10 powerful, positive trends shaping our world

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Despite challenges, in many ways the world is changing for the better. Biotechnology could make us healthier, smart cities may make us safer and more productive, and sustainable business practices might help preserve the environment, among other promising trends. Here, we offer 10 major forces that could help create a better world for all.
Responsible use of AI could improve many business sectors
Artificial intelligence (AI) is already improving business practices and helping doctors diagnose medical issues. In the near future, cars will drive themselves, robots will "learn" as they automate manufacturing, and many other mundane and repetitive tasks could be handled by AI-driven systems — leaving people with more free time to explore, create and connect. What comes next? Perhaps new economic opportunities as industries and our conception of, and interactions with, machines are transformed.
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Footnote 1 National Institutes of Health (NIH), "What Are Genome Editing and CRISPR-Cas9?," 2018.

Footnote 2 Grandview Research, "Genomics Market Analysis," 2014.

Footnote 3 MIT Technology Review, "IBM Raises the Bar with a 50-Qubit Quantum Computer," 2017.

Footnote 4 Institute for Advanced Study, "What Can We Do with a Quantum Computer?," 2014.

Footnote 5 The Brookings Institution, "Vision 2030: One Year into Saudi Arabia's Economic Reforms," 2017.

Footnote 6 BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research, "Global Economic Weekly," November 17, 2017, page 11.

Footnote 7 Forbes, "The Countries with the Most STEM Graduates," 2017.

Footnote 8 BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research, "21st Century Cities: Global Smart Cities Primer," March 2, 2017.

Footnote 9 Ibid.

Footnote 10 Reuters, "World needs $94 trillion spent on infrastructure by 2040: Report," July 25, 2017.

Footnote 11 BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research, "Equity Strategy Focus Point: ESG Part II: A Deeper Dive," June 1, 2017.

Footnote 12 Ibid.

Footnote 13 Asian Development Bank, "Population and Aging in Asia: The Growing Elderly Population," 2017.

Footnote 14 Accenture Consulting, "The 'Greater' Wealth Transfer: Capitalizing on the Intergenerational Shift in Wealth," 2016.

Footnote 15 Eventbrite, "Millennials: Fueling the Experience Economy," 2014.

Footnote 16 OECD, "OECD Economic Surveys: India," 2017.

Footnote 17 Center for Strategic & International Studies, "Vision 2030: One Year into Saudi Arabia's Economic Reforms," 2017.

Footnote 18 Doing Business, "Vision 2030: One Year into Saudi Arabia's Economic Reforms," 2017.

Footnote 19 The Next Web, "The Global State of the Internet in April 2017," 2017.

Footnote 20 CSO, "Top 5 Cybersecurity Facts, Figures and Statistics for 2017," 2017.

Footnote 21 Cybersecurity Ventures, "The Cybersecurity Jobs Report," 2017.

Footnote 22 Impact investing and/or Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) managers may take into consideration factors beyond traditional financial information to select securities, which could result in relative investment performance deviating from other strategies or broad market benchmarks, depending on whether such sectors or investments are in or out of favor in the market. Further, ESG strategies may rely on certain values based criteria to eliminate exposures found in similar strategies or broad market benchmarks, which could also result in relative investment performance deviating.

Neither Merrill Lynch nor any of its affiliates or financial advisors provide legal, tax or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.

Asset allocation, diversification and rebalancing do not ensure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets.