Five Business and Tech Predictions For The Rest Of The Year…
First published in February … hows it looking??
Wonderful, it’s February and we’re still here.
One of the ‘problems’ of 2018, and quite probably every year from now on, was that there was so much happening, so much serious stuff going on, it raises the bar for what actually qualifies as something important. And with ‘serious stuff’ overload comes the response of ‘there’s nothing I can do so forget about it all.’ So let’s do that, and have some fun predicting what tech will offer us in the coming year. I like this game. Ok, here’s my five predictions for the balance of 2019.
Prediction One: It rather depends what happens with Brexit. That’s not helpful is it? But whatever happens, life will continue and everyone will just work round it. Business is pragmatic, we just crack on and find the way to move forward. So my first prediction is that ‘Brexit’ however that happens or doesn’t happen will be an anti climax.
Prediction Two. I’m going to predict that NO new tech will happen in 2019. What will happen is the ramping up of existing tech. Ai is on an ever increasing trajectory, China aims to create ‘city computers’ that will automate and control everything. Ai is going to create strange feedback loops, it learns from us, and teaches us, and learns from our response, it’s actually a huge experiment ON people, rather than by us. The ethical implications of this are such that the only sensible thing to do would be to not do it at all. However, that’s not going to happen. So we are on the edge of an era whereby computers use humans to work out problems. A role reversal. I suspect that’s going to be a trend for some time. Once the Ai systems become embedded in our bureaucracy we are subject to them indefinitely. I predict this starts to happen next year.
Prediction Three: Facebook is going to do something unexpected. I don’t know what. It will continue to have a terrible time with data leaks, trust issues, bots and fake accounts and fake news and political manipulations and all its usual daily grind. But I think it has something up its sleeve, a new product or service. Facebook is good at keeping secrets. Its own secrets that is. There’s rumour of them launching a new Cryptocurrency, but I think it’s too soon for that. I can smell something though, from under Zuckerburgs bed.
Prediction Four: Existing crypto currencies will fluctuate but no one will care anymore.
Prediction Five. Political unrest. Environmental crisis. Wild climate conditions. I predict we are coming out of a period of relative calm into a period of relative storm. It’s not going to be about tech in 2019, it’s going to be about people. People and the streets. I also predict young people will start leading the way, maybe that’s more of a hope than a prediction. But from a tech perspective, we have what we need. Mobile phones are smart enough, the internet’s fast enough, everyones connected enough, and now the connectivity and connectedness are going to be used for what? I think we may start seeing the limits of the usefulness of tech in our society. Tech isn’t going to solve homelessness and rough sleeping. Tech isn’t going to heal the environment. Tech isn’t going to bring unity to political divides. Tech isn’t going to ease the pressure on the NHS, or Schools, or Prisons. Tech isn’t going to solve the plastic crisis. Or climate change. Or help us understand how to handle mass migration or make food banks obsolete. Since two sticks were rubbed together to make a fire and a flint was split to make an edge, technology has only ever been a tool. We are still humans, living beings on a living planet. I predict we will need to be reminded of this. It’s not tech that needs to upgrade and improve. It’s us.