- AI is very important for many business processes in 2021, which is why so many companies are investing in it.
Ubiquitous connectivity and the Internet of Things have been impacting daily life in a big way for over a decade, and even prior to the current health crisis, around 40% of all technology expenditure made by business went towards digital transformation. The year 2020 would not only force companies to advance in leaps and bounds from a technological standpoint, but also bring cutting-edge technologies to the everyday lives of people across the world. Just a few of the biggest advances have been made in video conferencing/live streaming, artificial intelligence, cloud storage, and blockchain. How are these technologies making life easier, safer, and more practical in both our professional and personal lives?
Video Conferencing: Maintaining Bonds in A Fragmented World
The health crisis has seen enterprises across the globe enlist video conferencing solutions for everything from business meetings to interviews, talks, and streamed cultural events. However, tools like Zoom, Skype, and Google Meets have also been a saving grace for individuals with various needs. These include health (with telemedicine proving a highly useful tool to reduce overcrowding in hospitals and clinics), social connection, and live streamed events such as weddings. It also plays a big role in marketing.
Virtual Wedded Bliss
As stated by Vishal Joshi (CEO of wedding planning and tech company, Joy), “live streaming a wedding is becoming mainstream” at a time in which limitations to travel and venue capacities have caused 63% of couples to postpone their big day. CNN gives the perfect example of how livestreaming rescued a wedding that was initially meant to host over 140 guests. The wedding, celebrated by a couple in Atlanta, saw the couple exchange vows in a neighbor’s backyard, receiving hearts and emojis to express their virtual guests’ joy. So popular are live video weddings that a whole list of rules pertaining to virtual weddings has arisen. These include the establishment of dress codes, the communication of the length and format of the wedding to virtual guests, and the inclusion of close ups of couples’ wedding and engagement rings.
AI For Work and Play
Artificial intelligence may still be shrouded in an aura of mystery, yet most human beings who are connected to social media, conduct web searches, or shop online are already more dependent on this technology than may be apparent. Take the case of popular social media channels like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, all of which make recommendations based on users’ preferences, use big data to target advertising, and rely on machine learning to identify and obliterate offensive and prejudicial comments and content. Those who shop online or contract services digitally, meanwhile, already know how well chatbots have managed to solve problems such as wrong orders, changing delivery dates, or scheduling appointments. AI is also present in the technologies, equipment and machines we rely on every day – including cars. Cutting-edge vehicles, for instance, rely on LiDAR technology, which is able to detect objects in blind spots; spot pedestrians, animals and vehicles even in poor weather conditions; and allow cars to position themselves via GPS technology.
Cloud Storage for Personal Files
Many of the services human beings rely upon daily – including banking, e-commerce and e-mail – work on the cloud. While organizations rely on cloud computing for tasks such as the analysis of big data, data backup, IaaS, and PaaS, individuals have also become heavily dependent on cloud storage platforms such as Drive, used to store files, documents, images, videos, and more. The cloud is also used for many of the daily tasks we carry out, including online billing, shopping and banking. Social media is also a cloud-based means of communication, and all conversations, data and information we share on channels like Facebook or Instagram are made possible by the cloud.
Blockchain: Mystery Resolved
Like AI, blockchain is often perceived as a mysterious technology, used mainly by those specializing in areas like finance and cryptocurrency. However, many online users are already availing of the benefits of blockchain. Take the case of review sites like TripAdvisor, Google, Manta, and the like. Because blockchain is permanent and immutable, it can be adopted by these sites to ensure that all reviews are published and that unfavorable reviews are not removed. We also rely on blockchain to receive goods ordered online. Thus, most major messenger services – such as UPS and FedEx – have made blockchain an important part of their supply strategy in order to dramatically reduce error margins and speed up delivery times. Blockchain is already being used in a variety of sectors that affect individuals in a myriad of ways – these include the legal and real estate sectors (blockchain can be used for contracts, registry entries and the like) and medicine (i.e., to keep patient histories and other private information).
The start of 2021 has seen human beings across the globe continue to adopt technologies that are making life as normal as possible. From video conferencing events to relying on the cloud to share images and information of important events in our lives, technology once relied upon by businesses and industry are now vital in our day-to-day existence. Technologies such as blockchain, meanwhile, are ensuring that the wealth of data shared is secure and authentic.