Progress powered through adversity

With technological advancements continuing to develop at an unprecedented pace, deciphering and analysing the digital landscape to determine when, if and how these emerging technologies will impact businesses is increasingly difficult.

While the natural evolution of the market used to be a reliable indicator of progress, the solutions to the challenges of Covid-19 and the continuing pressure of a global supply chain crisis, mounting inflation, environmental concerns and new net-zero regulations have both accelerated and destabilised the global tech community.

Necessity is the mother of invention

The Covid-19 pandemic forced the world to rethink how we work and to find innovative ways to maintain productivity and collaboration while meeting the changing demands and expectations of both consumers and clients.

Across Europe and North America, the digitisation of customer interactions was accelerated by 3-years in the first 6-months of the pandemic.

This demand drove over 60% of businesses to either adopt or increase spending on cloud-based systems, which in turn drove the accelerated development of AI-driven cloud computing to deliver greater efficiencies through automation and AI-powered data access and analysis.

With this rapid change in customer behaviour, companies also needed newer and enhanced ways to connect with their audience, with many adopting Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality to help develop stronger digital relationships with their core market and provide an improved customer experience.

Globally, the pandemic drove an unprecedented acceleration of digital transformation which is showing no signs of slowing down and AI-powered solutions, augmented reality and a richer, more personalised digital experience are at the heart of this transformation.

AI is transforming the healthcare industry

As a direct result of Covid-19, the development of vaccines has been changed forever. What traditionally took decades was achieved in record speed thanks to AI models that allowed researchers to analyse vast amounts of data on coronavirus and sort through the tens of thousands of subcomponents making up the outer proteins of the virus to predict which subcomponents where the most capable of producing an immune response.

Of itself, a remarkable feat, however this advance has revolutionised the frameworks for vaccine development, drug discovery and precision medicine.

Healthcare related AI solutions are set to be one of the largest growth sectors over the next 5-years.

AI-powered Cybersecurity

One of the more immediate AI advancements that we are already seeing real-world deployment with is AI-powered Cybersecurity.

Cybercrime is forecast to reach $10.5 trillion by 2025. The sheer volume and increasing sophistication of cyberattacks has made security analysis untenable.

The expansion of remote working, increase in network-connected devices and assets and third-part Apps have only served to exponentially increase the threat surface for both businesses and individuals.

The developments in AI predictions based on identified patterns and anomalies coupled with the ability to analyse vast amounts of data are already powering the algorithms that many banking institutions use to identify fraud.

AI-powered machine learning and natural language processing are already used to generate security insights through extracting data from open-source platforms, forums, and the dark web.

The Microsoft programme Cyber Signals currently uses AI to analyse over 24 trillion security signals and deliver cyberthreat intelligence to C-level executives.

Connecting through Augmented / Virtual Reality

Many major companies have already invested substantially in developing improved digital experiences for their client base. IKEA’s A/R App delivers a furniture measurement and placement tool, allowing customers to see potential purchases in their own homes before purchasing.

Throughout the next year, A/R-powered virtual try-on will become ubiquitous on fashion e-commerce stores with Sunglasses Hut already deploying the technology.

The social media giant Snapchat is leading the A/R try-on experience, partnering with fashion giants Prada and Farfetch. Powered by machine learning technology, Snapchat’s A/R try-on tech will utilise 3D Body Mesh to give the most accurate real-life fit plus a newly developed cloth simulation machine learning algorithm to perfectly recreate fabric movement.

While gaming may take the headlines for Virtual Reality, the most exciting applications for VR are in the healthcare and education sectors.

Since 2021, hundreds of thousands of medical students and surgeons have enhanced their training through Virtual Reality in a safe, digital environment.

The progress to virtual, collaborative treatment is already in its infancy – a doctor in London can be seeing a virtual patient supported by a nurse in Kenya while being mentored by a professor in Oxford.

Delivering immersive education and providing reliable healthcare access to anyone with an internet connection is already radically changing lives.

Looking forward

The complexities of our inter-connected networks and global challenges have shown that aging, legacy technologies lack the flexibility or efficiencies that the modern digital world demands.

Those demands are only going to grow, with greater need for more personalised and bespoke responses that will require robust AI-powered analysis helping to deliver tailored customer experiences.

With the state of the world today, the economy, our markets we can safely say that we are facing adversity but we are also innovating at an unprecedented pace. What are your thoughts? What emerging technology do you believe will change our lives in the immediate future? Let me know in the comments or reach out to me directly.

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