Tech Trends 2021 Isn’t Ready For
Technology is ubiquitous in today’s world. At this point, it plays a significant role in virtually every second of our lives. We rely on technology to get us through the day; can you think of a half an hour period in your waking day where you’re not relying on tech? Me neither. In this article, I will highlight three tech trends 2021 isn’t ready for. Some of these might directly relate to your life and some will be higher tier tech that you can gawk at from a distance. Either way, it’s interesting stuff!
1. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence has already been a key trend since the previous century. Early examples include IBM’s Deep Blue machine, the first computer to ever defeat a chess grandmaster. In fact, the concept of AI was explored by classical philosophers in an attempt to capture the human mind as an entity of its own. Today, it is used in almost every industry, from image and speech recognition to the many apps that make our lives infinitely more convenient.
Every year brings more to the world in the space of AI, and this year is certainly no different. Data is one of the most important concepts today – some call the 21st century “The Age of Data”. This claim is justified, for 2021 brings us better data structuring and greater cloud infrastructure, paving the road for these data points to ‘talk to each other’. This will create the perfect atmosphere for all sorts of innovation to thrive.
I’m talking about self-correcting computers that automatically solve recognisable IT issues, and smoother business solutions, where everything runs perfectly from the moment a product is sourced, to the second it reaches your hands and even beyond, with efficient marketing and post-sale care tailored to you as a person. A special focus has also recently been adopted on Ethical AI. In a time where our lives are surrounded by processes and systems designed to input our data and output value, computers will need to learn how to implement diversity and inclusion so that no demographic or section of society is singled out by the fast paced environment of our age.
AI is such a broad concept, and pretty much every school, university, and major tech company are finding ways to make the most of it. It is therefore the first thing that comes to mind as a trend of today, let alone 2021.
2. Robotic Process Automation
While AI pretty much encompasses most parts of tech at this stage of our evolutionary process, we must zoom into the world of automation. In a nutshell, automation is designed to carry out manual repetitive functions that can easily replace a human. This has been happening throughout history: cars replaced horses, factory machines replaced hands, financial algorithms replaced super short term traders, wanted criminals can be spotted through the automatic snapshot of a CCTV camera…not only can robotic automation save humans energy by replacing these tasks, but they can do them far more efficiently.
Of course, there are concerns that such ventures will affect people’s jobs. After all, many people’s livelihoods were affected when self service machines replaced individual cashiers in supermarkets. While the purpose of this article is to inform you of the key trends of 2021 (we can explore whether these changes are good for humanity or not in a later article), it is worth touching upon an interesting concept known as “creative destruction.” This is when the death of a job makes space for a new set of jobs. For example, fewer rowers lead to more sailors on a ship due to less manpower needed to move the ship.
It will be extremely exciting to see what 2021 will provide to us in the automation space. Our generation in particular will be enjoying a much easier and convenient life where more of an impact can be made…be excited!
3. Edge Computing
I mentioned the term “cloud” in the AI section of this article. While it was a new concept which revolutionised the world of data, we are reaching a breaking point. Cloud computing is a way of using a greater amount of data, allowing for more things to be done like having bigger websites and apps, more of them, being able to use more data to carry out more complex functions, and ultimately creating a more integrated technological platform to take society to a new level. However our needs are getting bigger and more urgent.
Imagine a nuclear power plant that has a complex technological system designed to monitor pressure levels in different parts of the production process. An error can cause catastrophic incidents like Chernobyl, where many people and lands were affected. Now imagine a situation where the pressure point passes the limit set by the monitoring algorithm. The plan is to send a signal to the main computer, which will send back an order to shut down production and allow the pressure to cool off. Sounds efficient? Well what if it takes 5 seconds for that whole process to occur, but an explosion happens within 2 seconds of the pressure point being recognised.
The time it takes for data to reach one point to another is a key part of many industries – this is called latency, and is a key focus in 2021. But how do we get a speed greater than what the cloud can provide? Enter Edge Computing. Cloud data resides in big data centres dotted around the world, owned and monitored by the biggest tech companies in the world like Microsoft and Amazon. This means that data needs to travel from your device all the way to some building in the middle of nowhere to be processed and sent right back to you in the form of a reaction to something you do.
That could be miles upon miles. Now imagine a device closer to you that can do the same thing. That’s less distance for data to travel, right? Now imagine the same thing for every neighbourhood. Actually, for every household… wait, for every individual. Any device that can hold data is capable of being a mini data centre – and they can all talk to each other and exchange data in such a way that everything will still be available to you whenever you need it. This is Edge Computing. Of tech trends 2021 isn’t ready for, you can bet this is one of the biggest.
Thanks for reading our list of top tech trends 2021 isn’t ready for. Of course, these aren’t the only areas of tech. There is an everlasting stream of ideas, start-ups, and initiatives dedicated to driving projects forward. If you enjoyed this piece, please stay in touch with my column to learn more!
If you liked this piece, check out our upcoming games article!