No one can be certain of what the future has in store for us. Some people predict the worst, picturing a future where robots have stolen our jobs. Others provide a more positive outlook, seeing emerging technologies as a way to help impact their business and society at large. However, both agree that we are on the edge of a technological revolution that will transform every aspect of our lives, regardless of where we are in the world.
Technologies like blockchain have the capabilities to disrupt major industries such as the financial industry, but it is unable to do so because most nations have set regulations that govern banks and other financial facilities today. This is not to say that all hope is lost. There are plenty of exciting advancements which will change the world and enhance human lives. Below are just five of them.
1. Blockchain Technology and Digital Assets
The blockchain technology is a decentralized system for recording and documenting transactions that take place involving a particular digital asset. It maintains identical copies across each computer within a network, making it near impossible for hackers to attack the platform. Although, blockchain is famous for its role as the technology behind cryptocurrencies, in the past few years, many non-crypto, blockchain applications were introduced to the world, including fundraising, sharing data, voting and medical record-keeping. Despite the progress being made, blockchain is still in its early stages and has a long way to go. With its features of transparency, security, versatility, immutability, and near-anonymity, blockchain is already being embraced by businesses worldwide. For example, a FinTech company called Finterra enables individuals and businesses to take advantage of the benefits its blockchain-based platform offers through a range of applications, from Islamic social finance to digital wallets and invoice financing.
2. Artificial Intelligence
AI has evolved drastically in the last decade, due to advanced algorithms and great increases in data collection and computing power. The promise of AI is to free people from repetitive mental tasks, much the same way the industrial revolution freed people from repetitive physical tasks. Although, people have feared losing jobs, history shows that technology leads to new and better jobs. For instance, millions of people today would not have jobs as app developers, ride-sharing drivers, drone operators, and social media marketers, if it were not for the advancements in technology.
3. Virtual and Augmented Reality
As difficult as it is to believe, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) have been around for more than 30 years. Their initial applications were in the military aircraft arena, before it moved on to being used in entertainment and gaming. Tech giants like Google, Apple, and Microsoft are investing billions of dollars to make VR and AR more immersive, faster, and affordable.
Soon, these technologies will be used for all kinds of activities. Although, these technologies are still not mature enough, they are already being used in manufacturing, healthcare and logistics.
4. Clean Energy
Clean energy is taking over the world in an attempt to combat climate change. Scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs have been working on making clean energy convenient and affordable for everyone. Technological advances have brought renewables into the mainstream, and the resulting transformation will lead to energy savings, reduced carbon emissions, greater energy diversification and job creation. The clean energy industry is expected to continue to grow rapidly in the coming years.
“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”
Thomas Edison, 1931
5. Computerized Medicine
For the longest time, computers were used mainly for research and record keeping purposes. Now, the collaboration of computer science and medicine is leading to a number of breakthroughs in healthcare.
Multiple sources examine the future of medicine, and how genetic or DNA sequencing is expected to become a routine part of medicine, as it generates a great deal of data that can be examined using strong data analysis software. Applications include analysing blood samples for early signs of cancer and controlling prosthetic limbs with mere thoughts using brain-to-machine interfaces.
These are just five of the many technological advancements to prepare for in the near future. There are more to look forward to, such as the space-age technology, drones and driverless vehicles. Technological innovations and new financing methods are paving the way to a more sustainable and brighter future. Instead of perceiving digital disruptions as a cause for concern, people can benefit by embracing new technologies. The pressure to innovate amid this technological revolution presents an opportunity for us all to rethink the way we live and work.
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