Elon Musk is a genius. Recently, he asked American Governors to regulate Artificial Intelligence (AI) before it’s too late. Musk’s position on AI is known but his recent comments again brought the debate of intrusion of technology in our lives? Is the golden age of technology over? No. Musk’s concerns withstanding, we are embarking on a golden age of technology globally.
Technology excites us. Technology frightens us. Technology amazes us. Technology arouses us. Technology challenges us. Technology is all around us. Technology is a part of our daily lives. The continuous improvement and rise of technology has created new possibilities.
We are embarking on a golden age of technology thanks to the combined forces of Smart Devices, Global Connectivity, Cloud Power, Machine Learning & Data Analytics. I called it the DNA of new age of technology – Devices & Data, Networks & Connectivity, Analytics. The DNA is connecting different technology dots and creating disruptive ideas. The disruptive ideas are scaling fast to change business models and influence our digital lives. The impact of technology is real when politicians smart promising faster internet, digital government and smart IOT cities to win votes!
1. Devices & Data
Devices are smarter, faster, cheaper and loaded with sensors. The devices include micro-buttons and chips. Human body and car can be a device itself. The skin stickers can capture vital body stats. Ingestible sensors can give the real view of what is happening inside your body. Beacons in airports, retails stores, hospitals, warehouses, museums are a reality now.
Data is the new oil. Huge amount of data is being captured on an ongoing basis. Mobile phones, apps, browsers, sensors, fitness devices etc. are some of the avenues through which data is regularly captured. We have collected more data in last two years than in last 20 years.
2. Networks & Connectivity
The proliferation of connectivity across the world is a big booster to the technology aspirations of mankind. As countries get faster and reliable internet connectivity, it will open traditional vestiges to innovation. The connectivity will boost existing and new businesses and empower citizens. As countries realize that their GDP and connectivity are positively co-related, the investments in connectivity will continue. And it will boost new technologies like drones, robots and autonomous cars.
The widespread availability of internet and internet access has opened the quick collection, transmission and analysis of data. We also have the capability to store huge amount of data in large data warehouses or leverage cloud options like AWS, Azure etc.
3. Analytics & Predictive Intelligence
The huge collection of data opens the possibility for rich analysis. The huge processing power is available at cheap rates and new software frameworks help to analyse the huge amount of data being collected. Not only are we now capable of analysing the past data, but we can predict the future. We can determine ongoing patterns to make important predictions relevant recommendations. We are all used to Amazon recommendations, but we also have recommendations for clothing, food to eat, restaurants to visit. As the data gets enlarged and enriched, we will get more intelligent recommendations.
The machine learning and analytics are powering connected intelligence. The mundane and hazardous tasks can be taken over by technology leaving the humans to focus on more value-enriching tasks. The technology intelligence and algorithms can make better decisions than human beings. Finance, healthcare, governance, transport, educations are being disrupted.
Is the golden age of technology real?
The paradigm shifts are causing changes in business, economic models, governance and our daily lives. The combined forces of DNA are solving biggest problems of the world. The world is moving towards better health systems, predictive diagnostics, safe driving, removing language barriers, greener technologies, digital governance etc. The possibilities are immense.
Technology giants, governments and innovators must address concerns of privacy, security and economic costs. The systems should be properly tested and compliances must be adhered to. Digital lives need digital assurance. But technology is an irreversible ride. A gun in the hand of a soldier protects the citizens and a gun in the hand of a terrorist harms the citizens. Technology is powered by human minds and it also powers the human mind. We must make the choices. No human being should work in dangerous mines or do scavenging jobs. At the same time, no machine can create magic of Picasso, J K Rowling or Roger Federer!
Image: MIT Technology Review