Predicting what technology will be like in the future is not easy to do. Technology changes so rapidly from year to year that what may seem like science-fiction in one moment can turn into reality in the next.
To get a better handle on what we can expect in the near and distant future, some of the best people to turn to are those that are already heavily involved in many of the current technological advances we’re seeing today. Those at the forefront of their industries often offer unique insights into what will become popular trends in the years to come. While no prediction is concrete in nature, it does help us get a better picture of where the world is heading and what our lives will be like as we use technology even more.
Human Minds and Artificial Intelligence Set to Combine
Few places are better equipped to prepare for the future like Google, so finding out what some of their tops minds think of what’s to come can be particularly valuable. Ray Kurzweil is Google’s director of engineering, and he says the future will be all about artificial intelligence. While some leading experts have expressed concerns about AI, Kurzweil is far more optimistic, even predicting that the way we think will change thanks to AI. He predicts that human thinking will merge with artificial intelligence, essentially becoming a hybrid of biological and non-biological thought, and that this will happen in only 15 years. He even goes on to say that by 2040, the majority of brain function will be done by AI. Whether this includes direct access to the internet, use of big data analytics tools in our minds, or actual storage of memories remains to be seen, but it’s a fascinating look at how far AI may come in such a short time. And considering how good Kurzweil is at predicting things (an 86 percent accuracy rating by his own count), it’s a prediction that shouldn’t be dismissed.
Cloud Computing to Become More Dominant in Business
In just a short period of time, the cloud has become a highly valuable tool in the business world. That trend is likely to continue if the predictions from Sarah Lahav, the CEO of SysAid Technologies, hold true. Lahav believes hybrid clouds, the combination of using public and private cloud solutions, will continue to gain in popularity among companies in the near future. As cloud technology continues to advance, by 2020 she predicts that some medium-size organizations will be able to put their entire operating infrastructure onto the cloud. Businesses will feel comfortable doing this because the cloud will become more stable and secure, while integration will become easier for larger companies to handle.
Social Media Will Be Even More Personal
Social media is already all around us, but we better get ready for it to become even more pervasive. At least that’s according to Piera Gelardi, the creative director for Refinery29, an independent fashion and style website connecting shoppers and stylists. She predicts that mobile devices are only the first step toward greater penetration of social media in our lives. The next step is the growth of wearable devices that record everything around us at all times, and considering the increase in popularity for wearable technology and bring your own device (BYOD) policies, this doesn’t seem farfetched. Gelardi predicts that this trend will extend to devices that are implanted in our bodies, capable of not only sharing sights and sounds but smells, tastes, and other sensations. Nearly every aspect of our lives will be shareable with those closest to us.
Cars Become a Home Away From Home
The current technological features in our cars may be just a precursor to what’s to come. Owen Hemsath, the President of video marketing company Videospot, is on board with predictions of self-driving technology happening soon. He goes on to predict that cars of the future will have multiple external cameras capable of capturing everything that goes on around the vehicle, including accidents and crimes. Hemsath also predicts many cars will have social sharing features, like an embedded internal camera for video bloggers to record messages on. With these amenities, cars will become more comfortable, like a home away from home.
In the coming years, it will be intriguing to see how many of these predictions come true. While no one has a real crystal ball to peer into, these experts do have extensive knowledge in their fields and are likely to identify where technology is truly heading. As we prepare now for the future, we’ll be ready for the changes that are likely to come.
About the Author:
Rick Delgado is a technology commentator and writer.