At TomorrowToday Global we periodically highlight technology changes that are sitting on the periphery of most people’s awareness, but which will have a significant impact on our lives. There are a number of technology trends that are in people’s line of sight at the moment that are significant but receive enough attention so we don’t feel the need to touch on them too. In late 2016 these areas would include:

Self-Driving cars – Tesla, Google, Apple, all major motor manufacturers. The push to having level 3 to 4 self-driving technology in cars is on and will be realised in the near future.

Augmented and Virtual Reality – Hololens, Occulus Rift, Magic Leap, Samsung Gear, Google Cardboard. Many players are changing the way in which we interact with information. The shift is as significant as the change from old green screen to Windows interfaces was.

Reusable Rockets – Space X and Blue Origin. The ability to land and reuse the most expensive first stage of a rocket booster will bring the frontier of space significantly closer as it becomes cheaper and easier to reach it. Our ability to overcome terrestrial limitations in the way we access and share information and the expanding of the global data access footprint will truly realise the benefits of the digital age.

There are other areas that could be considered that impact longevity, energy generation and consumption, robotics, 3D printing, biotech,…. the list stretches on. We believe, however, that the three trends below have a disproportionate disruptive impact and need to be within everyone’s sphere of understanding.

The real disruption and evolution of our society will happen as many of these platforms converge and their benefits pool together and augment each other. Self-driving cars connecting to the Internet of Things via satellite powered wifi to access the insight of Artificial Intelligence powered by quantum computers….. this scenario is not too far of – and closer than many of us are ready for.

Internet of Things or the Industrial Internet

With the rapid growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), tens of billions of sensor devices are projected to connect in the next decade. These connected sensor devices will automate processes across a broad range of economic sectors, from industrial plants to healthcare management, delivering productivity gains and hopefully quality-of-life improvements.

The addition of Artificial Intelligence to the IoT will create a space with devices that can evolve their behavior in response to changing contexts. Just like how living beings optimize their behavior to their surroundings.

In many instances, these devices would not have a communication link to the internet due to cost and remoteness, but they can gather information locally and learn the specific patterns in observed sensor data that may predict faults. Local networks of devices would then connect to the broader internet through one point of contact thereby expanding the reach of the internet of things. As reusable rocket technology makes low earth orbit satellite wifi access possible the IoT will be present in increasingly remote locations where conditions don’t suit human workers.

These forecasts below show why organizations need to get started too (if they haven’t already) on leveraging and responding to the Internet of Things:

The worldwide Internet of Things market is predicted to grow to $1.7 trillion by 2020, marking a compound annual growth rate of 16.9%. – IDC Worldwide Internet of Things Forecast, 2015 – 2020.

An estimated 25 billion connected “things” will be in use by 2020. – Gartner Newsroom

Wearable technology vendors shipped 78.1 million wearable devices in 2015, an increase of 171.6% from 2014. Shipment predictions for this year are 111 million, increasing to 215 million in 2019. – IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker

By 2020, each person is likely to have an average of 5.1 connected devices. – Frost and Sullivan Power Management in IoT and Connected Devices

In a 2016 PwC survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers, 45% say they now own a fitness band, 27% a smartwatch, and 12% smart clothing. 57% say they are excited about the future of wearable technology as part of everyday life. 80% say wearable devices make them more efficient at home, 78% more efficient at work. – PwC The Wearable Life 2.0: Connected Living in a Wearable World

By 2020, more than half of major new business processes and systems will incorporate some element, large or small, of the Internet of Things. – Gartner Predicts 2016: Unexpected Implications Arising from the Internet of Things

65% of approximately 1,000 global business executives surveyed say they agree organizations that leverage the internet of things will have a significant advantage; 19% however, still say they have never heard of the Internet of Things. – Internet of Things Institute 2016 I0T Trends Survey

80% of retailers worldwide say they agree that the Internet of Things will drastically change the way companies do business in the next three years. – Retail Systems Research: The Internet of Things in Retail: Great Expectations

By 2018, six billion things will have the ability to request support. – Gartner Predicts 2016: CRM Customer Service and Support

By 2020, 47% of devices will have the necessary intelligence to request support. – Gartner Predicts 2016: CRM Customer Service and Support

By 2025, the Internet of Things could generate more than $11 trillion a year in economic value through improvements in energy efficiency, public transit, operations management, smart customer relationship management and more. – McKinsey Global Institute Report: The Internet of Things: Mapping the value behind the Hype

Barcelona estimates that IoT systems have helped the city save $58 million a year from connected water management and $37 million a year via smart street lighting alone. – Harvard University Report

General Electric estimates that the “Industrial Internet” market (connected industrial machinery) will add $10 to $15 trillion to the global GDP within the next 20 years. – GE Reports

General Electric believes that using connected industrial machinery to make oil and gas exploration and development just 1% more efficient would result in a savings of $90 billion. – GE Reports

The connected health market is predicted to grow to $117B by 2020. Remote patient monitoring is predicted to be a $46 billion market by 2017. – ACT Report

Connected homes will be a major part of the Internet of Things. By 2019, companies will ship 1.9 billion connected home devices, marking an estimated $490 billion in revenue (Business Insider Intelligence). By 2020, even the connected kitchen will contribute at least 15 percent savings in the food and beverage industry, leveraging data analytics. – Gartner Research Predicts 2015: The Internet of Things

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, or Deep Learning

The concept of inhuman intelligence goes back to the deep prehistory of mankind. At first the province of gods, demons, and spirits, it transferred seamlessly into the interlinked worlds of magic and technology. Today we have shifted to Artificial Intelligence.

