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Future Trends

  • 5 levels of ethical programming that determine how well smart machines will behave

    People are going to have to get used to living and working alongside smart machines. With Gartner estimating that 1.1-billion connected things will be used by smart cities in 2015, there's no escaping the fact that pretty much every object we interact with is getting smarter. There's a lot of hope about the future those smart objects could allow but also plenty of fear. Both Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have, for instance, warned of the dangers of artificial intelligence. But to a large degree making sure we don't end up bowing down to our robot overlords could come...

  • 5m people will use Bitcoin by 2019

    While even people in the technology space might not entirely understand crypto-currency Bitcoin, you can't ignore its rapid growth. It's not about to slow down either. Right now there are around 1.3-million Bitcoin users around the globe and, according to Juniper Research, that number is set to grow to 5-million by the end of 2019. Even with that kind of growth though, the research company argues that Bitcoin usage will be dominated by exchange trading, with retail adoption largely restricted to relatively niche demographics. Despite the fact that a number of retailers now accept Bitcoin and startups are looking to...

  • The dangers of machine learning, AI can be mitigated through strong partnerships

    Recent reports about the dangers of artificial intelligence (AI) have painted a dark picture of the future. According to some of the leading thinkers in the technology and science arenas, the very machines that serve such a fundamental part of our daily needs today could one day subject us to slavery and even extinction. Considering how pervasive technology has become, and how it is set to become even more so under the new wave of connected devices and automated systems, it’s an important discussion to have. Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk late last year called artificial intelligence “our biggest...

  • 3 massive digital trends and how South Africa can use them to its advantage

    Financial markets are in flux, cyber crime is on the rise and millennials are taking over the business world. That's according to David Silverstein, the CEO of global consulting firm BMGI, who says that while these trends are not necessarily the biggest, they're certainly ones we should all take heed of and keep in our back pockets. 1. Anticipate chaos In terms of reacting to markets, companies should stop trying to prepare for the worst or the best. Instead, they should prepare for the worst, best and everything in between. "The global economy is in a state of chaos," Silverstein says. "The...

  • Are machines really the call-centres of the future?

    Artificial Intelligence is not yet a reality. But very smart computers are. They’re poised to take over all sorts of routine, repetitive tasks. After all, a robot doesn’t make mistakes, it can’t get tired and slack off, it won’t lack motivation, and it doesn’t hurt that it can’t lie or steal or cheat either. Look at the call centre for example. Very smart ‘robots’ are automating more and more processes, and the business case is growing strong. Many already use interactive voice response (IVR), where callers type or speak to a machine before being routed to the most appropriate free...

  • What The Guardian’s next editor might think about technology, and what that would mean for journalism

    It was the first major news organisation to introduce live blogging, and the first to open commenting across its site. With 120-million unique visitors this January, theguardian.com has become one the world's most popular and important news websites. Yet after two decades of spearheading its online growth, The Guardian's editor announced his departure last year. This past week, four internal candidates presented their arguments for why they should be the next editor-in-chief. Each statement offered an intimate view into how these candidates view themselves, what they think the role of an editor should be and the emphasis they place on the British newspaper's online expansion. By...

  • 10 technologies that will have a huge impact on education in 2015 and beyond

    Technology has the capacity to fundamentally change every aspect of our lives. There are few sectors where this is more visible and obvious than education. According to technology research house Gartner, worldwide education sector spending is forecast to grow 2.3% to reach US$67.8-billion in 2015. This forecast includes higher education as well as primary and secondary schools. In Western Europe alone, education institutions will spend US$16.3-billion on technology products and services in 2015. Of course the situation isn't the same across the globe, but even initiatives such as Google's Connected Classrooms and Free access to Wikipedia are changing the way...

  • The world of work is changing in South Africa, just ask Generation Y

    The South African workplace is being defined by technology and the Generation X and Y workers that are using it. The Internet of Everything (IoE) is enabling new forms of connectivity, changing communications and fostering new ways of working. With the plethora of devices, apps and solutions now available and growing at a phenomenal rate, to remain relevant and competitive, employers in South Africa must move with the times, while striking a balance between current and future employee and business needs. In South Africa, as in the rest of the world, the number of connections – of people and...

