Forbes has created a list of what they predict to be The 7 Biggest Technology Trends In 2020. Following this article we decided to explore these predictions a bit more and see if we could make a few predictions of our own - how might these trends affect the programming world?
The writer of the article Bernard Marr also wrote 'Artificial Intelligence in Practice'. AI is the first predicted trend discussed in the article and it is talked about as a service. In many ways, AI is often already being used. For example any predictive content; whether it be in regards to music, like in Spotify's Discover Weekly or shopping, when a website suggests 'you may also like...' We also have AI assistants such as Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant. Using AI as a service specifically may evoke a sci-fi element that is new and possibly slightly scary. For example, Hanson Robotics has developed Sophia a social humanoid robot, she is the most advanced humanoid developed to date.
This image was taken from Medium.
However, what is actually meant by increasing the use of AI as a service, is predicting to see companies increase the use of it as a customer service tool. For example, many websites now have a pop-up appear as soon as you enter the website which is a 'live' chat which will ask you seemingly organic questions about why you are on the site, this message will then come from a cute name like 'Rob the robot'. Bernard suggests that during 2020 there will be a wider adoption and a growing pool of providers (to increase existing companies such as Amazon and Google). He also suggests companies will begin to offer a more tailored service, able to complete specialised tasks. While we are uncertain of exactly what this will mean for the programming world we know that with every technological innovation there is usually a great programming team and set of developers behind it. Also, it is clear that no matter how advanced, AI will not be able to be created and then left, they will need someone (programmers) to update them every so often.
Personalised and Predictive Medicine
We are all used to predictive text and we know that the prediction is personalised, representing each individual's normal language and most commonly used phrases. This was evident in the recent Nando's campaign which told customers if they went into any of their restaurants and could show that when they typed in 'Fancy a..?' Nandos came up in the top three predicted words, they could get a free meal! But what about predictive medicine? Well with the increased use of devices such as smartwatches and fit bits which can measure our daily physical activity, sleep patterns and even amount of water we drink when paired with other devices such as the smart water bottle. This data can then be collected and used to predict the medicine that the individual may need in the future. Simply, the ability for these devices to know our personal lifestyle choices on a daily basis will enable them to accurately predict the possible medication we may need as a result of them.
We have all seen the evolution from 2G to 3G to 4G and it is no surprise that 5G will be next. As mobile networks evolve we categorise them in generations. As the Forbes article states, the European Union's 5G action plan includes uninterrupted 5G coverage by 2025 for railways and major roads. Essentially the evolution of mobile networks is the aim of providing better, more efficient connections, in a wider variety of locations.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Developments in tech so far have caused a secondary and unavoidable effect: increased amount of data collected and stored on individuals. Many predict that this will continue to increase in the following years. Of course, this brings security and GDPR into question but Forbes says ultimately, the data that telecoms collect can be analyzed to improve customer service, determine and evaluate new products, as well as monitor and optimize the network.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
RPA offers high levels of scalability and agility for telecoms and can take over many tasks. Obviously this piece of AI will need programming in order to complete these tasks. Nintex promotes RPA with the slogan 'Free your time. Accomplish more.' There are many positives when using RPA, such as the elimination of human errors. Using RPA can also boost efficiency within customer service as often initial inquiry only requires an automated/ non-tailored response which can be done much more quickly with automation.
Forbes says in computer terms, 'vision' involves systems that are able to identify items, places, objects or people from visual images - those collected by a camera or sensor. Computer vision is what enables your phone to categorise faces from your camera roll. It is also what enables face recognition, which we will see an increase in the use of in 2020.
Although the technology which allows us to extend reality, through the use of things such as sensors and headsets, has been around for many years. It has been confined mostly to the entertainment industry. More recently it has however increased in its popularity and has been much further reaching and less expensive. For example, it can now even be seen in its simplest form as filters on snap chat and Instagram. However, Forbes predicts this will change in 2020, as they say, more businesses will get to grips with the possibilities these technologies hold.
Lastly, but by no means least, as this may, in fact, be the most relevant or most easily directly related to programming is Blockchain Technology. A Blockchain is essentially a digital ledger used to record transactions but secured due to its encrypted and decentralized nature but as programmers and developers, you would already know that. However, it is predicted that in 2020 companies will begin to use Blockchain Technology much more and perhaps it will no longer only be for the use of technology specialists. Bernard also predicts that 2020 will also see the launch of Facebook's own blockchain-based crypto, which may cause a bit of a stir.
We hope you have enjoyed reading about what is to come in the world of technology in 2020 and are as excited for the future as we are.