The blurring lines between humans and machines


A research institute predicted that new emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, developments in the Internet, cloud computing, and mobility will drive humans and machines to work more closely between now and 2030, changing people’s lives.

“This is now evident in our cars, homes, companies and Internet banking transactions, and it also changes how farmers manage their crops and livestock,” says Mohamed Amin, regional senior vice president at Dell EMC.

According to the 2018 Technological Outlook by Institute for the Future, businesses will harness AI to do data-driven “thinking tasks” quickly over the coming years that will significantly reduce time spent scoping, debating, scenario planning and testing new innovations. AI will also end the bottlenecks in the workflow which will free the staff to make them better able to make decisions and move quickly.

In 2018, near-instant intelligence in IoT-enhanced cities, organizations, homes, and vehicles will be further adopted. With the decreasing cost of processing power, soon there will be nearly 100 billion connected devices, and later a trillion.

The magnitude of all that data combined, processing power with the power of AI will help machines better manage physical and human resources. Technology will function as an extension of people, enabling smarter living.

It would not be long before the lines between “real” life and augmented reality are blurred, as the use of enhanced reality are commercializing, Amin further says.

For instance, construction workers, architects and engineers use augmented reality equipment to conceptualize projects and train workers to do certain tasks when technicians are absent.

In the business side, companies next year will be able to understand customer needs and service when they need the service or even predict it before. Humans will work with smart virtual service agents as a team rather than leaving customers with software first-generation robotic and receive specific messages.

45% of leaders in medium to large enterprises believe they may become “old-fashioned” in 5 years, while 78% of startups see an existential threat, according to Dell’s digital transformation index.

Companies will move also significantly towards a multi-cloud approach in 2018, taking advantage of the value of all business models, from public to private. The emergence of the Mega Cloud is expected, which will create multiple special and general nodes to act together as one comprehensive integrated system.

Over the next decade, emerging technologies, such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence, will help people find and process information without emotional interference or external bias.

Entertainment is a sector prone to transformation. “Of course, VR has strong prospects too,” Amin said. “It will undoubtedly transform the entertainment and gaming space in the near term, thanks to the immersive experiences it affords, but smart bets are on AR becoming the de facto way of maximizing human efficiency and leveraging the ‘tribal knowledge’ of an evolving workforce.”

In 2018, the numbers of players sitting behind screens or wearing virtual reality equipment to compete in a high-definition computing world is expected to increase. Electronic sports are expected to become mainstream with “millions of players and spectators are entering this world,” Amin said, adding that the phenomenon of e-sports points to a broader trend, such as to digitize “human nature” activities like sports.

Our increasingly interconnected relations with machinery could cause minor errors to lead to catastrophic failure. The year 2018 would be a time when multinational corporations would take important measures and focus on the protection of public data in addition to making the use of Internet security tools and technologies a priority for data protection and risk prevention a mandate.