Monthly Archives: November 2017

Are You Ready for the Future?

For those of us living in 2017, the biggest factor is change.  Things are changing rapidly; it seems, with predictions for hard-to-imagine change coming within just ten to fifteen years.  Life expectancy is longer, so you have to consider that it’s likely you will be involved.

My personal take on all this change is that words will still matter, and we will all still need to use them correctly if we are to understand and thrive in our brave new world.

Here are more than half a dozen changes (described in words) that I’m prepared to see the future bring, and this just scratches the surface:

  • Miami, for example, will be under water.
  • People will have the option to live in homes that are round, specially-designed to be hurricane-proof.
  • Artificial intelligence* (a game changer), smart homes, the ‘Internet of Things’** and augmented reality*** will all click together seamlessly.
  • Cars and public vehicles will not require drivers, operating themselves for the most part.
  • We will have no choice but to manage our daily lives (banking, shopping) entirely from cell phones via the Internet as brick and mortar institutions fade, malls die and Wi-Fi ****dominates connectivity.

(However, N.B:  A prevailing theory in the tech industry is that smartphones will one day be replaced by normal-looking glasses that display virtual information onto the real world.)*****

  • Robots will replace people in many jobs.
  • Drones will be involved heavily in hundreds of new ways from shipping and delivery (I’m betting against delivery via Amazon Key) to healthcare, security, police work, farming, et al.
  • Higher education will evolve in ways that reduce its cost, with virtual reality****** replacing textbooks.  Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) will prevail.
  • In coming years much of our food may be genetically modified, such as “mock meat.”

*Artificial Intelligence can be defined as the capacity of a computer to perform operations that are analogous to learning and decision- making in humans by a program or by an expert system, for the recognition and perception of shapes in computer vision systems. An example here would be a digital personal assistant on some e-commerce website that works with a customer, also learns from that customer and makes recommendations for that customer.

**The Internet of Things is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enable these objects to connect and exchange data.

***Augmented Reality can be defined as a technology that layers computer-generated enhancements on an existing reality and makes it more meaningful through the ability to interact. A good example would be from InContext Solutions.  The company provides cloud-based virtual store simulations and shopper insights so that users may, for example, actually try out furniture in different styles or colors to see how those items would fit into their living rooms.

****WiFi is defined as an abbreviation for wireless fidelity, meaning you can access or connect to a network using radio waves, without needing to use wires.

*****The smartphone will become obsolete by 2025, replaced by nascent (developing) technology.

******Virtual Reality can be defined as a computer-generated simulation of a real-life environment. Example: a 3D store shelf that can adapt to offer more appropriate items to the individual customer.