It seems like technology is developing more and more rapidly — because it is. Just 50 years ago, the technology our modern world runs on would have seemed inconceivable to anyone besides an imaginative science fiction writer.
The personal computer wasn’t in mass production until the 1970s. And less than 10 years ago, only 35% of Americans owned a cell phone.
Now, according to the Pew Research Center, 96% of Americans own a mobile phone, and 81% of those devices are smartphones. Not only that — the capabilities of those earlier phones seem pitiful compared to the tech packed into the tiny computer you hold in your hand today.
This situation is being described by some as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and it goes beyond the devices consumers knowingly interact with every day to include leaps in healthcare, artificial intelligence, and computer vision.
“Technology goes beyond mere tool making; it is a process of creating ever more powerful technology using the tools from the previous round of innovation,” says American inventor Ray Kurzweil.
However, the phenomenon of this exponential growth in technology was actually described by Gordon E. Moore in 1965.
It became known as Moore’s Law.
Moore’s Law Describes Exponential Growth
Moore observed that the number of tiny electrical components performing basic operations on a chip was regularly doubling every 12 months. Along with this exponential increase in transistors was an increase in the processing power of the chips.
Incredibly, Moore’s Law has remained accurate since 1965.
However, there are limitations approaching as transistors approach a near-atomic scale and they are impacted by quantum effects. They don’t affect larger items, but render these tiny chips too unreliable.
What is the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
Though Moore’s Law might be coming to the end of its application in modern tech, it doesn’t mean that growth will be slowing down.
Welcome to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
This revolution is expected to drastically change how humans work, live, and relate to each other based on the Internet of Things and the Internet of System.
According to Forbes, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is leading to change at an unprecedented speed and is predicted to disrupt every industry in every country.
Personalized and Predictive Medicine
Given that you’ve only got one life to live (depending on what you believe) it should come as no surprise that some of the most crucial technology advancements are in medicine.
The rapid rate of transformation in healthcare is due in large part to the recent ability of technology to capture data from wearable devices.
But it doesn’t stop there.
A gut probe in a pill, an ECG on your wrist, a blood test that can predict preemies, and custom cancer vaccines were four medical technology breakthroughs in 2019 that made Bill Gate’s Top 10 List.
Nearly overnight, artificial intelligence became ubiquitous in many people’s homes and businesses. The technology is now being used heavily to streamline operations, as well as improve customer experiences (think chatbots).
As more data is collected and the machine-learning algorithms powering these services become more robust, expect to see them play a more crucial role in industry.
Of course, creating your own AI system will be cost prohibitive for years to come. But, it’s easy to incorporate AI-as-a-service, which offers artificial intelligence outsourcing from a third party.
Computers are patently bad at understanding what they are “seeing.” Humans take for granted that they know what exactly is running by when they only catch a glimpse of it: whether it’s their pet cat, dog, or lizard.
Training computers to be able to identify items, places, objects, and people continues to be a huge undertaking.
However, there are technology advancements underway in computer vision technology promising to assist many different fields, from healthcare to the military. These advancements come through the use of deep learning and artificial neural networks.
You already see this technology at play when Facebook suggests which friends to tag in an image or your smartphone recognizes a face before it snaps a picture.
Final Thoughts: The Top Technology Advancements You Can’t Ignore in 2020
It can be a daunting task to keep up with news of significant technological breakthroughs, especially as the number of them exponentially increases. But it’s good to be aware of what work is pushing the envelope. The reality is that business owners need to know what technology on the market will give them an edge over their competitors.
This developing technology — though maybe not as sexy as cutting edge computer vision work — offers significant advancements in CRM software, ways to increase your digital presence, and changes in the functionalities of mobile apps.
Many are looking beyond the extraordinary technology advancements of 2019 toward the future.
Wired magazine offers predictions that in our lifetime, humans will reach Mars, create 100% renewable energy, and develop AI that will automate deliberation and simulate truly human relationships.
But for now, humans remain on Earth and businesses need to keep an eye out for the tech that will take them to the next level of success.
Tell us what technology is impacting your business most in the comment section below!