Hot Topics | Jesse Hirsh on the Year Ahead in Technology
December 8, 2015
2015 was a big year for breakthroughs in technology and how we interact with it. Throughout December, we will be featuring guest posts from some of our speaker thought-leaders on the Future & Trends relevant to their particular area of expertise.
Today’s guest post comes from Futurist & Broadcaster Jesse Hirsh. He has a weekly nationally syndicated column on CBC Radio explaining and analyzing the latest trends and developments in technology using language and examples that are relatable, meaningful and relevant to everyday life.
In 2016, those who will prosper and be happy will be those who get a little help from their friends! Who you know will determine what you know!
Social media has already conquered the world, forming the basis of a new kind of social infrastructure that powers everything from news, collaboration, knowledge discovery, recommendation, who we trust, and who we listen to. Technology is no longer driven by information alone but is now lead by social context.
When a new app or service emerges, often the first thing it will ask you to do is identify your friends, and reconnect with your social network, so that the experience can be customized. Therefore who you’re friends are will determine just how smart and relevant your experience will be. The algorithms and artificial intelligence that increasingly shapes our world, depends upon our social circles and networks to understand our context and properly deliver relevant information.
Right across the internet the way in which we work, learn, and become entertained is shifting towards a social-centric world view. Messaging apps like Slack are changing how we communicate in the workplace, YouTube is the world’s largest university, and Netflix is taking over the entertainment industry. In all three cases we depend upon our friends to find our way and get the information we’re looking for, and the algorithms that drive these services learn based on our relationships with peers and loved ones.
It’s one thing to keep up with technology, and another entirely to be a few steps ahead so we can use the tools strategically and productively. As we move forward into 2016 it’s essential to recognize that the only way to cope, the only way to prosper, is to tend to our social networks, and ensure that they are properly configured and strengthened so as to handle the challenges ahead.