real world.”
If those born in Generation Z are tech-savvy digital natives, then the younger Generation Glass trumps that by not only being indigenous to the land of technology, but the generation that is likely to drive its future. The broader significance of this emerging technology as it relates to learning, privacy, or marketing for all of us, cannot yet be seen but will surely play a huge role in the lives of the generation that will be charting its course.
Whether you call them Alpha or Glass doesn’t much matter. This generation is sure to be extraordinary in their own unique way and challenge the generations that came before them with inspirational new ideas about everything from technology to activism. Their label will be theirs to adopt, challenge, reinvent or replace for something more fitting for who they will become.