Fasten Your Seatbelts – We are going to take-off.
Technology will accelerate the rate of change. Many people get baffled by the dizzying rate of innovation and technology changes. This article introduces two models to understand technology changes and social impact.
First model DTAC provides an effective way to comprehend technology revolution and also project future technology changes. The second model, TOST explains social & business impact.
Let us first understand the DTAC model. Imagine that technology change is like a four storied building. Each floor is built on the foundation of the lower floors.
Level-1: Fundamental Driving Forces :
At the base of the building, 1st Floor is the Fundamental Driving Forces (FDF) that fuels all technological changes. We will call it Drivers.
There are 3 Drivers currently shaping the technological revolution :
1) Internet Bandwidth
2) Computer Processing Power
3) Storage and Computer Memory
Whenever paradigm shattering new breakthroughs are achieved in bandwidth, processing power or memory, it is denoted as Next Generation Technology. Between 2020 to 2035, we will see widespread propagation of 5G Mobile Internet technology with data speed ranging from 300 Mbps to 1000 Mbps.
After 5G, companies and researchers have already started planning the development and deployment of 6G Internet. 6G may have Internet speed 100 times faster than 5G.
Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, Intel and other chip manufacturing companies launch new generations of faster computer and mobile processors every year. Today’s computer processor are millions of times faster than computer processor that were used 20 years ago.
Seagate, Western Digital, Micron, Toshiba are leading the data-storage revolution. As of 2020, one can get 16000 GB or 16 Terabyte of storage for a few hundred dollars.
Level-2: Key Technical Fields (KTF) :
These fundamental driving forces will give rise to new technical areas. 2nd story is the Key Technical Fields (KTF) that emerge or get shaped by the driving forces. Based on the revolution in the launch of a new generation of protocols and products related to bandwidth, processing power and storage, several new technical areas of practice interest will emerge.
In the current age, Key Technical Fields are:
1) Artificial Intelligence (AI)
2) Internet of Things (IoT)
3) Virtual Reality/ Augmented Reality (VR/AR)
Level-3: Revolutionary Practical Applications (RPA) :
At first, these technical fields are limited to academic discussions and research papers. Slowly, practical applications and new user case scenarios are discussed by experts. Next level is Practical Applications. 3rd Story is the Revolutionary Practical Applications (RPA) because of the advances in the key technical fields. Hundreds of new practical applications will emerge from the newer technical fields.
Three key practical applications from the year 2020 onwards are likely to be:
1) Driverless Car
2) AI-Consultants, AI-Knowledge Processing
3) Holographic Phones/ Hololens. VR/AR learning & healthcare.
Level-4: Futuristic Companies and Tools (FCT) :
Once companies discover new practical applications for the emerging technologies, they develop new tools, software and solutions. 4th level is the Futuristic Companies and Tools (FCT) that drive innovation, create new solutions and implement new ideas.
1) Google’s Waymo & Tesla Self-Driving Cars.
2) AI – Assistant like Siri, Google Now, Alexa
3) Microsoft, Facebook Oculus, Sony’s solutions for VR/AR
As the tools and solutions mature, more and more people will start using it. Social habits will change. New habits, new rules will become normal, widespread and accepted.
For example, online ordering or online banking is now a normal habit.
After the first 4 levels, technology will start impacting the social and business world. Technical revolution will trigger an avalanche of social & business trends. Slowly, new ways of working, traveling, learning, relating, living and communicating will become normal.
Let us look at another model to understand social and business impact. We have called this model the TOST model.
Level-7: Skills & Values
Level-8: Target, Goals and Action Plan
Level-5: New Trends :
As companies launch new tools, more and more companies and individuals will start using those tools and that will create new social & business trends. Some of the current social trends such as Youtubers, Zoom Meetings, Online Gaming, Live public streaming were unthinkable 10-15 years ago. Several new trends will emerge in the next 10-30 years.
Some of the key trends are:
1) Wide spread E-Learning & Telemedicine through VR/AR.
2) Remote working, flexible global teams.
3) Explosion in entertainment content as all video, audio, text can be translated into any language in the world.
Level-6: Opportunities :
As the new trends gain acceptance, new opportunities will emerge. There will be opportunities to create new businesses and solve new problems.
1) Hardware Selling, Repairing, Trading, Second Hand Hardware, Waste Management, Re-cycling.
2) Software Apps – Plugins – Tools.
3) Content – Video, Audio, Text, Multimedia, VR, AR
4) Training, Consulting, Designing
5) Solutions – Everything combined to create new solution
1) Addiction To Technology – No Exercise, Unhealthy eating habits
2) Content consumption – No Creation – No Self-Expression
3) Restricted attention span – Lack of patience, empathy in personal relationships. Less value & importance to personal, long-lasting relationships.
4) Destruction of traditional social & cultural identities, norms, values and customs. More & more mechanical behavior. Family, Marriage, Parenting will break down. Virtual relationships will get center-stage.
5) Traditional degree-based expensive education will start losing value. Global educational institutions will start losing relevance.
6) All careers will require technology. Training workforce. Updating their skills.
7) Superstars, celebrities, high-budget movies, entertainment will be re-defined. Newer players will emerge. Current entertainment players will experience several threats.
Level-7: Skills & Values :
Technology changes are like Tsunami. It will sweep away all established and expected social norms and business practices. Individuals and society will need to decide on what they wish to protect and preserve. New value systems will emerge. Old world order and values will get continuously threatened. People will need to develop new skills.
In the hyper-active society, the following key values will continue to remain in high-demand.
1) Authentic, patient listening. Personal attention. Warmth & Care.
2) Creative expression. Innovation.
3) Consistency, Integrity and Reliability.
We will soon start adopting micro-learning. New skills will need to be quickly mastered. There will be certification based on proficiency and mastery over any specific skill.
Level-8: Target, Goals, Action Plan & Results :
Finally, individuals and companies that plan in advance and create specific targets & goals to use new technologies will flourish and grow. Everyone will need to create specific targets on how they will like to use upcoming technologies to achieve their goals.
Those who create plans and take outcome-oriented actions will achieve the results.
Please share your views on Technology & Social Trends. How do you see the future? What opportunities and threats do you foresee?