Technologies to watch out for in 2021

Technologies to watch out for in 2021

As another year finishes, another starts, with so much scope for new and exciting technologies. We are excited about what the technology industry will have to offer in 2021. We want to share some of these trends that we think are the ones to watch out for.

Artificial Intelligence

AI is described by IBM to “enable computers and machines to mimic the perception, learning, problem-solving, and decision-making capabilities of the human mind.”

After years of development, AI is now part of our everyday lives. From providing driving directions, vacuums our floors or recommending what we should buy or watch next. Whether we recognise it or not, it is becoming something we are reliant on in everyday life.

It is thought that in 2021 AI will become even more valuable in helping us to understand the world we live in. The advancements in AI will mean that machine learning algorithms will become more sophisticated in the solutions we can find from them.

It is hoped that in business, we will be able to use AI to understand the patterns of changing behaviours of customers. It has been evident in 2020 that more activity is taking place online. Whether that be for online shopping, working from home or socialising online (we all did a zoom party at least once in 2020!). The expectation is for the tools used to analyse these changes in behaviour will become more sophisticated. This will fit the budgets of more and more organisations and will do so in a responsible and ethical manner.

Quantum Computing

The idea of quantum computing has been around for a while, but 2021 is the year where it will take steps in becoming a reality in the commercial field.

Let’s start with discussing what quantum computing is. Ordinary computer chips use bits, which are like tiny switched that can either be on or off, represented by the number 1 or 0 respectively. When you use your computer, everything is made up of millions of these bits. However, this does not truly reflect how the world works; things are never just on or off, they are uncertain. Even the most advanced super computers can’t deal with uncertainty. Here is where quantum computing comes in. Scientists have come up with a way of using quantum mechanics to make calculations to handle uncertainty.

Uncertainty

Instead of using bits, quantum computers use qubits. Qubits can be in ‘superposition’ where they are on and off at the same time. This allows for uncertainty and makes quantum computers very powerful. An example, explained in a Wired article, is to think of a computer trying to get out of a maze. A normal computer will try every path in turn, ruling them out individually before finding the correct one. A quantum computer, however, tries all paths at the same time.

Entanglement

Qubits also allow for entanglement, where two particles are linked together even if they are physically separate. In relation to computers, this means that you can move information around, even if it contains uncertainty. It allows quantum computers to perform complex calculations and tackle problems that would take normal computers years to solve.

Quantum computing doesn’t just mean that the computer is faster or more powerful. It means that they have the potential to accelerate the development of AI to levels we didn’t know were possible.

In 2020, quantum computing was used to help in the administration of Covid-19 in dealing with the spread of the virus and in the search for potential vaccines. Going forward into 2021, we can expect to see its applications in other areas which could drastically improve our way of living.

Conclusion

Although we have only discussed two of many advancements in technology going forward into 2021, these areas give huge potential to new and exciting things. 2021 is going to be a year full of rapid development in technology, and we cannot wait to see it.