Sourced from WIRED.
Which new technologies will really make an impact on tomorrow? WIRED and Accenture gather a group of thinkers to discuss what to make of the “new new”
Every now and then, WIRED brings together a small group of people from multiple sectors and disciplines to talk. The aim is simple: to share ideas, discuss new trends and debate the value and impact of emerging technologies.
“For me, it was the quieter things that were making the most noise,” said James Temperton, WIRED senior editor and reporter from MWC. “Things like the unanswered questions around 5G and also the fact that in the coming years we won’t be tapping our interfaces, we’ll be talking to them.”
Attendees ranged from Caroline Drucker of Instagram‘s strategic partnerships and Christina Nesheva from Hive Innovation Unit, to Paul Coby, CIO of John Lewis and Brooke Stevens, head of international research at Shazam.
Topics touched upon included the shift in the ownership model of cars, with the mass introduction of driverless transportation, and the potential for data-driven product design and personalisation.
“Using qualitative ways of customising experiences. So businesses making decision based on numbers – not old white men making decisions on gut feelings,” said one attendee. From here, a short debate took hold. Surely, said some, these customisations could only come from gathering people’s data – something many users are still queasy about with respect to their browsing, messaging and location information, even if it’s in their interest.
Terence Eden, open standards lead at Government Digital Service, drew on the general stasis seen in mobile hardware to highlight a need for refinement.
“We’ve reached an inflection point where things are good enough,” he said. “If we look at the big sellers at the moment, it’s stuff that’s plateau-level. People have reached a level where they are happy – apart from with their battery life, of course.”
For such big sellers to thrive, however, it’s key that they open up, said Accenture managing director and go-to-market lead George Marcotte: “Businesses have a choice between continuing with the internal, closed-shop practices of the past, or opening their innovation capabilities to an entire ecosystem of innovative partners.”
Others felt that beyond specific products and services, business models themselves will evolve.
“I think the trend that is already defining 2017 is around businesses that have an ambition to not just focus on achieving a profit, but also figure out ways they can deliver value to their shareholders, while also creating deep and meaning impact for shareholders,” said Charmian Love, co-chair of B Lab UK, an organisation promoting social good startups. “Be they the communities in which they’re operating in, be it the workers they have working for them, or even future generations.”
For Narry Singh, MD and global head of growth & strategy for Accenture Digital, it’s less about which technologies will make an impact and more about when. We all know VR will be a hugely disruptive force, for example. But, he says, the value lies in knowing when this will impact your business and when you need to take a trend seriously. Singh says many c-suite executives can also become “distracted by new technologies” and focus on far-off issues without focusing on the business at hand.
But perhaps machine learning and AI will be realised in a less dramatic way, one attendee suggested. What if rather than making us obsolete, these tools are used to make mullions of workers in multiple industries and sectors more efficient? After all, don’t we all already feel overworked and swamped, despite having amazing productivity tools and greater levels of computing power at our fingertips?
It’s a fair assumption that the “new new” will empower us all with technology.
For more information, visit Accenture Digital
Sourced from WIRED