AI is not just a singular space of having computers that can replicate and improve on human intelligence; there are different applications of the technology. When machines link together and use their AI to support or teach each other it is called Machine Learning. Deep Learning on the other hand uses neural networks and other ways of interacting with the data to develop insights that humans cannot achieve due to the sheer volume or complexity of the task.

We have listed some statistics and information about AI below.

$5.05 billion market by 2020

Research firm Markets and Markets estimates that the AI market will grow from $420 million in 2014 to $5.05 billion by 2020, thanks to the rising adoption of machine learning and natural language processing technologies in the media, advertising, retail, finance, and healthcare industries.

6 billion devices just will request AI support

Gartner estimates that 6 billion connected “things” will be actively requesting support from AI platforms by 2018. These devices will likely include many connected appliances, cars, wearables, and other gadgets included in the broader Internet of Things market.

$5.4 billion invested in AI start-ups

There are currently 1,031 AI start-ups listed on AngelList, with an average valuation of $5.2 million — which equals nearly $5.4 billion in venture capital investments.

80% of executives believe AI boosts productivity

A recent study by AI language company Narrative Science found that 80% of executives believed that AI solutions boosted worker performance and created new jobs. Thirty-two percent said voice recognition technologies were the most widely used AI technology in their businesses.

Most mobile users use voice assistants

Nuance developed the technology that powers Apple‘s Siri, which preceded other voice assistants like Alphabet‘s Google Now, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Amazon’s Alexa. The idea of speaking to your phone initially seemed awkward, but a recent study by Creative Strategies’ Carolina Milanesi found that just 2% of iPhone users had never used Siri, while 4% had never used Google Now.

Virtual assistants will make decisions for you

Gartner believes that the data gathered from users in cloud-based neural networks will power 40% of mobile interactions between virtual personal assistants and people by 2020. This means that all the data you voluntarily feed to Facebook, Google, and Amazon will be used to create a complex cloud-based profile that cloud-based “smart agents” can use to predict your needs and desires.

Most enterprise relationships with customers won’t require humans by 2020

Gartner also claims that 85% of all customer interactions won’t require human customer service reps by the end of this decade. The firm believes that automated analysis of social media channels, CRM software, and personalized chatbots that recognize faces and voices will greatly reduce the need for traditional call centers.

AI will replace 16% of jobs over next decade

Research firm Forrester believes that AI workers will replace up to 16% of all U.S. jobs over the next decade. However, new jobs to maintain those AI platforms and machines will also be created, meaning that “just” 7% of all jobs will be lost. It’s not just customer service reps who should be worried. Medical assistant AIs could reduce the need for lower-level medical staff in hospitals, driverless vehicles could replace professional drivers, and robo-writers could pump out articles much faster and more accurately than humans.

Robots will probably outnumber humans at work

Gartner estimates that 45% of the fastest-growing companies in the world will “employ” more smart machines and virtual assistants than people by 2018. That’s because hiring fewer humans and installing more virtual assistants could reduce costs while boosting productivity. The first AI Lawyer has already been hired http://futurism.com/artificially-intelligent-lawyer-ross-hired-first-official-law-firm/

AI will look to other AI for instructions not humans

For computers to get smarter faster, computers themselves must handle even more of the grunt work. The giants of the Internet are building computing systems that can test countless machine learning algorithms on behalf of their engineers, that can cycle through so many possibilities on their own. Better yet, these companies are building AI algorithms that can help build AI algorithms.

Quantum computing

The simple difference between a quantum computer and a traditional binary computer is that the one is able to do exponentially more calculations at the same time than the other.

Computer chips are full of switches – these switches are either open or closed allowing current to pass through or not – this path becomes data. In traditional computers these switches are open or closed, in a quantum computers (using two theories called entanglement and superposition) these switches register as both open and closed at the same time. In a traditional computer these switches are called Bits in a quantum computer they are called Qubits. The attached table is illustrative of the differences in the number of calculations that can be done at any one time by the same number of switches in a quantum or traditional computer.

Current supercomputers are reaching their limits as they require huge amounts of energy to run, and generate so much heat that they need to be cooled to almost absolute zero to stop them melting. Quantum computers will achieve the same amount of power with less energy and cooling needed.

Many of use refer to the differences between the power of our smartphones and the computers used by NASA to take humanity to the moon. Quantum computing represents the same leap, but overnight not over 50 years.

The biggest benefit over and above the increase in power is the increase in security it offers too. China’s launch of the first quantum satellite will push forward efforts to develop the ability to send communications that can’t be penetrated by hackers. China will take a major step toward building a worldwide network that can send messages that can’t be wiretapped or cracked through conventional methods. Quantum communications use subatomic particles to securely communicate between two points. A hacker trying to crack the message changes its form in a way that would alert the sender and cause the message to be altered or deleted. http://phys.org/news/2016-08-china-quantum-satellite-major-space.html#jCp

The National Security Agency (NSA) is sounding an alarm: beware the code-breaking power of the coming quantum computer revolution. The perceived threats of quantum computing, is that its processing power will eventually defeat all “classical” encryption algorithms, and make current attempts at information security hopelessly inadequate. http://futurism.com/nsa-warns-dangers-quantum-computing/

IBM has a 5 qubit quantum computer that they are making available to the public via IBM’s cloud. Using any desktop, laptop computer or mobile device it is now possible to access the processing power of the quantum computer. It is envisioned that medium sized quantum computers will be 50 to 100 qubits, so there is still plenty of room for development.   http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/49661.wss

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