Tech UPTechnologyThe contradictions of emerging technologies

The contradictions of emerging technologies

Venturing to guess which technologies will accompany us for the next 50 years seems audacious, but Intel has jumped into the pool and carried out a study in the United States with a thousand consumers to endorse the technologies that North Americans see with the potential of future for the next half century. More than 80 percent of consumers believe that smartphones and PCs will remain relevant. But there is a clear dichotomy between those who believe that technology will unite them, and those who believe that it will separate them from their families. And regarding artificial intelligence (AI) in the future, more than a third of the consumers questioned say that they do not use AI today, although the reality is that they do not know that they do.

“It is difficult to contemplate spending a whole day without using a computer or smartphone . They will undoubtedly continue to evolve alongside other technologies, ”says Genevieve Bell, Director of the 3A Institute, Florence Violet McKenzie Professor and Professor Emeritus at the Australian National University, as well as Vice President and Senior Researcher at Intel. “Emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and 5G networks, are abstract and more complex to understand, which is likely to create anxiety about the changes they will bring.”

Among emerging technologies, consumers said they were most interested in and fascinated by those that have the potential to improve health, including genomic medicine (39%) and artificial materials for tissue or organ transplants (26%), in addition to renewable energy (36%).

Artificial intelligence especially appeals to millennials and parents, fascinated by the expected expectations that can make everyday life easier. More than half of parents expect AI to improve their quality of life by facilitating and automating daily tasks. Parents are also more fascinated than childless people by the potential of artificial intelligence to contribute to human tasks and predict their needs.

Despite all this, and according to the Intel study, many consumers do not recognize the role that artificial intelligence plays in their lives today, even with the proliferation of voice assistants, predictive algorithms and other common applications of AI. More than a third (36%) of the consumers surveyed believe that none of the technologies in their possession uses artificial intelligence, which does not mean that they do not use it, even without knowing it.

While most rely on technology to keep in touch with family and friends, around 53%, many, 56%, said they fear that people will become overdependent on technology and spend less time interacting with each other. 37% of consumers and 38% of the tech elite are concerned that the use of technology could isolate people.

Emerging technologies that could help bring together and generate more time to establish connections would be 5G networks and smart homes. 61% of respondents said they were moderately or very excited about the potential of high-speed 5G communications. Millennials are more optimistic about the future of 5G networks, and 45% believe that they will foster bonding between people by allowing them to always be connected.

What Intel does not say in its survey is that in 50 years 5G will be an obsolete technology. I am not venturing to calculate by which mobile broadband generation we will find ourselves in 2068 or what the data connectivity speeds will be. And probably smartphones and PCs will not be anything like what we know today. In part all of this not only due to advances in hardware, but also due to the exponential evolution of software, materials, processors, and one of the technologies that will change everything, artificial intelligence.

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