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The Future of Technology - Six remarkable advances in technology are coming soon and they will change the world forever

The Future of Technology - Six remarkable advances in technology are coming soon and they will change the world forever

Summary

There are many technologies and ideas throughout the world which are exciting in their potential but whose effects are mainly pipedreams that we never get to see in the flesh. However, in the world of tech there is currently a wave of industries that have real potential to change our world forever and they are likely to be realized within the next decade. These industries are inextricably linked and serve to augment the capabilities of each other, meaning that the rate of change is likely to snowball. From artificial intelligence, through to the space industry the rate of technological advancements in the last few years has been dramatic and this report examines and speculates on what is coming in the next decade and what their implications might be.

Key Highlights

  • These technologies on their own are likely to be revolutionary once we have them, but the most change will come when they are functioning together. For instance, a world where an advanced AI is able to use a quantum computer to conduct its research is not far away.
  • Many of the world's biggest companies have invested heavily in these emerging tech markets and their desire for innovation, new products and understanding is driving these companies forward.
  • Not all of the side effects of this technological development can be predicted and some future scenarios may even be negative. There are organizations preparing for this scenario too, researching how to control AI for instance or developing less invasive neurological surgeries to try and make sure that the coming tech breakthrough is a positive one.
Scope
  • Examines six major technology areas where fundemental breakthroughs are only a few years away and what effect they might have on our world
  • Looks at artifical intelligence, who the major players are and what they want to achieve
  • Examines how driverless technology is creeping into the world's transportation systems and what this means for us
  • Looks at the big players trying to build quantum computers and what they want them for
  • Analyzes how factories are changing with robotics and automation
  • Examines how brain implant technology is starting to produce results
  • Looks at the space industry and the emerging competition for a new market
Reasons to buy
  • What major technology advances are coming soon and how will they effect businesses, society and learning?
  • Who are the big players that are chasing this technology and what do they seek to gain from it?
  • What could be the positive and negative outcomes of some of these technologies?
  • Are some of these technologies worth having? Or might they be a waste of investment?


