The Next Big Thing in Tech: What Is It?

In the year 2050, technology will dominate the workplace with artificial intelligence and smart assistants being commonplace, while the use of augmented and virtual reality continues to increase. Everything will be ‘smart’ – connected and data-driven

The Future of Technology in 2050

Today’s technology is constantly changing and companies have started to learn the importance of understanding where the latest tech trends are heading. The future of technology is all about automation, AI and bringing augmented and virtual reality into everyday life. The pace of change is such that we’re already starting to see the realisation of a lot of the benefits of this change. Businesses are now able to make better decisions, take on new projects and create even more value with technology. So in the year 2050, in order to prepare for the future, we’re going to need to know what it’s going to be like. Our working lives will be dominated by technologies which can assist us and make our jobs easier, while at the same time will help us get the most out of our lives.

What is the next big thing in tech?

This is the question that not only vexes the marketers, but the technologists and consumers too. The name of the technology, to be more specific – Machine Learning. For those who are not aware, machine learning is a type of Artificial Intelligence. It uses complex algorithms, data and a lot of computing power to learn how to identify patterns and make predictions. There is a huge emphasis on making machines learn and adapt. This is best seen in smartphones, which nowadays can make voice commands, recognise your face and make you a phone call just by looking at you. The uses of AI and machine learning A large number of companies are currently engaged in creating AI. These include Apple, Microsoft and Google.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence has always been present in technology, but it’s only now that we can take a step back and truly appreciate it. It’s an integral part of how we interact with technology – from interacting with our chatbots to shopping online or sending emails – and what’s happening right now will have huge implications for our day-to-day life in the future. But what is AI? The definition is a bit vague. According to Google’s definition, AI is the “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines” which means that there are a lot of different forms. The sort of AI that makes our online shopping experience easier and more comfortable (like the Amazon Alexa we use now) is in the deep-learning category. It’s designed to learn as we interact with it.

Smart assistants

It’s hard to believe that Siri debuted as a feature of the iPhone 4S in 2011. Since then, AI has captured the imagination of the modern consumer. While Siri is still considered a far more generic ‘assistant’, the goalposts have shifted since the personal assistant’s initial arrival. While there was an outcry over Siri’s original launch due to the limited selection of apps available, recent figures show that over 500,000 apps are available to Siri users. Over 50% of Siri users are willing to share information with the voice-activated system, while many more – a third of Siri users – choose to send and receive money through the system. The next big thing in technology will no doubt centre around AI, smart assistants and augmented reality.

Augmented and virtual reality

Augmented and virtual reality will not replace human contact but the interaction will become more natural and effortless. Interactions will be not only through touch but through the use of touch, feel and sight. AR and VR will radically change the way we work and shop. By 2030 we are likely to have commercially viable smart glasses with a miniaturised augmented reality display. The problem will be working out how we interact with these. Could we see glasses with sensors integrated into them so we could see how much paper or energy was used in a restaurant by the way you were moving around? These might be the ultimate ad-glasses. Artificial intelligence A lot of work is going to go into establishing trust in AI, especially as we work with it and become more accustomed to how it works.

The future of tech

The world of technology has always been a fertile ground for disruption, innovation and development. The third industrial revolution is no different. We’re already beginning to see the beginning of a digital transformation in all aspects of our everyday lives. From phones to cars, from smart homes to the internet of things, devices are becoming smarter and more capable. But with the world becoming more technologically advanced, so is the need for new types of tech-based solutions. What I mean by this is that the next big thing in tech is likely to involve the utilisation of augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), a changing environment, and machines that can learn and adapt to their surroundings and situations. What will the next big thing in tech be?

How will technology impact our future work?

In one year’s time, most of us will have a smart assistant, according to research from Gartner. A smart assistant is a virtual assistant that will have all the skills and functionality of a human employee and interact with our staff and other stakeholders. The most prevalent are virtual personal assistants and chatbots which are now being integrated into many smart office solutions. Google has DeepMind, an AI that creates ‘curiosity centres’ to promote ‘fun and discovery’ with a ‘vast knowledge graph’. The team also unveiled Dialog, a virtual assistant that creates a dialogue with human beings.

Conclusion to the blog post

Smart technology is likely to be the most widely used workplace technology by 2025 with AI also proving the most valuable. One thing is for certain – it is time to get serious about the workplace technology you are adopting, and your employees are embracing. There is no doubt that as the future unfolds and new technologies emerge it will create its own impacts. However, while it seems far off, it is important to put it into perspective for your organisation. Smart technology, mobile communications and artificial intelligence (AI) are redefining how we work and how we interact with others. Not only will they be available for your employees but it could very well become the centre of productivity and operations in the future.

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