YOUTH VOICES
The importance of emerging technologies in our daily lives
May 23, 2018
BY ALEX TAI, U-REPORT SQUAD LEADER
Scroll to read more

STORY CONTINUES

Blockchain, automation and AI. They're technologies you might not even have heard of a year ago. But today, they're more than just something that we only hear in the techies' discussions. It's a thing. 

 
They're all technologies that are highly applicable, applicable to every single industry that we have today. It's then imperative that we all have at least a basic understanding of such technologies, and what the impacts of them are in our daily lives. 
 

So, you might be asking, what are these technologies? 


To explain, let's take the example of an airline business. There's the revenue department, which sets and takes the customers' fares. There's the maintenance department that keeps the planes healthy, and fixing them when need be. Then there's the strategy department that works on predicting which route the airline could fly to next. We'll come back to these examples in just a second, but before then let's quickly go through what these technologies and how that can be applied to these examples first. 
 

Blockchain, is like a spreadsheet that keeps a record of pretty much everything in the world, in the form of transactions called blocks


These blocks are linked to the block that was formed both before and after it, hence the name block-chain. It's a spreadsheet that people update constantly, with data that also changes constantly, which makes it impossible to reverse historical entries. In essence, this means that the information stored in the blockchain is secure, because no-one is able to retroactively edit the information stored inside, due to this impossibility of reversing historical entries.  

 

Automation, is the general term for the replacement of human work by technology.


Perhaps it's a computer replacing someone in entering data, or it could even be robots working alongside a doctor to cut the time surgery takes. Automation is already widely seen around the world, but with technologies such as blockchain and AI, the level of automation that could be seen in the future is impossible to fully imagine. 

 

Artificial Intelligence, or AI as it is commonly called, is the ability for computer systems to do things typically only humans can


This could be things such as learning new information from its environment, or using logic in a debate on a given topic. AI has in the past only been explored in topics of science fiction and philosophy, but as computer processing power increases, it is becoming more and more common. It's what's behind Google knowing your search results and optimising what it thinks would be more useful for you to see.  

 

So coming back to the airline example, blockchain could be used to help analyse, store and manage revenue records for the airline, whilst keeping customer data absolutely secure.

Automation could help in the maintenance department, to have robots working on perhaps repainting the planes to help cut down the time needed for planes to sit on the ground.

And artificial intelligence could use logic in the interpretation of data that helps
analyse which new routes could make the most profit.


What's important to note, is that human jobs are compromised in every one of these scenarios.



These technologies are all doing something that humans used to do. And whilst the actual ability for these technologies to reduce the total number of jobs available to us humans is debatable, what's for sure is that in the future, constant innovation will mean that jobs will be much less stable compared to now – and that there will no longer be such a thing as a lifelong job. What's more, these technologies are applicable in almost every industry in the world, in almost every possible way. It's therefore imperative that we put a little more attention into them.
 


FEATURED IMAGES


RELATED STORIES

YOUTH WEEK 2018
READ MORE →
GIVE YOUNG VOTERS A VOICE
READ MORE →
FIRST-IN-NZ ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE GIVES YOUTH ELECTION KNOW-HOW
READ MORE →

ARCHIVED STORIES

FILTER