The most renowned and influential leaders related to business and state got together this past week in Switzerland.
They convened for the sole purpose of discussing the way technology continues to infiltrate various aspects of our lives.
The World Economic Forum is meant to discuss the implications of advancements in technology on the world.
Here is a list of five innovations that have lead to this.
There is hardly any household without a smartphone. Only two percent of the U.S. population that used cell phones had a smartphone back in 2005.
This figure has gone up to two-thirds of the population after ten years.
These pieces of technology have become a regular part of our lives.
They are the first thing we see in the morning and the last thing we look at before we go to sleep.
Artificial intelligence is more prevalent than ever before.
It is opening many doors of opportunity as days go by.
According to WEF, as many as five million jobs might be lost to robots come the year 2020.
These are most definitely jobs that have a lot of repetition of tasks such as that of loan officers and bank tellers.
In fact, almost half of a total of 816 executives in WEF’s survey believe that a robot will take over the corporate board in the next ten years.
Engineers were of the view that self-driving cars can’t happen until a few years ago.
The partnership between Google and Ford for the development of an entire fleet of self-driving cars by 2020 tells a different story.
Given the decreased probability of them crashing, these cars would be preferred over human drivers.
We might well see businesses like Uber and Taxi disappear in no time as a result of this.
Drone prices have declined in the recent past.
It is interesting to see this technology now being offered as a household item.
Inevitably, they have given rise to concerns about surveillance.
Ryan Calo from the University of Washington believes there isn’t just one side to this technology, “Drones will be used to invade privacy but they’ll [also] be used to report the news and hold polluters accountable. We have to confront that the balance is not all in one direction.”
Now there is technology known as CRISPR which can toy with the genes in the human cells.
This could have great implications such as development of cures for genetic diseases like autism and schizophrenia.
Susan Young from MIT Technology Review spoke of the possibilities with this technology, “Some scientists will be tempted to use it to engineer embryos during in vitro fertilization. With such techniques, a person’s genome might be edited before birth.”