Six things that will help us build a better future
There are six technology trends that are going to completely reshape the world over the next ten years.
This was according to Intel’s Dr Genevieve Bell during her keynote session at last year’s Fujitsu Forum.
With this year’s event almost upon us, I thought I’d look back on Dr Bell’s talk and highlight some of the points she made that are still completely relevant one year on.
Here are six technology trends she said will help us build a better future…
1. Data eats the world
“You can’t help but find conversations about data all around you,” Dr Bell said.
We’re moving to a world where data will matter more and more. As technology advances, so will the ability to capture, circulate, curate and store all that information.
“How will we navigate all this?” Dr Bell asked. “How will we manage privacy? What is private and what isn’t? The nature of privacy has changed dramatically over the last 20 years but it’s hardly stable or consistent.”
Another big question that must be answered is the ownership of personal data, i.e. who owns it – the individual or the business?
2. Smarter devices and smarter services
All this data will give rise to smarter devices and services, Dr Bell said.
“Services won’t feel like services anymore,” she said. “It will stop feeling like an interaction and start feeling like a relationship.”
We could even reach a point where these services are ‘platform agnostic’ or even ‘platform promiscuous’, where they simply follow us around. But how comfortable will people feel about that?
3. Robot uprising
This concept is often accompanied with equal parts delight and fear. If our literary history is anything to go by, robots don’t always come in peace.
Bell argued these anxieties need to be untangled if we’re to realise the benefits of robotics, automation and AI.
“A robot is just a cover over an algorithm,” she said.
But the bigger questions we have to answer aren’t technical ones – they’re about morals and ethics.
How do you programme the decision-making tree in a driverless car when it’s a question of who to protect in the event of an accident? Is it the driver or the passenger that takes priority?
4. Trust no-one
The growth of data, smart services and algorithms spawns a much larger challenge around safety and security.
“This moves beyond thinking ‘we just need more passwords’,” Dr Bell said. Particularly given the 25bn devices expected to be connected to the internet by 2020.
More than just detecting breaches, it’s about designing security through the lifecycle of products, she argued.
“How we manage the trade-offs between privacy, security and trust is going to be one of the core questions in the technical field in the next 10 years.”
5. Mass personalisation
“We know 3D printing has grown up in the last few years,” Dr Bell said, even in some surprising sectors such as healthcare.
“Why would you get [a hip replacement] off the shelf, when you can get one tailored for you?”
She predicted 3D will move into all manner of spaces once we’ve overcome the challenges around programming.
But combining 3D printing with the prevalence of lightweight circuitry in future will open up a world of possibility where there will be very low barriers to access building your own technologies.
6. A picture is worth a thousand words
The rise of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will create a different set of interfaces and ways for humans to interact with technology.
“I think we’re sitting at the beginning of a significant shift, where realistic immersive and beautiful interactions are abound,” Dr Bell said.
There have been remarkable advances in screen technologies of late that simply weren’t possible five years ago. When you couple that with all the data we now have access to, how will that impact on storytelling?
“It makes the possibilities amazing,” Dr Bell concluded.
It was an absolutely fascinating keynote, which spells out a very exciting future if we can overcome these challenges over data, security and privacy.
And the points Dr Bell made are still very much at the front of technologists’ minds as Fujitsu Forum 2016 approaches.
I can’t wait to see what our keynote speakers have got to say at this year’s event!
Be sure to grab your ticket if you haven’t already, and keep an eye on our blog and social media channels for lots more content about the event.
Watch Dr Bell’s full 2015 keynote below:
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