Addictive Technology, Supercomputing & Other Tech News

Neil Henry / Tech, Tech Articles, Tech News, trends Leave a Comment

Technology has become instrumental for marketers. Today they employ on average 6 different channels in an effort to connect with all their potential customers.

Embracing technology… Empowering people… Delivering positive change

Whats new this week…

1. Children & Tech

Kicking us off this week, Jeff Kinney, author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, has warned that children are not being “fully socialised” because of the omni-presence of technology in their lives.

Good read: Children losing the ability to hold a conversation because of technology

He describes children’s relationships with technology as a “great experiment of our times”. That we “don’t know if anybody really has the right answer but what’s undeniable is the way that kids communicate with each other has changed fundamentally and probably permanently.”

I can relate to this, with two children who are consumed by tech and communicating via it with friends at every turn. There has to be a balance.

Technology has elevated our ability to consume information (good and bad), communicate in ways we would never have been able to 10 years ago (good and bad).

Embracing the ‘good’ in technology is the easy part, the battle is that consumer tech is becoming so cheap, so readily available, so targeted towards the things we love to do, on all manner of devices, that technology is changing the way we live, act, communicate, behave.

Positive moderation, modernization and above all an ability to balance perspectives, i.e. ‘put the tech down’. Surely our children’s social development and mental health are far too important to risk with an ‘experiment’?

Speaking of the role technology plays in children’s lives…

2. Education & Tech

New research asks whether technology is good or bad for education? With MIT helping to find answers.

Good read: New Research Answers Whether Technology Is Good Or Bad For Learning

The good – “When the learning model is fundamentally redesigned to incorporate intentionally the benefits of technology, say, in a blended-learning model… you can get very different results.”

The bad – “Allowing any computer usage in the classroom reduces students’ average final-exam performance by roughly one-fifth of a standard deviation.”

The ugly – “Computers had been around for two decades. Even 10 years ago, we had already spent over $60 billion on them in K–12 schools in the United States to little effect.”

3. Is Technology Ruining Our Brains

A funny (but equally thought provoking) video from Comedy Central discussing our addiction to the Internet and all manner of tech devices.

Good video: Is Technology Ruining Our Brains?

Awesome insights, a must watch…

I’m particularly taken by the concept of “the Internet is a drug by design” and whether going cold turkey could ever work in today’s always connected society.

Negative connotations of tech = superficial, bombarded, attention deficit, disconnected. Positive connotations of tech = thought provoking, enlightened, empowered, inspired.

I believe it’s up to the individual, the parent, the boss, to know when and how to manage the negatives and accentuate the positives.

Which leads us perfectly into…

4. Resisting Technology Addiction

While researchers are trying to discover whether we can be addicted to technology (if nothing else the above suggest we most certainly can be), there are many secrets to keeping us hooked.

Good read: How to resist technology addiction

Has the Internet indeed become a drug by design?

5. Amazon Key

Would you trust a stranger to enter your home to deliver a parcel when you’re not home? Inside Edition puts Amazon’s new service, the Amazon Key, to the test.


Good read: New Technology Lets Strangers Go Inside Homes to Deliver Amazon Packages

Would you be comfortable with this? I can see the convenience of it all, and I’d completely trust the delivery person/process. It’s the security that makes me uneasy. For example, how long before someone creates an app to unlock a door without the need for a key? Wait, that’s the point, they already can!

Innovative yes, but any such system is only ever as good as the security behind it.

6. Supercomputing

Something to keep an eye on in the quantum computing arms race…

Good read: China dominates top supercomputers list

Out of the latest Top500 survey China has 202 of the globe’s highest performance machines, the US has 143 (its lowest count since the bi-annual study began, 25 years ago) Japan is third with 35 and Germany is fourth with 20.

Computational power has the potential to influence politics, enterprise and consumer behaviors across the globe, which is scary in and of itself. So at least it’s nice to see that Russia isn’t in the top 5 on this list! Then again, maybe they are, covertly bracketed as China or the US. In this day and age of cyber espionage, who knows!

7. Quantum Supremacy

With supercomputing still in mind.

Good read: IBM’s processor pushes quantum computing closer to ‘supremacy’

While this is a significant step, real world application is the defining phase of quantum computing development. Harnessing it with a purpose, as yet to date “quantum computers haven’t been able to run programs that a regular computer can’t”.

So the massive speed breakthrough we are seeing hasn’t transferred into tangible innovation. That said, “there’s a good chance that quantum computers will finally break that barrier sometime in the next year or two.”

I believe this to be true, with the parallel advancements in a) cloud (edge computing) infrastructure, b) A.I. and c) the IoT.

8. Humanizing Technology?

Offering new dimensions and opportunities for human robot interaction.


Good read: Humanizing Technology – Pepper World Paris 2017

A promising move in technology innovation for business use cases within retail, banking, hospitality, healthcare and more?

9. Job Market

“Forget robots. The real transformation taking place in nearly every workplace is the invasion of digital tools.”

Good read: Technology invading nearly all U.S. jobs, even lower skilled: study

Considering this… 517 out of 545 occupations have seen the use of digital tools increase – often significantly – since 2002. That’s almost all occupations, and that 517 is sure to rise further in the next year.

Which digital skill-sets will be in demand as we see further digital transformation in all walks of life? Look no further than the 10 tech trends that are set to shape 2018.

10. Artificial Intelligence: All Hype?

And finally, a tip of the hat to the fabulous Tom Fishburne at Marketoonist.

Nobody encapsulates the marketing or tech industries so well, and with such an astute yet humorous eye.

He presents his take on Artificial Intelligence, as it’s fair to say “few trends are currently as hyped as Artificial Intelligence. And as we’ve all learned from the Gartner Hype Cycle, hyped trends inevitably climb a peak of inflated expectations.”

Good read: Artificial Intelligence Hype

Until next week.

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