Sonia Ambrosio –
The hundreds of small changes in technology are having a big impact on our lives. Image recognition, voice recognition and driverless technologies are all around us. These shifts are developing on the fringes of science and society until one day there is a social change in human behaviour.
That moment of ‘eureka’ reveals that a trend exists and it is the result of a series of little changes that are emerging and moving constantly from the fringes to the mainstream. Trend is what helps us forecast the future — until it evolves again. It is identifying changes in the present to what’s coming in the future.
Unfortunately, education is not keeping pace with technology development. We are maintaining and cultivating methodologies in which the schools and teachers are the gatekeepers of knowledge, even though the Internet is there to answer questions.
Nonetheless, technology is shaping our future. The 2017 Tech Trend Report published by Future Today Institute in the United States, forecast emerging technology trends that will influence from business to education to politics and of course, society. This dense document with solid information and real-world case examples is an open eye to what the future holds for 2017 and beyond.
According to the report, there are ten modern sources of change in society with technology as the primary connector: wealth distribution, education, government, politics, public health, demography, economy, environment, journalism and media (individual and collective use of social networks). If you want to forecast the future, look carefully into these connectors.
The report predicts that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be integrated as a branch of computer science in which computers are programmed to do things that normally require human intelligence — this includes learning, reasoning, problem-solving, understanding language and perceiving a situation or environment.
The White House has also recognised the importance of AI in economic development. According to its report, ‘Artificial Intelligence, Automation and the Economic’, carried out by the White House and published in December 2016, the current wave of enthusiasm for AI is driven by three mutually reinforcing factors: the availability of big data from sources, including e-commerce, businesses and social media; science, and government.
Interestingly, AI has its intellectual roots as far back as Greek antiquity and the term “artificial intelligence” entered popular awareness in the mid-1950s, after Alan Turing, the British mathematician, and WWII code-breaker came up with the idea of machines that think.
Another tech trend Future Today Institute predicts is Artificial Intelligence in Hiring! Researchers are finding that the usual data sources — test scores, GPAs and the like — aren’t reliable indicators of talent; therefore, Artificial Intelligence is being used to assess personal attributes like empathy, thoughtfulness, engagement, motivation and drive.
Coupled with social media screening — looking at an applicant’s previous posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs and elsewhere online — emerging systems consider both personality and behaviour when evaluating possible new hires. Scary, hum? It has always been said: ‘careful with what you post online’.
Marketers will soon have access to algorithms that can evaluate your personality and predict your specific needs and desires. Meanwhile, some life insurance underwriters are attempting to assess your personality and your health via your website subscriptions (and visits), the photos you post on the social media in order to determine how risky an investment you are. You can’t deceive a computer that can read algorithms.
So yet, AI is not there to catch you, only. Feeling lonely? Not anymore. You can have a robot buddy. The first generation of robot companion is being built in Japan. Kirobo Mini companion is coming soon, while RoboHon has already debuted. Robots will help with everything from elder care to medical assistance, to everyday companionship. Recent advancements in robotics are proving that soon, humans may no longer be required to do certain manufacturing jobs. Meaning that the automation of some tasks can have an impact on how millions of people earn their livelihoods.
On a high note, though robotic journalism is already a reality, this article was written by a cheerful human being.