Skip main navigation

Hurry, only 9 days left to get one year of Unlimited learning for £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

Introduction to Trends in Technology

TBC

The first video in this section talks about some of the major technology trends that are on the horizon including additive manufacturing and the like.

You should be aware of these terms, and consider how technologies interact with each other to create disruption.

However, if you ask us to prioritize which trend is probably the most transformative we would say the advent of artificial intelligence (AI). Google’s DeepMind is just one example, IBM’s Watson is another. Artificial intelligence is being used in businesses of all types and in many of the devices we currently take for granted.

Kevin Kelly, Founder of Wired Magazine, talks about the fact that most of the business models in technology start-ups over the next few years will be using the same formula, “Take this thing, and make it smarter.”

You should be paying close attention to advances in AI, as it has the potential to forever transform how we work and how we live.

The last major technology trend we want to introduce you to is the new science of quantum computing. Quantum computing is different than the computers we have come to know and use over the past decades, and is a major new advance in terms of processing power. Quantum computers are currently in operation and being tested. Once they prove themselves to be reliable, what we will be able to do with them in terms of sheer calculation speed and power is almost limitless.

The assignment is a critical thinking exercise and focuses on the second video with Nell Watson. Although this video is a few years old, (for example, AI has rapidly progressed from the level Ms. Watson discusses), it is a really clear explanation of how and why AI is much different now than in the past. Pay particular attention to the concept of “System 1” and “System 2” thinking.

Peter Diamandis – Exponential Technology

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

Nell Watson – Machines Understanding of Humans

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

ColdFusion – Google’s Deep Mind Explained

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

Artificial Intelligence: The Robots Are Now Hiring – Moving Upstream

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

We’re Close to a Universal Quantum Computer, Here’s Where We’re At

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

Additional Materials:

This article is from the free online

Soft Skills for Navigating Global Challenges

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now