Technology is evolving faster than it ever has in human history. We saw some pretty wild changes over the course of 2020 with COVID-19 making the biggest impact. Here’s 6 tech trends that will impact us directly in 2021:
1: Scaling up artificial intelligence (AI) in manufacturing:
AI is now part of everyday life, whether we notice it or not. Driven by the emergence of a device ecosystem including Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant, in 2021, emotion recognition and computer vision will scale and AI will take over in the manufacturing sector.
Some U.S start-ups such as Kindred and Osaro is known for using AI technologies during the manufacturing process. Kindred’s technology is used to automate part of distribution apparel in big names brands such as GAP. AI is expanding in all sectors of operations from customer support, to data access enabling, to real-time marketing activities.
2: Practical deployment of Internet of Things (loT)
loT is defined as a network of physical objects, it is embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the internet.
We anticipate that with 5G, the number of connected devices and mainstream IoT applications will reach scale.
Amazon recently launched AmazonGo, a system that uses IoT and machine vision technologies to enable consumers to shop without manual check out. This means that stores are partially automated, customers are able to purchase products without being checked out by a cashier or using a self-checkout station.
3: Increased demand for edge computing processing power
In 2021 we’ll need higher performance from edge computing hardware since better sensors and larger AI models now enable a host of new applications. There is a growing need to infer more data than ever to make decisions without sending data to the cloud. Along with Internet of Things (IoT), edge computing process data by the device itself or by a local computer or sever rather than being transmitted to a data centre.
Trend 4: Commercialization of quantum computing usage in mass scale
As expected in 2020, the quantum computing era began. As data increases, quantum computing continues to target the biggest problems in industry, such as health care and energy. In 2021, the ability to handle big data will be required for cancer treatment, nuclear energy control, and DNA analysis. Some examples of corporations that transitioned to quantum computing are IBM, Google, Intel, Microsoft and Alibaba.
Trend 5: Revolution of aerospace technologies
Mankind will begin its return to space in 2021, largely driven by the private sector. Technological advances have slowed since the Cold War. Notable companies now making aerospace advancements include SpaceX and Blue Origin. SpaceX is now developing the rocket Starship, which will reuse the entire vehicle body. Starship may shorten intercontinental trips to 20-30mintues via space. In China, the government and private enterprises are also making progress in heading to space.
Aside from rocket ships and space, commercial jets are becoming smarter. As major firms such as Airbus have announced plans to electrify their own aircrafts. The plan is to send its E-Fan X hybrid prototype of a commercial passenger jet by then end of 2021.
Trend 6: Evolution of health care – predictions at the genome level
Digital health care has seen a lot of innovation recently, in the U.S start-ups 23andMe and Color lead in genome analysis. They use genomic analysis to learn about diseases and provide prevention methods, ultimately with the evolution of AI, quality of treatment and particularly prevention will be much better. In 2021, many medical images taken using MRI, CT scans, and X-rays will be diagnosed using AI.
Relating to the pandemic, numerous clinics are in the process of finding a solution using AI to recognize symptoms and development of COVID-19 treatment. Maccabi Healthcare Services in Israel plans to deploy an AI system that can identify people at risk of developing COVID-19 complications.
I’m sure we’ve missed a few, but we feel are the biggest fields that will change the world in 2021. While there are concerns about workforce impact, there is little doubt that 2021 will be a time of innovation as people better leverage technology.
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