Executive summary
Artificial Intelligence: revolutionizing industries across the world
Driverless vehicles: technology will change global transport forever
Quantum computing: using the bizarre tiny world of the quantum to solve humanity's biggest problems
Industry 4.0: billed as the fourth industrial revolution, factories are changing
Brain Implants: using advanced neurology to repair or enhance our brains
Cleaning up space: a new industry is born commercializing space
Artificial Intelligence is revolutionizing industries across the world
AI is potentially useful for a wide range of industries
Investment in AI has been significant over recent years
Machine learning has received the most investment over recent years due to Big Data increasingly becoming a huge focal point for businesses
Machine learning is apparent in an array of industries
The healthcare industry is in transformation thanks to AI developments
AI aims to save costs but instead will increase them for businesses
Although costs are associated with AI maintenance, soon AI will be doing the handling
Unemployment is a fear of the future, not so much right now
Teachers fear not as robots target other jobs instead
Driverless vehicle technology will change global transport forever
Long considered to be averse to change, shipping is about to transform
Technology is advancing towards full autonomy for large vessels but work still needs to be done
Developing the regulation for autonomous shipping will take time and likely fail to keep pace with technological development
Driverless cars face a steep development curve to become mainstream
Mapping and regulating problems hold back progress on autonomous cars
Technology needs to be refined for everyday purposes before driverless cars can become mainstream
Autonomous trucks are changing how mining is done today; transport must wait for development
Autonomous trucks for the road are being frustrated by lack of enthusiasm from multiple parties
Application for autonomy extends beyond freight into everyday menial jobs
Major aircraft manufacturers are moving ahead with autonomous planes
Boeing to test pilotless aircraft in 2018 as technology nears required level of sophistication
Airbus self-flying taxi is the transformative application of autonomous technology in personal transport
Quantum computing: using the bizarre tiny world of the quantum to solve humanty's biggest problems
Classical computers are limited to strict physical laws
Physics of the quantum world is very difficult to understand let alone tame
Qubits are the fundamental “bit” of information that quantum computers use
Quantum entanglement allows qubits to be “spookily” aware of each other no matter how far apart
Quantum decoherence is the main technical difficulty that is trying to be overcome
Quantum outclasses classical by many orders of magnitude
Quantum computing is getting ready to truly take off but there are some difficult barriers to overcome
Optimization and cryptography are the main draws of Quantum ability, applicable to many industries
Optimization is one of the key uses for a quantum computer
Predicting future problems using needle in a haystack searching
The quantum world provides advanced encryption possibilities
Using quantum combined with AI technology is where the future is headed
Companies involved are wide ranging and big investments have been made
DWave computer has been criticized as not Quantum which is a setback
IBM has commercial versions being readied approaching 20 qubits
China manages to achieve the longest ever sending of entanglement
Industry 4.0: Billed as the fourth industrial revolution, factories are changing
Autonomous technology forecast to achieve large gains in efficiency
Embracing industry 4.0, Audi introduces the automotive factory of the future at Ingolstadt
Advancement in high-tech material production driven by industry 4.0 improves production, reducing costs
Production line of the future sees workforce and technology working together closely
New robotic technology works alongside people on production lines in car manufacturing
New robotic technology is changing how humans interact with the movement of items in logistics
Robotic technology of the future will be worn by workers, helping them perform physical tasks
Brain Implants: Using Advanced neurology to repair or enhance our brains
Assisting brains that need repair is a key aim of neural implants and BCIs
Cochlear implants are very common place, non-invasive and can restore senses
Deep brain stimulation alleviates the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
Retinal implant technology is allowing the blind to see again through a bionic eye
Treatment of spinal injuries to allow patients with paraplegia to move again
Microfibers are becoming more advanced and this is opening up new possibilities
The next step for BCIs is human enhancement
DARPA has been working in this field for a number of years for defense purposes
Kernel is looking to find ways to improve human intelligence and cure disease
Neuralink is planning to create an AI interface between the brain and computers
Even successful programs have shown that side effects can be severe
Cleaning up space, A new Industry is born
Space exploration is on the up and protecting investments is key
Space junk has built up over decades, time for a clean-up
Junk that arrived there up to 50 years ago still orbits Earth
Entrepreneurs start thinking of ways to clear the junk yard
There will be little space for companies to clean up space
Points of interest
Appendix
Definitions
Sources
Further Reading
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List of Tables
Table 1: Venture Capital Investment in firms developing AI technology ($m) in monetary terms 11
Table 2: Simulating a Quantum computer on a classical computer 28
Table 3: Companies investing in and developing quantum technology for their use 30
Table 4: Estimated Unit sales of Co-bots 2012-2015 37
List of Figures
Figure 1: Venture Capital Investment in Firms Developing AI Technology ($m) 11
Figure 2: Top 10 applications in healthcare, according to Accenture. ($b). 13
Figure 3: Investment activity into Healthcare AI ($m) 14
Figure 4: Growth in AI safety spending ($m) 15
Figure 5: Years from 2016 where we can expect to see certain AI technologies replacing human jobs 16
Figure 6: Global marine freight industry value ($bn) 17
Figure 7: YARA Birkeland, autonomous ship 18
Figure 8: Artists impression of autonomous Rolls-Royce ship 19
Figure 9: Baidu Driverless Vehicle Testing 20
Figure 10: Rio Tinto net income ($m) 21
Figure 11: Volvo semi-autonomous truck testing 22
Figure 12: Airbus air taxi 24
Figure 13: Quantum computer 25
Figure 14: Classical versus quantum computer 26
Figure 15: D Wave Quantum computer 2000Q 31
Figure 16: China’s Micius satellite and its experiments 32
Figure 17: BMW Autonomous Robot 33
Figure 18: BMW Group, number of cars sold 2008-2016 (millions) 34
Figure 19: Audi ‘Ray’ robot – artist's impression 35
Figure 20: Baxter robot, Rethink Robotics 36
Figure 21: Number of robots used by Amazon (thousands) 38
Figure 22: Amazon Robot moving goods in warehouse 39
Figure 23: Panasonic exoskeleton 40
Figure 24: Brain implant representation 41
Figure 25: Top six fastest growing medical equipment segments by expected growth CAGR (%), 2013-2020 42
Figure 26: Cochlear implant from Advanced Bionics 43
Figure 27: Argus II retinal implant device 44
Figure 28: New flexible microfibers may provide breakthrough in spinal injuries 45
Figure 29: Public opinion in the USA on biological tech 47
Figure 30: John Glenn, one of the first astronauts to enter space 49
Figure 31: Cataloged Objects in Orbit as of October 2012 50
Figure 32: The prospect of nets being used to capture space junk 51
Figure 33: Astroscale’s ELSA satellites in a demonstration phase in 2016 52
Figure 34: White dots indicate what is meant to be Space Junk orbiting Earth, currently 53

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