Technology is evolving at break-neck speed, with many more advancements taking the spotlight during the recent era of social distancing and lockdowns. After sizeable disruptions caused by the pandemic, organisations are focused on not only getting back on track, but building for the future – a stable one at that. The era of social distancing and lockdowns shone a light on how fragile some company infrastructures were, and customers and clients’ needs changed radically, overnight. Many people came to realise how dependent humans have become on technology, and are now embracing new mindsets to face a new future.
So what are the current technology trends shaping and influencing our present and future?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
AI is the intelligence of machines, as opposed to the natural intelligence displayed by humans, and it’s already impacting everyday lives from smartphones to chatbots, to entertainment, transportation and medicine. AI momentum is building and is changing the world as we know it. ML is a branch of AI and utilises data and algorithms to identify patterns and make predictions or decisions with minimal human intervention.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Robotic process automation refers to metaphorical software on robots – often referred to as software robotics. The technology makes it easier to build, deploy and manage software robots that emulate humans. Demand for RPA has grown exponentially in recent years, as it creates a digital workforce where repetitive, mundane, manual tasks are replaced with software robots.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
Bridging the digital and physical worlds, AR and VR are growing trends that show no sign of slowing. The lines between the real world and the digital world are becoming more and more blurred, and with rapid advances on the horizon, it’s safe to say that AR and VR will continue to shape the future.
5G, or the 5th generation mobile network is set to transform the world as we know it. Up to 100 times faster than 4G, it offers never-seen-before opportunities for people and businesses alike.
Internet of Things (IoT) and Internet of Behaviours (IoB)
The IoT refers to things that are embedded with sensors or other technologies which enables the connecting and exchanging of data between devices and systems, via the internet (for example smart watches or smart refrigerators). The IoB is an extension of the IoT, working with data and other information, it understands and works with patterns or behaviours that will ultimately determine user experience.
Blockchain technology is, simply put, a decentralised, distributed ledger that is used for identity management, smart contracts, supply chain analysis and more. It can be used to create a transparent ledger system for compiling sales data, tracking digital use and payments to owners, and already has far-reaching applications across many industries. The full potential of blockchain technology remains to be uncovered!
Cyber security refers to the application of technologies, processes and controls to protect systems, networks, programs, devices and data from cyber attacks. It’s aim is to reduce the risk of cyber attacks and protect against the hacking of systems, networks and technologies. With huge advancements in the technological space, cybersecurity is crucial, and the need for employees with cybersecurity skills will continue to rise.
Quantum computing harnesses the phenomena of quantum physics to create new ways of computing, and is a huge leap forward in solving computational problems. Quantum computers can process information millions of times faster than everyday computers, and the quantum computing market is projected to reach $64.98 billion by 2030. Organisations such as Microsoft, Google, and Intel are all competing to build quantum computing tools.
Human augmentation (sometimes referred to as Human 2.0) is a means of enhancing human abilities through medicine and/or technology. It can create cognitive and physical improvements to parts of the human body, for example using active control systems to create limb prosthetics with characteristics that are far superior to natural human performance.
Distributed cloud is the application of cloud computing technologies to share or connect data and applications across multiple systems, coming from multiple geographic locations.
Technology has come a long way in recent years and will continue to advance rapidly. However the ongoing debate amongst many is, will it save humanity or destroy us?
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