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The Evolution of the Technology Field

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Lexie Lu
A UX/UI designer with expertise in marketing, web design, and graphic design.
The next five years are sure to bring developments that are just astonishing, and we will continue to try to find the balance between connectivity and security. Here are five major technological developments from the last five years and some predictions for the future.
We’ve seen some incredible technological advancements in the past five years. Our devices have become smarter and more connected. We saw the rise of autonomous vehicles and drones. Reality became more virtual.

These devices make our lives more convenient. They add excitement and give us new capabilities. Sometimes, they make us safer. They also open up new opportunities for hackers, making cyber security a top priority.

The next five years are sure to bring developments that are just astonishing, and we will continue to try to find the balance between connectivity and security.

Here are five major technological developments from the last five years and some predictions for the future.
 

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence, the ability for machines to think strategically and learn, provokes both great excitement for the possibilities of the future and profound fear about robots destroying mankind.

Whichever way we’re headed, Google, Microsoft, IBM and others have made major investments in the technology in the last few years.

We’ve seen especially impressive advance in the field of deep learning, a field in which machines use algorithms to learn complex skills. In 2016, deep learning allowed a Google Deepmind computer program to defeat Lee Sodel, one of the world’s best Go players, at the game, which is considered to be one of the most complex board games in the world.

In the coming years, we’ll probably see tech companies make advancements in practical uses for deep learning in areas like autonomous cars and language translation.
 

Virtual and Augmented Reality


Virtual reality headsets, such as Sony’s PlayStation VR and Facebook division Oculus VR’s Oculus Rift, captured the imagination of gamers and tech enthusiasts in recent years.

Augmented reality, which combines the real world with the computer-generated, got pretty popular, too — Pokémon Go being the primary example.

Gaming is currently the main use for these reality-altering technologies. Apple CEO Tim Cook, however, has expressed interest in augmented reality. Perhaps, it will play a role in the next version of the iPhone.
 

Internet of Things (IoT)

Recently, more and more devices are being made with the ability to connect to the Internet and, therefore, communicate with each other. These smart devices or connected devices can include everything from cars to buildings to refrigerators and link up with each other to form the Internet of Things (IoT).

IoT crates lots of opportunities for increased convenience and efficiency. Devices in a smart home can communicate with each other and adjust the amount of energy they pull based on usage patterns, saving electricity. This idea can also be expanded to more large-scale applications, such as the electrical grid in a city, allowing the flow of electricity to be more easily monitored and controlled based on demand.

In the near future, an increasing number of devices will become connected, especially those used by businesses and government. Cyber security will continue to be a hot topic as security professionals and hackers battle it out for control of this emerging technology. It might start to look a bit like the Wild West out there, but let’s hope for the best.
 

The Cloud

Technology has gotten a lot less physical as a growing amount of computing and data storage is done in the cloud.
The cloud has allowed for increased resource sharing and provided the ability to access data from anywhere. It has transformed the business world, allowing employees to easily share files and information. Various companies have also started using the Software as a Service (SaaS) business model, in which access to software is offered on a subscription basis.

Individual consumers, too, have taken advantage of the cloud’s benefits with companies like Google, Microsoft and Dropbox offering convenient access to cloud technology.

In the near future, we’re likely to see more companies using the cloud and a broader range of services being offered over the cloud. Remote access and connectivity also mean that, like with IoT, security will be a big concern.
 

Autonomous Vehicles

Both tech companies like Google and Uber and car manufacturers like Ford and Tesla have been working on autonomous vehicles. The past few years saw multiple successful tests of autonomous driving technologies.

Widespread commercial availability won’t likely be a reality for a few years, but our vehicles are slowly becoming more automated and connected. These technologies have the potential to make our personal transportation much more efficient, safe and productive.

Through 2019, driver assistance features will likely become more useful, and by the 2020s, fully autonomous vehicles will likely start to become widely available.
 

Looking to the Future

Technology is advancing at a rapid pace and will continue to do so as we move into the future. Our world will become increasingly more connected and smarter, which will lead to an increased focus on cyber security. 

As the tech industry expands, so will opportunities in the field. Although the road may not be easy, we’ll see more diversity in the tech workforce, too.

The industry has in the past been largely composed of white and Asian males, something that has drawn plenty of criticism. Women currently represent only 30 percent of the Information Technology (IT) workforce, although they comprise almost half of the workforce across all occupations. Studies have shown that women are now showing more interest in the tech field. In the future, it will be up to employers to hire them at a fair rate.

The tech industry is evolving and expanding, as it always does. As it changes, it transforms our world as well. The future is here, and, while we don’t have flying cars yet, it’s certainly high-tech.
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