  • Kill your company, and other ways to keep innovation top of mind #AccentureIC2015

    The Accenture Innovation Conference kicked off with Johannesburg's executive mayor addressing all the challenges South Africa's capital is faced with. It seemed to be an unusually long list that after nearly an hour wouldn't be resolved during the conference.  But when futurist Lisa Bodell took the stage, it felt like she was addressing both his and everyone else at the conference's problems. Straight up and honest, Bodell got everyone standing (literally) and what she said should be shouted from the rooftops for all companies to hear. Lisa Bodell is CEO of futurethink, an award-winning innovation firm, who is on her very...

  • 5 digital video trends to keep an eye on through 2015

    What’s in store for digital video in 2015? The online video industry is like a supercar on a stretch of perfectly straight road without any speed limits. As fast moving and exciting to contemplate, video continues to zoom ahead as the default communication medium. Here are some of the emerging global trends that continue to drive video as a major growth area in both the international and local arena. Ultra HD gains momentum Ultra High Definition is the next big step in HDTV resolution. This 4K, 6K or even 8K content offers four, six and eight times the resolution of standard...

  • 3 massive trends banks will have to stay ahead of if they want to remain innovative

    Doing digital banking better is key, according to various banking trend predictions for 2015. But being fine-tuned to customer needs and behaviour, and consequently marrying human centricity with technology, could be the catalyst for true differentiation. Banking products and services have always been perceived as quite generic and it was inevitable that banks would catch up with each other in the digital banking space. Although launching innovative digital banking products and services that change the way we bank will continue to be rolled out, customer centricity should be at the heart of each rationale, and the execution thereof has never...

  • These 5 South Africans have been shortlisted to go colonise Mars in 2024

    South Africans Divashen Govender, Kobus Vermeulen, Adriana Marais, Edwin le Grange and Alexandra Doyle have been shortlisted as part of a group of 100 participants from across the globe looking for a one-way ticket to Mars. In 2013, the Mars One private space programme tried to raise US$400 000 on the crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo, but only managed to raise US$313 000. Still, awareness seemed to have paid off well and the team behind this ambitious project isn't slowing down one bit. Just over 2 000 people from across the globe initially applied to go to the red planet in nine years'...

  • The internet of ‘we': 5 digital trends that will impact your future

    We live in the age of narcissism and social media's only making it worse. That's a fairly common sentiment among media pundits and one which, on the face of it, has plenty of evidence to back it up. After all, they'll argue, there's a reason "selfie" the Oxford Dictionaries Online word of the year in 2013. And think about how we tailor the content we put out on social media. It's meant to portray the best possible version of ourselves rather than anything accurate. Thing is, that may all be about to change. According to global management consulting company...

  • Google invests $1 billion in SpaceX as 21st century Space Race heats up

    Solar-powered drones, laser beams, internet satellites and a city on mars. These all might sound like something from a Star Wars movie, but they're actually projects conceptualised by some of the biggest leaders in tech today. And it's oh so exciting. As first reported by The Information, Google and Fidelity has just invested US$1-billion in the private space exploration company SpaceX, claiming 10% of the company's shares. If anything, this cash injection reiterates that the 21st century Space Race is on. The move is complemented by the search giant and SpaceX founder Elon Musk's ambitions to conquer the space frontier within...

  • 3 game changing trends and technologies for video surveillance in 2015 and beyond

    With the Internet of Things (IoT) continuing to be a hot topic throughout 2014 and across all industries -- whether it’s about smart cars or intelligent appliances such as connected refrigerators -- more consumers and businesses are now aware of the advantages of being connected to the internet, and so should the security professionals and business owners who are trying to ensure the safety of their organisations. As many professionals in the security industry predict, the new HD standard ‘4K Ultra HD’ is a natural next step in the industry’s ongoing strive towards more image details and larger coverage...