Happy New Year.
You might recall that last year, I offered a wish list for 2021. I’ll be honest, I don’t think anyone can confidently place their hand on their heart and really know what’s going to happen. We are still very much in a process of change and adaptation, and it’s become difficult to know what we should do and where we are headed.
The future of work and engagement
I talked about this topic last year and it is as relevant now as it was then. With numerous companies “rethinking” their office 9-to-5 mantra and debating whether their employees should commute, working from home seems a very sensible option for our workforce or at least for those who can equally type into a keyboard at their home dining table or desk. I hope that companies around the globe realize that we can often be just as, if not more, productive at home, given the connectivity now afforded to many.
Agritech and agriculture
Following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) my home country is faced with new challenges to feed the nation. With this in mind, for me, it’s become increasingly important to have the ability to sustain ourselves using the breadth and availability of new technology. Such technology would surely enable the growth of produce and other ingredients that we can harvest for ourselves without relying on so many imports. For example, we currently have the technology to replicate numerous environments here in the UK, whether it’s the extensive vineyards of France growing the most succulent of red grapes and, in turn, producing wonderful wines, or the Caribbean climate, growing the creamiest of bananas and the sweetest of pineapples.
It’s become increasingly important to have the ability to sustain ourselves using the breadth and availability of new technology.
Now, artificial intelligence is a particularly important subject for both my wife Sarah and I, since we are currently in the throes of writing a new book covering this topic. I want to reaffirm that we must remain realistic as to what this umbrella term currently offers today, whilst keeping sight of what it may achieve in the future.
What’s more, Sarah and I both agree that currently artificial intelligence is often used to describe what we like to call assistive technologies, those that alleviate some of the mundaneness surrounding daily tasks and that often use automation to both increase and monitor workflow and productivity. I hope that industry starts to adopt more automated technology into factories and warehouses, especially in light of the pandemic and its risk to our human workforces.
Health care and medicine
I suppose this follows neatly from my artificial intelligence section, since I hope we can apply assistive technology to aid the numerous physicians and health care professionals on their efficacy at identifying those at risk and aiding those in need. It’s such a big ask from those who have chosen a profession in medicine and health care, but I’m confident that employing technology effectively in a sector that’s so utterly demanding will prove its worth on an ongoing basis.
I also touched upon this last year and, while everyone is super-excited about the next generation cellular technology, some have already begun to speculate what happens next with 6G. But I want to remind all those architecting such technologies about 4G. Parts of the UK still don’t have 4G coverage and then there’s the rural areas – despite the government’s broadband for all before 2024 pledge, how do we realistically propose to implement solutions for those in the remotest of areas?
Until next time …
So, this is where a “wishing you all a fabulous safe and healthy New Year” Dr. G signs off.