As we head on in to the 2nd month of the year, this post highlights recent articles on hot topics that are shaping and changing the future not only of innovation and the tech space, but of our lives. Enjoy this next instalment!
Go digital or go home. Digital transformation is a global phenomenon and a universal disruption, changing every industry and every sector. This article provides a great insight into how the advances in the IoT, Big Data, Cloud Computing, and AI can be linked to major innovative disruptions in our healthcare services, manufacturing, and oil and gas industries.
Most exciting, change is being driven from the very top. Digital transformations are no longer relying on working their way up from inside the IT department, and eventually to the CIO and the C-Suite. But now, the transformation process has been inverted; it’s the CEO leading the charge. For digital transformation to be fully embraced it needs to become part of the board room psyche; a constant talking point, never leaving the table; and it should always start at the top of the organization and progress down from there. A failure to do this could end in failure itself.
Imaginatik’s take: The transformative power of next-gen technologies such as AI, IoT, Cloud, etc. has been apparent for some time. Less clear, however, is exactly how and when this transformation would happen in earnest. For sure, many applications have already emerged – but much of these have been incremental improvements rather than wholesale changes: optimizing eCommerce traffic, improving operational performance at the margins, etc. But perhaps 2018 is the year in which both the technology ecosystem is mature enough, and corporate preparedness is ripe enough, that industrial transformation reaches its fullest potential. Big changes have already begun rippling through the manufacturing and energy sectors – and that’s just the beginning.
Ai or not Ai – that is the question? Will, or can, Artificial Intelligence become conscious? Is it possible for a computer to be aware of itself and therefore replace humans in the majority of walks of life, or are there elements, present in the human mind, that cannot ever be replicated by a machine? Although this, and topics like it, are generally weighted – especially in business and innovation circles – towards the technological application of AI, the (much) wider issue, and question is, what exactly IS consciousness? And, if it requires a degree of creativity and freedom only available to the biological mind – as many suspect – will the creation of such machines be beyond the capability of the human mind?
Imaginatik’s take: Over the past few years, fears that intelligent machines are coming to take our jobs have proliferated. But this article draws a clear distinction between the looming AI technologies of today (which can automate highly complex tasks) and the conscious, self-aware AIs that may exist tomorrow (which might make autonomous decisions, i.e., “free will”). Regarding the latter, there is not yet scientific consensus about whether such a machine is even possible, much less a mathematical theory of computation capable of guiding research efforts. Thus for your corporate innovation plans, stick to the AI and machine learning technologies we already know are on the horizon. For a bit of intellectual gamesmanship, it’s fun to play around with the ideas in this article.
London startup Sweatcoin has tapped into the gamification trend within insurance and corporate wellness programmes, seeking to incentivize a healthier lifestyle. The app combines the concept of behavioural economics with the (circa) **60m unit fitness wearables market, creating an economic value on activity. It enables users to accumulate credit (Sweatcoins) for exercise that can be used to purchase a growing array of goods and services, including Fitbits and iPhones.
So will people flock to this app, and turn steps into prizes? Read this article and find out.
Imagnatik’s take: The insurance space is awash with gamification schemes designed to tip human behaviour in healthier directions, with the ultimate goal of reducing the size and frequency of claims payouts. Although this particular app has some usability issues, and perhaps business model snags as well, it is an interesting example of a crowded area rife with innovators. Watch this space in 2018 and beyond.
**Grace College https://online.grace.edu/news/business/the-past-present-future-of-wearable-technology/