When you think about the future, what kind of a world comes into your mind? Is it flying cars robots in the ever-popular cartoon, The Jetsons? Do you fear that artificial intelligence would take over the world one day and that humans would become extinct? I know I do.
With industries growing at the pace of light-years with a “grow fast or die fast” attitude, it is impossible to predict what the future holds. However, we can project what the emerging technologies of tomorrow are, what science has in store for us to make our future better. The innovations that we believe are the technologies of the future become yesterday’s technologies within the blink of an eye. So, to help us stay abreast of the latest happenings in the enigmatic tech industry, let’s look at some of the technologies with the potential to change our lives in the next decade.
The Internet of Things:
The Internet of Things (IoT) is how devices all around us interact with one another. Right from smartphones and watches to household appliances and cars. IoT is all about how these devices communicate and exchange data via a sensor network. It’s also referred to as the internetworking of connected devices. This new wave of connected devices goes beyond our laptops and smartphones. It leans towards connected cars, smart homes, connected portable devices, smart cities, and connected healthcare to create a connected life.
To elaborate, let’s take an example of one such IoT application: connected cars. The concept of connected cars was brought into the picture by General Motors by introducing OnStar. It had features like Automatic Crash Response, Theft Vehicle Tracking, Navigation, and Roadside Assistance. Connected cars are nothing more than cars synced with all your gadgets like your smartwatch or smartphone so that they can talk to each other. This allows you to control and check on your vehicle from anywhere with the help of voice control. AT&T Drive is one such application that provides integration for these devices. With the help of this application, you can start the engine from your smartphone, lock the doors, honk the horn, and check the car’s tire pressure. Similarly, the minute you pull into your driveway, you can check the room temperature of your home, turn on the lights, close the garage door, and so much more. It looks like our dream of owning Batman’s batmobile is not so far away.
Big Data and Data Analytics
Big Data is the field where a large amount of data is stored and captured. Data Analytics is the process of identifying data sets so that we can recognize and uncover patterns that would help in the process of decision making. Data analytics could change our lives drastically. It could help predict where crime or terrorist activity could take place based on statistics of previous offenses.
A perfect example of data analytics would be Amazon and Netflix. Every time I browse for my favorite books, shows, or shop online, I get flooded by advertisements telling me the price of my “favorite item” has dropped.
Online e-commerce websites do this by analyzing and studying browser history. Netflix is another application which keeps track of users browsing the history of all the end-user has watched and accordingly “predicts” or suggests what the user may like. Almost 99% of the time, it has managed to recommend some excellent movies that I thoroughly enjoyed.
From predicting serial killers and weather to predicting the next triage in our applications, Data Science has the answer to predicting everything about our future.
“The government has a secret system: a machine that spies on you every hour of every day. I know, because I built it. I designed the machine to detect acts of terror, but it sees everything,” said Michael Emerson’s character, Harold Finch, from the Netflix show, “Person of Interest.” Finch’s words perfectly sum up what exactly AI means to the world right now. Adding to that, Investopedia defines AI as “Simulated intelligence in machines which are programmed to ‘think’ like a human and mimic the way a person acts.”
AI is by far, one of the most-awaited and dreaded technologies of all time. There is a heightened concern that AI would cause robots to take over the world and replace humans in all work fields. Especially in countries like India, where there is no shortage of human resources. Whether or not this is paranoia, only time will tell. But it does seem far enough that measures are being taken by companies who work in AI to augment human capabilities rather than replace them.
AI represents imitated intelligence in machines with simple programming to think and act like a human. One characteristic of AI is the ability to predict spontaneous actions that will have the best chance to meet a specific goal. We are familiar with the chatbots popping up whenever we log in to our usual websites. Chatbots are a real-world implementation of AI. Driverless cars are another real-life example that is becoming a reality by Elon Musk’s Tesla and Google.
With such exciting technologies, I can picture a Utopian future where everything is done for us. Our day would begin with breakfast presenting itself the minute we get up and driverless cars floating in the air and taking us to work. There would be restaurants built mid-air, children taught by robotic teachers, and people would time travel for their vacation instead of the Swiss Alps. Indeed, life would be good in the year 3000.