Technology. Without it we would all be so many hairy Neanderthals scratching about in the dirt, longing for Netflix, and shedding tears at our lack of social media presence. Thankfully, technology is alive and well, and streaking along at a breakneck pace that is more or less beyond belief. If you, like me, were around to see the birth of the mobile phone, you’ll know that the current generation of mobile technology is essentially mind-blowing sorcery.
As we sit now, the current technology trends have made themselves clear. It doesn’t take a genius to see the direction that various key technologies are headed, and now is a good a time as any to sit back, take a look, and make a few predictions. Join me for the ride…
Artificial Intelligence – The Ever Present Buzzword
If you take a step outside your front door, and aren’t tackled by someone screaming artificial intelligence in your face, you’re probably having a pretty rare day. It seems that many companies have latched onto the phrase, and are using it to tout their technology as loudly as they possibly can, be that technology related to AI or not. This is because, for the most part, the general public still largely misunderstands the reality of AI. But, since the perception still exists that one day a Rube Goldberg Machine could somehow become sentient, companies will keep yammering on about it.
This isn’t to say that programmes are not becoming more advanced, because they certainly are. The advancements are showing up in everything from the aforementioned mobile phones, to on-board car computers, and everything in between. But this is mostly due to more intuitive programme designs, and not technically AI.
So, a world ending Sky-net level of AI is still an extremely long way off, if it ever exists at all.
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Data Sharing Focus
Remember how long it took for USB ports to become a thing? Prior to that, you had to simply cross your fingers, pray, and hope that you had the required ports, or converters, to make all your computer accessories work. Then, when USB did come along, it was as if the clouds had parted, and convenience rays had descended from the heavens.
This centralisation of technology is continuing, and the benefits really are enough to make us weep tears of joy. Take music from your laptop to your car sound system, quickly, conveniently, and without having to contact someone with a computer science degree. Watch a movie on your TV, tablet, or phone, and heat popcorn with the other hand. It’s glorious, and if it continues this way, then I foresee a centralised future where one single device will control the entire household.
Look at wireless Internet speeds and notice a shocking reality; 5G follows 4G, and it is due, some say by the end of 2019. Already extremely fast, wireless download speeds could increase by a stunning 10 times, if the predictions about 5G are correct. It remains to be seen, but those downloads speeds are going to increase, one way or another.
Fear The Machines
Last on the list, and a more realistic concern than sentient AI, some jobs will almost certainly be handed over to software, and replace humans. Many companies are gearing up to have their call centres handled by software, and chances are this trend will be kicking up into high gear.
It’s foolish to think that software could ever replace humans entirely, but jobs are going to be lost, and that is a hard reality. In fact, as a writer, I have half-real fears about the day software can generate sentences that make sense. Although if you look at the gems that Google Translate comes up with, I feel safe, for now anyway.