My 2020 Tech Predictions

Well, here we are, the year 2020…

The new decade has been off to a bit of a rocky start, but I’m still hopeful that good things are to come for society this year.

Among the developments I anticipate will come out of the technology space:

  1. Artificial Intelligence will keep getting smarter, particularly in the areas of Natural Language Processing (NLP). Anyone who has had tried to dialogue with Siri or Alexa knows that chatbots are useful at responding to commands, but particularly poor conversationalists. NLP algorithms will become more sophisticated while also broadening their training data set. Thus, improving human to AI exchanges and making them less disjointed and more realistic. With more authentic AI conversations, we provide opportunities to better the human experience by ministering to senior citizens, the mentally ill, and other groups that traditionally benefit from increased interaction.
  • In addition to Voice NLP, we will see improvements in AI-generated written language. At first glance, having an intelligent editor at your fingertips sounds wonderful – which human doesn’t struggle to get words on the page? However, it raises a lot of ethical issues. For instance, if a newspaper uses AI to write their stories are they required to disclose that? What level of human editorial oversight is needed? In this era of public debate of what constitutes “fake news,” AI-enabled writing contributes an additional grey area that is subject to varied opinions.
  • We will see an increased public discourse on the role of technology in society. Given that it is a US presidential election year, we can expect campaign-trail rhetoric on technology-related legal and ethical policies. Indeed, one of the most discussed will be the impact of the AI revolution on income inequality and job displacement. We will also hear about the regulation of Social Media to protect children, as well as laws for autonomous vehicles and the use of facial recognition for law enforcement. We may even see proposals related to the current race between the US and China for Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing dominance.

Thank you to IEEE for letting me share some predictions, and positivity, in their article “5 Predictions for How Technology will Impact Society in 2020