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In just over a year, COVID-19 has transformed people's lives across the globe, slowing development and impacting every industry and business. Yet the pandemic has also accelerated innovation, amplifying it to unprecedented levels and transforming key industries such as agriculture, manufacturing and medicine.
These trends have triggered industry-wide discussions and anticipation for the role technology will play in society, both in the short and long term.
The ten tech trends identified by DAMO academy are encapsulated by three key themes — new materials will spring up, computers go beyond human capabilities and artificial intelligence increases efficiency. Today more than ever, it is essential that businesses think about circumventing the uncertainty to keep pace with these innovations.
Here is a quick snapshot of these trends:
Trend #1 - Semiconductor materials are now entering new industries and unlocking exciting applications. These so-called third-generation semiconductor materials are considered to be a new driving force in the development of today's electronics industry, with features that can manufacture high-voltage and high-power electronic devices.
Trend #2 - In 2020, investors worldwide flocked to the quantum computing field. Related technologies and ecosystems thrived, and numerous quantum computing platforms rose to prominence. So far, in 2021, this trend shows no signs of stopping, with quantum computing now needing to deliver enough value to make it a worthwhile venture for investors and society alike.
Trend #3 - There have been several significant breakthroughs in recent time with carbon-based materials, instigating the growth of the flexible electronics industry. These electronic devices show great promise over a range of applications, including everything from wearable devices to electronic skins, and the latest craze, flexible screens.
Trend #4 - Artificial intelligence is used everywhere. Now, AI is proving its worth in the medical and diagnostics industries. Thanks to recent developments, we know just how costly and time consuming drug and vaccine discovery can be, but now researchers can expedite the discovery process and find the best treatments for established and emerging diseases using AI-enhanced simulation and modelling techniques.
Trend #5 - Brain-computer interface technology is allowing us to go beyond the limits of the human body. This technology is also the driving force behind neural engineering, providing researchers with a solid foundation to discover new and exciting ways for machines and our brains to work together.
Trend #6 - Today's data processing techniques are also evolving and becoming increasingly autonomous. Computing task processes, storage cost controls, and cluster management are all causing problems because traditional systems can't keep up. So, companies are increasingly faced with slow processes, high costs, and poor cluster management..
Trend #7 - Cloud-native technologies will reshape our IT systems and processes, bringing speed and agility to businesses worldwide. Cloud-native is a new approach to software development where applications are built and run exploiting the advantages of the cloud computing delivery model.
Trend #8 - Alibaba DAMO Academy predicts that our agriculture industry will be powered by data intelligence moving forward. Traditional agriculture suffers from inefficiencies caused by poor land use and there is a disconnect between the production and retail sides. Today, next-generation digital technologies, including the Internet of Things (IoT), AI, and cloud computing, are being applied to the agriculture industry to address these challenges.
Trend #9 - Industrial intelligence is our next trend forecasted by DAMO Academy. This means the integration of AI into our industrial technologies and processes. Industry 4.0 meets AI! Now, the industrial intelligence ecosystem is maturing, connecting systems to allow you to transform data into insights and actions across your production lines.
Trend #10 - The final trend of 2021 predicted by DAMO Academy is hitting our cities in the form of intelligent operation centers, taking the smart city concept to the next level! Smart city initiatives were introduced over a decade ago, sparking significant improvements in city governance through digital technologies. We've seen everything from smart lighting solutions that respond to changes in weather and traffic conditions, to data-driven traffic management.
If you would like to find out more about the above trends, then join Jeremy Pedersen, Training Advisor at Alibaba Cloud, as he summarizes the DAMO Academy's predicted technology for 2021 on the brand new podcast The Cloud Forward Podcast by Alibaba Cloud. This episode will be available to stream and download on Spotify and Apple Podcasts, and will be available soon on more channels.
Alternatively, download the Top 10 Technology Trends in 2021 by Alibaba DAMO Academy white paper today.
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