Technology and the future: How will it be?

Original article was published by Dinu Rathnayake on Artificial Intelligence on Medium


Technology and the future: How will it be?

Photo by The Economic Times

Introduction

Promising technological developments and transformations became highly progressive during the last decade and it will be more advanced in the future. Technology and its myriad methods have brought a palpable and profound impact on the business environment. World Economic Forum (2020) has discussed regarding seventeen ways of technology which might change the world by year 2025. When analyzing all these seventeen ways, it is observable that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has taken the most vital place which will become the cornerstone of future advancements of technology. Meanwhile, the predicted technological developments have mainly focused on the global pandemic; which has dragged the whole world to a severe crisis situation.

AI

AI was born due to the rapid advancement of modern science and technology whereas, now it has become the linchpin of the unprecedented developments in technology. AI is a result of integrated computer technology and other disciplines. The core of AI is; it is an intelligent tool based on human intelligence simulation where humans can be replaced from complex tasks. The digital landscape is empowered by AI hence, concepts such as big data, Internet of Things (IoT), location based marketing and data mapping have interlinked with AI which have made the humans’ life and business operations more convenient.

Global Pandemic

However, currently the existence of humans as well as businesses have been threatened by COVID-19 global pandemic. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), as of 10th October 2020, 36.6M confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported globally including 1.06M deaths. The pandemic is spreading with an alarming speed where the global economy is already infected and Global Economic Prospects (2020) have predicted a contraction of 5.2% in 2020’s global GDP which is the most enormous global shock with the steepest global collapse in decades. Meanwhile, The World Bank (2020) highlights due to this unpredicted Outbreak, global economic growth in 2020 might shrink by almost 8%. Therefore, The World Bank has claimed that the pandemic emphasizes the need for crucial actions to bolster the health of human beings as well as the global economic condition.

Global Pandemic and AI

Moving back to World Economic Forum’s “seventeen ways technology could change the world by 2025” prediction, a significant attention on COVID-19 global pandemic is observable whereas the future technological advancements can be used as a harness to face pandemic situations. COVID-19 outbreak has become a flashpoint of highlighting the importance of having a healthy lifestyle since according to The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology (2020) it has been discovered that half of COVID-19 cases are reported from people with poor metabolic health. Accordingly, a more focus on preventive health practices tied with proactive health measures for chronic illnesses will be gained combining with food nutrition and metabolic improvement. AI has brought its significant presence here where it is already assisting the scientists to discover the full potentials of plants to improve humans’ wellness. Meanwhile, it is foreseen by World Economic Forum, a new era of medicine which underlines the combination of AI and Big Data will be significantly helpful in discovering the human biology in-depth for more accurate clinical decision making Lunit; a Medical AI software company already has taken initiatives to utilize AI in order to fight with COVID-19 whereas they have developed ‘Lunit INSIGHT CXR’ which is empowered by AI. Therefore, it can be forecasted that business environment will be able to exploit the opportunities in the food industry, pharmaceutical industry as well as the healthcare sector. However, it should be noted that deforestation has become a vital debate in the contemporary world and according to World Wildlife Fund (2020) agriculture is the main cause for deforestation. Therefore, if the businesses and policy makers attempt to develop agriculture sector along with the food industry by engaging with deforestation, the successfulness of finding sustainable solutions for pandemics with the use of technology is highly questionable.

