The big four technologies of today that will shape tomorrow
An interview for an investment report (in Spanish) by Spain-based investment consultants Arcano Partners and a presentation I made for Spanish financial database Informa to celebrate its 25th anniversary, I provide the opportunity to reflect a little on the technologies that impact the most in the coming years.
This is an interesting exercise, because when an important part of your work is analyzing technology, one tends to see its development as a continuum, and rarely stopping to chart those that have made the most impact. Obviously, there is room for more topics, but I think AI/machine learning, virtual or augmented reality, blockchain and energy are the most important.
For me, AI/machine learning requires little explanation: this is currently my main topic of research: technologies that are already affecting a growing number of processes, from industry to services, autonomous vehicles and onto genetics. More and more companies are rightly obsessed with understanding the future of their activity in the context of using data to feed algorithms, along with the need for all their managers to understand how it works. All digital transformation processes must be able to incorporate AI/machine learning into their processes: to digitize everything to serve the constant generation of data, to redefine internal processes, and to redefine the business model based on the possibilities offered by these algorithms fed with activity data. These are developments that will bring about huge changes, eliminating a large number of jobs that will cease to make sense, and even impact the way in which we define ourselves as a society, leading to radically different models of redistribution.
AR / VR is another set of technologies that could change our day-to-day lives, offering as yet unimagined possibilities. Aside from the entertainment value of watching content via goggles, creating an immersive environment, or superimposing images on reality, AR/VR could change the way we work, interact with information, learn, and a vast variety of other tasks. Looked down on by some because of its origins in gaming, it will nevertheless impact on a wide range of activities.
Blockchain is the essence of transactionality: anything that can be defined as a transaction, economic or otherwise, will be based on a chain of blocks, the simplest solution ever designed to guarantee transparency. The adoption of blockchain by every industry will replace processes considered essential until now. The impact of blockchain will be felt everywhere and in all technologies.
Finally, the transformation of energy thanks to a progressive improvement in efficiency and lowering of the price of solar panels, along with the spread of wind and other renewable energies, the hydrogen battery, improvement in battery technology and electricity generation distribution- the so-called enernet are all advances that will lead to abundant, clean and cheap energy, with the concomitant revolutionary implications for a world in which access to energy has been key in defining development, as well as destroying the environment. A change in the energy map and the wholesale use of clean generation technologies will be have a huge impact on the future of humanity.
The above is a short summary of why I believe these four technologies will, to a greater extent and in an inclusive way, impact on the medium term future. To me these seem obvious, sure bets, although of course, others are emerging that will have a similar impact such as quantum computation, genome editing, graphene and others. This is simply an attempt to determine levels of criticality, to evaluate possibilities for future impact and to raise current and future levels of development in a realistic manner. If these four technologies are not at the top of your agenda, you’re probably missing out, and it is more than likely that it is something very important.
(En español, aquí)
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