In a world where everything is evolving and moving quickly, the tech world is moving quicker. In tech, as we all know, if you are on trend, you are behind. The only way to be in the know is to stay ahead. We are always on the cusp of great advancement and today is no exception. In Accenture’s 2018 Trend Report they say that “84% of executives agree that through technology, companies are weaving themselves seamlessly into the fabric of how people live today.” I couldn’t agree more.
I sat down with our very own Director of Operations and fixer of all tech in our office, Richard Ledesma, to discuss what’s new in the world of technology. I’m going to highlight a few technologies to keep a close eye on, but I’m not going to give you the same thing as all of the other stuff you’re likely reading over and over again. I could focus only on the positive aspects of these systems and tech advances but that seems to be all that’s out there these days and i’m a proponent of the notion that knowledge is power. So instead, i’m going to talk about the potential problems, barriers of entry, and key points to keep in mind as we inevitably integrate these technologies into our day to day lives.
To start off, let me just say that the biggest issues ALL of these technologies will have to face in the near future relates to government’s involvement and regulation. With new technology and advancement, understandably, comes new rules and right now we just aren’t certain what they will be. We also aren’t sure how much regulatory interference will help or hinder these spaces and the evolution within these spaces. I figured it was easier to mention that now instead of reiterating the same point on each of the techs I’m talking to y’all about today. If you enjoy the monotony though, feel free to read this little paragraph after each technology.
Alright let’s get into it.
1. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)
What is it? Artificial Intelligence is, essential simulated human intelligence by machines.
What could it do? Honestly, more than I can imagine. Google recently announced modifications to their technology called Google Duplex that will allow your Google AI system to actually make telephone calls on its users behalf. AI is evolving quickly. This technology can become tailored to its user over time and that learning is key.
Where have I seen it? Alexa, Siri, Google Home
What’s the catch? Because the systems must constantly be listening, the ethical lines are being blurred in regards to data collection. There is a fine line between big data and AI. There is a lot of questions in regards to how to best factor in security risks and what technology consumers will have access to.
Another problem designated to AI is that it is known as a “job killer.” It’s true that AI will replace many jobs; however, it will also create jobs because these machines will need to be operated, adjusted, and maintained.
What is it? Blockchain is a decentralized platform (or ledger) for tracking and processing cryptocurrency and digital assets chronologically and publicly. We aren’t sure how expansive this technology will be but rest assure this technology will impact every major industry.
What could it do? Change society and transactional processes in their entirety globally. Cryptocurrency was the driving force behind blockchain, but it’s viable in so many other industries and applications. Cryptocurrency was derived from blockchain technology. Blockchain spreads risk of infiltration across a network of users and diminishes the vulnerability of a server to external attacks and being compromised.
Where have I seen it? Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
What’s the catch? One potential threat to the integration of this technology is how it will affect industries such as banking. If banks start losing money because blockchain technology can reduce the involvement of the middleman, it will be a problem. There could potentially be a loss of billion- maybe trillions- of dollars from banks, companies like Paypal, and even brick and mortar stores.
3. AUGMENTED REALITY (AR) & VIRTUAL REALITY (VR)
What is it? Augmented reality is an altered visual transposed into the actual reality of the current view. Virtual reality is a complete visual and auditory overhaul of reality.
What could it do? This technology holds so much possibility and is extremely malleable. This technology could be utilized in many recreational applications but what i feel is important to note are the technical applications: flight simulators for training pilots, simulated surgeries, neuroscience, etc.
Where have I seen it? Augmented reality is Pokemon Go, Snapchat filters, or the animation that occurs when an app is used with 19 crimes wine. Virtual reality is when a headset or immersive device of some sort is used to completely change the world around the person such as in simulators or VR-based Drone flying.
What’s the catch? The catch is accuracy. The simulators and visuals must be accurate in order for this technology to be a viable option for technical training. Pilots, surgeons, and neuroscientists are just a few of the professionals who could benefit from the training and explorative possibilities of AR and VR.
What is it? A drone is a remote-controlled flying/hovering device also known as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
What could it do? Sport, recreation, utility. Delivery/shipping, cartography, exploration, film photography.
Where have I seen it? Yes. everywhere. Next time you are at any gathering or event, look up.
What’s the catch? You guessed it! Government involvement and trespassing. Air space is highly patrolled and governed so the areas and height of flight are specific.
5. 3D PRINTING
What is it? Additive manufacturing techniques that generate 3-dimensional figures via computer programs.
What could it do? Anything and everything. I am interested in seeing how this technology evolves. Everything from organs to fully operational firearms have been produced. This could completely enhance the world of limb regeneration and prosthetics.
Where have I seen it? Yes. This technology has been out for several years but the possibilities continue to snowball and penetrate almost every industry.
What’s the catch? The major question right now is funding and to what scale can things be printed. Can food be printed? Can aircrafts with no metal be produced? Fully operational firearms have been produced and items like this cause unforeseeable threats.
6. INTERNET OF THINGS (IOT)
What is it? “Internet of things” basically just refers to any device connected and utilizing the internet that is not a cellphone, tablet, or computer.
What could it do? Basically anything. Most electronics can be reconfigured to have some sort of function that requires internet access and then the functionalities, since they are internet-based, can be interconnected as well.
Where have I seen it? Yes. The coolest thing to me is Samsung’s new fridge where you can write on the screen and it updates directly to your phone, Alexa, ATM
What’s the catch? One problem is in relation to larger companies who have personal intranets. Many companies have to introduce policies in regards to BYOD (bring your own devices). The main problem is security because more devices connected to the secured intranet are just more points of vulnerability and ways for hackers to infiltrate the system/database.
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla is quoted saying “An asteroid or a super volcano could certainly destroy us, but we also face risks the dinosaurs never saw: An engineered virus, nuclear war, inadvertent creation of a micro black hole, or some as-yet-unknown technology could spell the end of us.” I know this sounds melodramatic and generalized but it’s the damn truth: in the world of technology there will always be a tug-of-war between good and evil. There will always be people ready to exploit, hack, or infiltrate these systems. The hope is that groups with the right intentions will be ahead.
Alright that’s what I’ve got for y’all for this one. Do you agree or disagree with what Richard and I discussed here? Is there anything new in the tech world you want Richard to comment on? We want to know what you guys think!