It is always tempting at the start of a year to look ahead and see what the next 12 months might have in store – and with technology changing more and more quickly, we thought we’d take a look at what could lie ahead in the digital and virtual worlds.
Increased use of Artificial Intelligence by Hackers
Sadly, we need to start with a warning. The pandemic saw an explosion in online fraud and it is a regrettable fact that in some parts of the world ‘computer hacker’ is now an acknowledged career. As AI becomes more sophisticated, hackers are going to make more and more use of it, especially the ability artificial intelligence has to generate photorealistic faces. Your partner is on the phone saying that he or she has broken down, will have to stay in a hotel and is short of cash? Be very, very sure before you transfer any money…
Healthcare Will Get More Remote – and More Personal
Many of us are now wearing health and fitness devices – and an equal number of us probably complained about not being able to see our GP face to face during the pandemic. The coming year (and years) will bring yet more remote monitoring of our health, whether that is monitoring our vital signs, increasing use of machine learning for predicting health conditions – and simply monitoring where a patient might be on a healthcare journey. Diagnosis will gradually go the same way: we are not going back to lengthy queues at the surgery.
Changes in the World of Work
The ‘war for talent’ was a phrase much used last year: that war will be fought ever more fiercely in the next 12 months. Simply put, there are not enough people with tech skills to go round: those with the required skills will be in high demand.
…And they are likely to apply those skills to increased workplace automation. Boring, monotonous tasks will be automated: we’ll see more self-service kiosks in offices and workplaces, autonomous order fulfilment and even AI-enabled drive-thrus.
TV Advertising is Going to Change
Don’t cheer too soon. Advertisers have long since moved away from pure numbers to very specific, data-driven ads. If you haven’t heard of Connected TV you will do: it refers to premium content streaming through apps or on a smart TV. Not only are we going to see ads served before programmes and during traditional commercial breaks, we’re also going to see them in the programmes themselves. Get used to the picture suddenly shrinking and a ‘relevant’ ad appearing in the border…
It’s Going to be a Difficult Year for Employers
Never mind inflation, rising interest rates and the seemingly endless supply chain problems… People are going to return to the office – not in pre-pandemic numbers, but neither are we going to remain at ‘work from home’ levels. There’ll be huge challenges for employers as some employees demand fewer digital meetings and more face-to-face interaction – a request for less tech. Throw in the fact that what people want from work and life has changed during the pandemic, and employers will face major challenges balancing productivity with employee satisfaction and retention.