Moving on, the COVID-19 outbreak has highlighted the importance of technology and communication to smoothen job responsibilities as well as emotional connections especially due to lockdowns. This is where AI and virtual reality get the attention where it is expected to develop platforms which will enable humans relationships even though they have a physical distance. Businesses which practiced traditional business models rather than technology-powered systems collapsed with the pandemic yet, technology helped to save the businesses with favorable technological practices up to some extent even during the lockdowns without letting them falling down. WHO (2020) has warned the whole world regarding the potential pandemic situations whereas, humans and businesses should take precautions to face such situations. Therefore, it is necessary to encourage and adopt technologies empowered by AI and virtual reality. Meanwhile, mental intelligence and mental health should be paid a vital attention and various studies have proven that AI helps to enhance mental intelligence as well as to improve mental health. However, it can be argued that AI being an extra helpful tool which can reduce the humans’ intellectual capacities which basically would shrink human talents. Moreover, growing attention on using AI in the business world should be carefully revised as AI might welcome cyber-attacks which has become a critical issue in the contemporary business world.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Future of the world will be mainly based on technology where AI will be the core of most of the technological advancements. While the world is making efforts to move forward with profound technology, the novel Coronavirus- COVID-19 has threatened the whole world and even the existence of mankind. AI has already started playing its significant role by attempting to find solutions for the global current situation. According to the essay, it was highlighted the new paradigm of preventive healthcare approaches and new era of medicine empowered by AI which mainly focus on natural healthy diets and improved metabolism would be a great and prolong solution for the pandemic issues. Although food, pharmaceuticals and healthcare industries look attractive for businesses, it is mandatory to exploit business opportunities following the ‘sustainability’. Moreover, AI has helped the humans and businesses during the lockdowns where human-to-human connections could be maintained without a physical presence. Thus, it has opened a window of opportunities to businesses to adopt AI. However, losing intellectual abilities of humans due to AI should be addressed with precautionary measures.

References

Flatt, J. (2020) How AI is bringing the ‘dark matter of nutrition’ to light, unlocking the power of plants. World Economic Forum [online]. Available at https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/07/how-ai-is-uncovering-the-dark-matter-of-nutrition-and-making-history/ (Accessed: 04 October 2020)

Global Economic Prospects (2020) Pandemic, Recession: The Global Economy in Crisis [online]. Available at https://www.worldbank.org/en/publication/global-economic-prospects (Accessed: 04 October 2020)

Graham, S., Depp, C., Lee, E.E. Nebeker, C., Tu. X., Kim, H. and Jeste, D. V (2019) Artificial Intelligence for Mental Health and Mental Illnesses: an Overview. Curr Psychiatry Rep, pp 21, 116 [online]. Available at https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-019-1094-0 (Accessed: 05 October 2020)

Lunit (2020) How can AI help doctors fight coronavirus? [online]. Available at https://www.lunit.io/en/covid19/ (Accessed: 04 October 2020)

The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology (2020) COVID-19: underlying metabolic health in the spotlight [online]. Available at DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(20)30164-9 (Accessed: 04 October 2020)

The World Bank (2020) The Global Economic Outlook During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Changed World [online]. Available at https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2020/06/08/the-global-economic-outlook-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-a-changed-world (Accessed: 03 October 2020)

WHO (2020) WHO Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Dashboard [online]. Available at https://covid19.who.int (Accessed: 10 October 2020)

World Economic Forum (2020) 17 ways technology could change the world by 2025 [online]. Available at https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/17-predictions-for-our-world-in-2025/?utm_source=sfmc&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=SI%20-%20Weekly%20Newsletter%20V3%20-%20LIVE&utm_term=&utm_content=43493&utm_id=3402e14a-b8b7-4a2f-ba25-b0ff04e95573&sfmc_id=358154907&sfmc_activityid=6608f814-3e3e-48e3-a730-cbb22e275364&utm_source=sfmc&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2725706_Si-WeeklyNewsletterV3-Live&utm_term=&emailType=Strategic%20Intelligence%20Newsletter&sk=MDAxMFgwMDAwNE14UlVCUUEz(Accessed: 05 October 2020)

World Wildlife Fund (2020) Deforestation and forest degradation [online]. Available at https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation-and-forest-degradation (Accessed: 04 October 2020)

Yang, L.B (2020) ‘Application of Artificial Intelligence in Electrical Automation Application of Artificial Intelligence in Electrical Automation Control’ 3rd International Conference on Mechatronics and Intelligent Robotics (ICMIR-2019),Procedia Computer Science 166, pp 292–295 [online]. Available at www.sciencedirect.com (Accessed: 03 October 2020)