Disruptive technological advancement is the most imminent challenge humankind is facing in the first decade of the twenty-first century. In the words of Yuval Noah Hariri, an eminent historian, “we humans were always better in developing new technologies, than knowing how to put them in good use.”
The following technologies are bound to take over the world in the near future, and it is our responsibility to know them better and put them in good use.
Google took the whole world by surprise when it first pioneered the self-driving cars in 2012. It was back with the bang in 2014 with its improved prototype that had no steering wheel, gas pedal, or brake pedal, and was fully automated. The project later took the name ‘Waymo’, and is expected to launch its autonomous driving service in Arizona. It is only a matter of time before it takes root in all the other stated of the US and eventually of the world.
The idea has since then been gaining widespread recognition among tech giants. The most enthusiasts of them were quick to jump in. Elon Musk, the multibillionaire entrepreneur, has developed a special fondness for the automated vehicles as he launched his own semi-automated trucks in 2017. His company, Tesla, has been working strenuously to revolutionize transportation with modern technology, and self-driving cars have a special role to play in it.
Autonomous cars will face huge resistance from those whose jobs are at risk, and there are millions of them around. They can’t stop the upcoming onslaught of technology, as it is the part of creative destruction. However, the policymakers and those at the helm to take vital decisions could do better by creating opportunities for, and providing relief to, the masses.
Ericsson, a telecommunication giant based in Sweden, has claimed that the 5G market has the potential to grow to the valuation of over 1.2 trillion US dollars in 2026.
5G is the connective tissue of nearly all the emerging technologies of the future. Be its autonomous cars, telecommunication, or warfare techs, the fastest internet on the Earth is going to permeate every level of modern technology.
No wonder two economic powers and military mammoths, the US and China, are fighting overtaking the bigger slice of pie in the 5G technology. The US is right on the heels of China and has made quite an uproar by instigating a crackdown on Huawei—the leader in developing 5G technology and laying the necessary infrastructure for its ubiquity.
5G is the backbone of IoT, and with it, the humans are ready to usher into another significant revolution, until now, the one which would have the most profound effects on humankind.
The US government has alleged that China will use this cutting edge technology for its sinister operations across the world. With the technology this potent, who knows what will be the future of mankind if great powers chose to subvert each other instead of coming together for a better future. Yes, the threat is real as with 5G, governments can run surveillance on a stupendously high scale, and with too much-centralized power, the masses suffer.
If you have been following the recent developments in AI closely, you might have heard of Sophia—the first humanoid robot to get Saudi citizenship. You can’t resist marveling at the pace of the AI sophistication in the last few years. The computers are evolving at a fast pace, and even if they were not to replace humans during the current century, they are destined to make millions or even billions of them irrelevant.
AI is revolutionary as it undermines the very core of the human world order. More and more companies have been emphasizing the need for machine learning and data science, as more machines and fewer humans are always good for the business.
Just to have a realization of how imminent is the treat, imagine AI-enabled software doing the jobs in a matter of minutes which humans take years to accomplish. Teachers, doctors, marketers or any other professional whose job involves repetitive work shall consider themselves the target of the upcoming maelstrom of automation. And the automation will come riding on the back of AI.