Some of the technological developments that is predicted for the near future seem to come squarely from Sci-Fi fantasising. Many exciting innovations around technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Deep Learning take centre-stage. We reflect on and explore some of the trends and innovations that may become more powerful technologies in 2020 and beyond.
The evolving nature of technology sometimes seems like science fiction emerging in the real world and several researchers acknowledge that science fiction has played a role in triggering inspiring breakthroughs. In fact, the MIT Technology Review reports that research in human-computer interaction is mentioning science fiction more than ever. Neuroscientists are attempting to read people’s minds with machines, and although this has been worked on for decades, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, are making progress. Dementia sufferers who have complications with neurotransmitters relaying thoughts into comprehensible speech may soon benefit from translating electrical activity from the brain by means of machines decoding brainwaves.
It is daunting to contemplate that science and machines could access our deepest thoughts and use it for neuromarketing to manipulate our wants and desires. Secret and hidden thoughts and ideas could be appropriated by a form of media to manipulate actions and behaviour. However, positive outcomes in domains like Biohacking, Consciousness Hacking, Flow Hacking and Life Hacking relate to the intersection of neurology and consciousness and involve applying science and technology to influence the brain and body in order to optimise subjective human experience.
- Mass Data
With unparalleled amounts of images and data available online, the media, government regulatory bodies and marketers consistently mine user preferences, habits and relationships. The question of how we can keep our activities in the virtual space from shaping the real space of our world is a pertinent one. Intuitive Web designs direct people’s attention to tasks that a computer deems important, often without the choice of the user. Data and the machines and algorithms used to manage and make sense of it could largely replace independent decision and it is happening at such a speed that it’s sometimes difficult to determine who is in control of the data.
- Youth Tech Movements
The increased connectedness and technological abilities of the youth are in stark contrast with a global recession, lack of opportunity and lack of hope and may breed organised anarchy or rebellion in the form of technological or infrastructure sabotage, either physically or in cyberspace. The World Economic Forum indicate that new movements initiated by the youth reflect our current digital age, in which young people can increasingly connect with one another in their own countries and across borders. In doing so, they are exposing the gap between the promise of opportunity and the grim reality of unequal chances.