Over the next five years or so, I think we’re likely to see significant changes in fields such as artificial intelligence, space exploration, advancement of augmented and mixed reality, and quantum computing.
Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality
Advancements in artificial intelligence can be particularly impactful when it comes to healthcare. Many large tech companies like Google, Apple, Tencent and Facebook, among others, have been establishing strong presences in these fields, although there’s likely to be Chinese newcomers that can challenge these tech titans.
In the not too distant future, your next checkup could be conducted by a virtual doctor (there’s apps already available). And your smartphone will not only have access to digital assistants like Google, Alexa and Siri, but also vastly intelligent artificial intelligence systems that are capable of doing much more than reciting the weather, opening apps or fetching answers to some rather uncomplicated questions.
For years, large tech firms like Facebook, Apple and Google have been emphasising the impact that emerging fields like artificial intelligence and augmented reality could have on our everyday lives. But because these technologies are still in their early stages, it can be difficult to appreciate how significant they will really be one day.
There’s so much more innovation that’s available than people are capable of embracing so there’s always a lag between the innovation breakthroughs and the actual application in the wider consumer marketplace.
Artificial intelligence technology is advancing very rapidly and is going to fundamentally change how we get our healthcare, with virtual doctors and advanced AI-powered diagnostics on the horizon.
The AI sector is set to grow financially in the coming years too. Market research firm Gartner predicts that the global business value derived from artificial intelligence could hit $3.9 trillion in 2022.
Blended Reality and Space
Another area that’s likely to boom in the coming years is blended reality, which is a combination of augmented reality, virtual reality, and telepresence. This type of technology would make it possible to view digital information in the real world without having to wear glasses or rely on your smartphone, this will be instantaneous, those cumbersome devices will disappear, and you’ll be able to moderate how much [digital information] you want.
The new space race, which involves nations around the globe as well as billionaire-backed private companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, will also be a catalyst of change over the next five years — potentially resulting in a new startup scene.
You’re going to have hundreds of companies around the world that are going to compete for everything from lunar landers to making it habitable to live on the Mars.
The emergence of supercomputers
Quantum computing is another game-changer, with the ability to process data at blazing fast speeds. That’s because while today’s computer’s use bits in the form of binary 0s and 1s, quantum computers operate through quantum bits. These so-called “qbits” are particles that are capable of representing numerous combinations of 0s and 1s, as MIT Technology Review explains. Quantum computing can be especially critical when it comes to enhancing cybersecurity, since it will enable us to encrypt smarter.
Many of today’s largest technology firms have already been dipping their toes into parts of these fields. Facebook sells virtual reality products under its Oculus brand, while Apple offers tools for developers to create augmented reality iPhone apps and Microsoft sells its Hololens mixed reality headset. Both IBM and Google have also been conducting research in quantum computing. But it’s too soon to know who will emerge as the industry leader in these platforms, or if it will even end up being one of these high-profile tech firms at all.
So it doesn’t necessarily mean that today’s tech giants are necessarily going to be the leaders of tomorrow, I think there’s going to be a lot of new players that come into the game that understand blended reality, understand telepresence, virtual reality, all of that, and can come in and displace today’s tech titans.
The only way the pace of technology can slow down is if there’s a global war, which might cause the world tech to move backwards by 5 years. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that because we all loose in wars.
Nazrul Hoque – 01 Feb 2020