By CEBIT Australia chairperson Stephen Scheeler, ex Managing Director ANZ, Facebook and Founder, Digital CEO
While the rapid pace of technology continues to challenge us with various issues when it comes to ethics, management and acceleration, we’re still none-the-less fortunate to be living in a time where technology and science can greatly assist us and help us to rethink how we go about our daily lives.
In particular, since the advent of the internet and the cloud, the globalisation of technology has escalated at an incredible rate and touched millions of people from all walks of life no matter what their socio-economic circumstances, which is truly remarkable.
On a wider scale, there are many exciting ways technology will continue to change the world – everything from space tourism, to augmented reality, 3D printed food, driverless cars to high rise farms to colonising other planets. In the near future there are four big platforms of technology which will become increasingly important.
Until quite recently, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone other than mathematicians at a quantum computing seminar. However, this area is now rapidly encompassing so many other disciplines. The basic principle of AI is that the more feedback you give a computer program, the more accurate it becomes. Quantum computers, which can rapidly analyse huge quantities of data, are significantly shortening the AI learning curve. As technology becomes more intuitive this will create huge impact in every Industry.
Whenever we think of solar power most people just think of big shiny panels on roofs. However, the future potential of solar an energy source within the digital age is massive. Thanks to rapid advances, Tesla solar roof tiles can not only be hidden in roofing tiles, but some companies are also developing ways of integrating them into car roofs where they will be able to power in-car tech or make the battery last longer.
AI is now used in all kinds of products and services and is changing the ways so many industries such as medicine and agriculture operate, that have previously been more resistant to digital transformation. AI is now all around us whether it’s in machines, robots or smartphones. You'll find voice assistants such as Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant already in your phone which will only continue to advance.
As a decentralised, distributed, and oftentimes public, digital ledger used to record transactions across computers preventing records being altered retroactively, Blockchain is a great example of a particular technology that has taken a while for the world to understand and comprehend it’s many multiple real-world applications. However, we’re now seeing some great uses for it. For instance, in Australia Blockchain has been used in the agricultural sector by beef producers in regards to secure labelling systems.
In general, there’s much more idealism in business than there used to be which can only be a good thing. I think it’s admirable that people like Elon Musk have enormous far-reaching goals such as wanting to make electricity virtually free around the world. It’s heartening that so many entrepreneurs of today have big social objectives. Despite the various misgivings and cautionary tales, it’s still fair to say that technology will only continue to enhance our lives - and not detract from them.