9 tech trends that will define the post-pandemic world

Remember Sophia, the life-like social robot? The exponential pace at which technology is growing indicates that the humanoid may have just been a trailer of how digital technology will change the world in profound ways

Companies across the world are developing Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered humanoid machines. Remember Sophia, the lifelike social robot developed by Hanson Robotics? ‘She’ uses Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing and Animated Robotics to interact with people. In one of the several tech conferences that Sophia attended, she emphasised that she wants to use her Artificial Intelligence to help humans live a better life by designing smarter homes and building smarter cities for the future. She also became the first robot in the world to be recognised with a citizenship.

The exponential pace at which technology is growing indicates that the humanoid may have just been a trailer of how computer science technology will change the world in profound ways. Inventors have also hinted at the possibility of the next stage of AI – Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), a level of computer intelligence that fully matches human intelligence, something humanity has not achieved yet.

The current pandemic has taught us that data should come first when it comes to determining the course we take during such a crisis. As algorithms become smarter, digital technology is triggering an industrial revolution. Unlike the previous industrial revolutions, this one allows working for humanity in a way that every individual feels the benefits of the advancement.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineer (IEEE) Computer Society in their annual predictions for the future of technology has also highlighted that it is AI and ML, which will undergo the most dramatic growth in the time to come.

A look at the next wave of computer science technologies that will define the post-pandemic world:

  1. Machine Learning (ML): Ubiquitous connectivity such as 5G, and intelligent sensors such as the Internet of Things (IoT) will enable widespread deployment of Machine Learning in areas such as assisted driving, industrial automation, surveillance and natural language processing.
  2. Artificial Intelligence (AI): Within five years, Artificial Intelligence will be applied significantly in critical infrastructure systems such as power generation and distribution, telecommunications, road and rail transportation, healthcare and banking.
  3. Additive manufacturing: 3D/4D printing in additive manufacturing will make it economically viable to produce highly personalized products/services (such as footwear and automotive) on a massive scale.
  4. Cognitive skills for robots: Large-scale simulations, deep reinforcement learning, and computer vision will collectively bring forth a basic level of cognitive abilities to robots, making virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa more respectful and chatbots more intelligent.
  5. Computer simulations will also replace animal testing for drugs. Although animal testing was the most accurate and reliable strategy for checking the efficacy of new drugs, it was unsafe, expensive, time-consuming and highly controversial.
  6. Nanotechnology and material science: The increasing control over ‘matter’ on a tiny scale will give rise to exciting new products such as bendable displays, wearable technology and digital implants.
  7. Digital twins: The ability to make a digital copy of an actual physical object, product, process, or ecosystem will enable us to make adjustments without risking the real physical object.
  8. Digitally extended realities: Think immersive environments and ‘aware’ homes as this technology will encompass virtual, augmented and mixed reality.
  9. Quantum computing will emerge from the labs and transform other technologies. For example, it will have the potential for theoretically unbreakable, secure communications, which would protect not only high-value transactions and state secrets, but, on the downside, also provide a hiding place for terrorists and organised crime.

This is a time like no other for Computer Science graduates to make a difference through their work. This is an opportunity for leveraging technology to find solutions to the problems the world is facing at large. Keeping these ever-evolving trends in mind, the UPES School of Computer Science offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs with varied specialisations to choose from such as AI, ML, Blockchain and Computational Sustainability. You, too, can become a part of this phenomenon.

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