The intersection between technology and business continues to see traffic. And now, given signs of potential slowdowns in global supply chains, air travel, and global conventions because of Coronavirus, the question becomes: What technologies can keep business moving through turbulent times?
We noted last week that “With coronavirus on rise, innovative technology skills — ranging from machine learning and the algorithms that underlie it to cryptocurrencies — lead the pack in what online learners want to know.” One area to watch is online learning. As noted, Forbes states: “China’s E-Learning Leaders Add $3.2 Billion As Coronavirus Fears Drive Students Online.”
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“The coronavirus outbreak has been hitting China’s economy hard as many businesses have had to temporarily shut down their operations amid tight quarantine rules. But measures to stop the spread of the illness have also become an unexpected boon for at least one industry: online education,” writes Forbes.
What other tech innovations are important to watch in the current environment?
According to global consulting firm Gartner, from artificial intelligence (AI) to bring your own enhancement (BYOE), business leadership should pay close attention to the trends shaping our world in 2020.
Prepare Your Business Strategy with Gartner’s Top Strategic Predictions for 2020
Of course, integrating new technologies on the fly can create as many new challenges as it solves. Instead, Gartner outlines key areas that already have momentum. Many of these provide useful functionality for the current situation:
- AI and Accessibility—AI will help the greater good by increasing accessibility; Gartner predicts the number of people with disabilities in the workplace will triple this year. Currently, just 30% of the available population is working. AI will allow the remaining 70% of this untapped talent pool to contribute to your organization.
- AI Emotion Identification—Biometrics will evolve to help AI-driven computers to understand how advertising makes consumers feel. Gartner says by 2024, half of all online ads will be influenced in this way by AI.
- Internet of Behavior Apps—In the next five years, individual activities will be tracked regularly by “Internet of Behavior” (IoB) applications. IoB tools currently include the car driving insurance apps that track driver behaviors to determine rates and eligibility for services. As IoB devices become more sophisticated, companies will need to scrutinize how they are used to influence behaviors to avoid any negative “carrot and stick” associations on social media.
- Streaming Business Application—Gartner also predicts professional workers will manage their business applications in the same way they handle music streaming. Business strategy will likely support a menu of approved applications to be used for work.
- Cryptocurrency Goes Mobile—Gartner also says, in the next five years, one-half of smartphone users that lack a bank account will use a mobile cryptocurrency account in its place. They predict e-commerce sites will begin to accept cryptocurrency, and consumers will normalize around it by 2025.
- Blockchain will Commercialize—By 2023, one-third of news and video content will be authenticated by blockchain in an effort to combat deep fake technology. Over the past two years, hacker bots have used social media to spread disinformation. Organizations are just beginning to turn to blockchain to validate their newsfeeds.
- AI will Be Regulated—Gartner predicts at least four of the current G7 countries will seek to monitor and regulate AI. We already know AI is fallible; studies show it carries the implicit biases of the programmers that created the technology. This could have a severely adverse effect on people of color or other populations vulnerable to discrimination.
- Digital Innovation Timelines Double—Gartner also says business leadership will recognize that digital transformation will take longer and cost more than expected. Business strategy timelines will adjust in the coming years as a result.
AI will likely help more people living with disabilities to enter the workforce this year.
Under current conditions, CIOs and business leaders should pay close attention to these predictions and review business strategies to accommodate these trends.