If we have gained anything from 2020, it is the knowledge that things can change at the drop of a hat. At this point, I’m sure that we are all ready for 2021 and what it has in store. Looking back at the year, we can see how things not only changed socially, but they changed technologically. We have depended on technology during this past year more than ever. Through socially-distanced tasks and increased hygiene practices, technology has been there through it all to make it possible.
Think about what would have happened if we did not have modern technology to carry us through this time. You may not have even given it a second thought. Technology has not only aided in keeping millions of people safe during this global pandemic, but it has also been constantly developing to help us in other ways of life as well. The year has certainly been a year of change and development. Technology has been at the forefront of that change. Although technology will always be evolving and changing, this year specifically should be recognized for its advances in technology. Here are some of the latest technologies of this year that are sure to influence people for years to come.
1. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an expansive branch of computer science that deals with building machines capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence. In its essence, it equips computer systems with the ability to make decisions like humans. AI is actually one of the top trending technologies of the modern day. It imitates human intelligence by performing tasks such as speech and pattern recognition, weather forecast, and much more.
AI is becoming a bigger piece to our lives as technology evolves. Machines and technology are evolving into human-like things that can recognize when they do something wrong and also make improvements.
You may recognize AI in varying applications such as Uber, Siri, Google, Bing, Netflix, Amazon, Facebook and many more. Scientists expect Artificial Intelligence to create more than 70 million jobs. Although it’s creating so many more opportunities, it’s also taking away nearly 25 million jobs. AI is expected to create jobs such as maintenance, programming, data science, testing, support, and much more. This modern piece of technology will only become better and smarter as the years go on.
2. Virtual Reality
Virtual reality is a computer generated simulation that allows users to experience a three-dimensional environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment. It has become a very popular way for people to experience video games. In comparison to traditional video games, a virtual reality allows users to be right in the environment. These virtual environments stimulate tons of different senses, such as touch, smell and vision. People can experience VR most often on headsets. Companies like Facebook and Sony have taken full advantage of the potential of the technology and created their own version of virtual reality, such as Facebook’s Oculus Rift, Sony’s PlayStation VR, and HTC Vive.
Virtual reality is not only used for video games or entertainment purposes, but it has also been adopted by the military for training. The three branches that use this are the Army, Navy and Air Force. Augmented reality and virtual reality are also used by doctors, museums, amusement parks and many more. The virtual reality industry is expected to bring in nearly $40 billion by 2021.
3. Robotic Process Automation
Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, is the technology that allows anyone today to configure computer software, or a “robot”, to emulate the actions of a human interacting with digital systems to execute a business process. Essentially, it is a technology used for automating daily tasks. This type of technology is similar to Artificial Intelligence. The RPA technology is used for automating business tasks, such as replying to emails, handling business data, and processing transactions. RPA is capable of automating more than 40% of daily tasks. It might scare some people to know that RPA is technologically advancing far enough to take over a lot of jobs. Fortunately, it will create a lot of jobs too. Many businesses rely on RPA because of its many benefits. There are many companies that provide RPA tools such as Blue Prism, Pega Systems, and Work Fusion.
4. Data Science
Data Science is technology that helps make sense of difficult data. It is an interdisciplinary field that uses scientific methods, processes, algorithms, and systems to extract knowledge and insights from many types of data. Companies produce an immense amount of data every single day, including business, sales, customer profile information, financial information, and server data. Data scientists then take that data created and convert the unstructured data into structured data. Data scientists analyze this data in hopes of finding patterns. Those patterns are incredibly helpful in understanding the background of a company, such as looking at customer retention, business performance, finances and how those areas can be improved. How far technology has evolved, am I right?
5. Edge Computing
Believe it or not, edge computing is one of today’s most favored technologies. Edge computing is truly transforming the way data is being handled, processed, and delivered around the world. It actually brings computation and data storage closer to devices where it’s being gathered, instead of relying on a central location that could potentially be thousands of miles away. Edge computing essentially allows data from Internet of Things (IOT) devices to be analyzed at the edge of the network before being sent to the data center or cloud. Edge computing has been around for awhile. It has just been advancing in little ways over time. The technology was created to bring computing power as close as possible to its data source. It is estimated that by 2022 the edge computing market will be worth $7 billion. Edge computing is popular in retail, healthcare, manufacturing and many other jobs.
This year has brought many changes. Technology has been right there with those changes, advancing and evolving along with modern times. Technology is something that will always be advancing. If we’re not careful, some of these advances may take over our jobs! Just kidding… At the moment, we should enjoy all that today’s technology has to offer and hopefully gain a better understanding of how it works.