The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) released their 2014 5 Technology Trends to Watch report this week.  With the spotlight on Content Curation, Robotics, Driverless Cars, Digital Health Care, and Internet of Things, what will become the top trends or be trashed as minor players? Will these trends be clearly demonstrated at the 2014 International CES, January 7-10 in Las Vegas? What will be the impact on governments, industry, business, education, society, innovation, consumers and the ICT profession? How does this support your enterprise mobile one strategy, BYOD challenges, cloud adoption and the blurring lines between consumer wants and enterprise work?

I am attending the international CES in January looking for answers to these questions and reporting back to you here in IT World Canada — CES is the biggest international event with the future on interactive display in nearly 2 million square feet. The CES will feature more than 3,200 exhibitors unveiling their latest innovations across the entire spectrum of consumer technology. I also have an invitation from the US Embassy to be in a US Embassy led industry executive delegation (as board chair of various organizations/groups) and I will be evaluating the content from the perspective of value to the enterprise, SMBs, and ICT practitioners.

Content curation

Back in 2002, iGen Knowledge Solutions CTO / Capilano University professor Richard Longworth, produced a paper on knowledge frameworks and the semantic web for the CIPS-hosted IFIP World Computer Congress, focused on users determining the relevancy of Internet content and sharing their views and links with others—a form of content curation. Today with the ITU reported nearly 7 billion mobile-cellular subscriptions, proliferation of smart devices (glasses, watches, phones, sensors) and close to 3 billion Internet users, curation is an everyday occurrence. It’s an old idea that has come into its own driven by the ease and high quality of content consumption. As an example, the CEA report has good data on the growing adoption of Ultra High Definition. For the enterprise space, there are examples such as TechPacks, where noted experts sort through the proliferation of content, curating to what matters.

This brings up the issues of intellectual property (IP), privacy and security. You may be commercially liable for all the pictures and content you share and make publically available.  In an upcoming interview to appear in November’s CIPS Connections, I talked extensively with Martin Kratz QC, Head Intellectual Property Practice Group, Bennett Jones LLP, Legendary IP and ICT Legal Authority and Pioneer. We discussed these and many other questions:

With your deep insights as an Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Intellectual Property (IP) legal pioneer, from your viewpoint what are the top five future challenges for business executives today and what are the solutions?
“….Managing the tensions between the efforts of some current industries to seek even higher degrees of protection for ICT innovation, where the trade-off of providing greater protection is that we enrich the current generation at the expense of future generations which are less able to build on what came before …. addressing the issue of internet privacy …. the migration of ICT services to the cloud …. managing the risks of bring your own device policies while still providing flexibilities that employees are seeking …. There’s a generational challenge looming for executives as younger workers expect to be free to express themselves using social media even in the workplace….”

What are some future disruptive innovations that business executives should be watching for from a legal perspective?
“….Cloud computing involving security and privacy protocols and issues of ease of leaving a cloud service provider’s service are core issues …. security risks and mobile access risks for mobile devices and the challenge of bring your own device policies …. social media having transformative impact in our society…. locational technologies provide unique business promotional opportunities, but if abused can pose security, privacy and personal risk to users and reputational and direct liability for a business …. There is growing interest in the use of 3D printers that are claimed to increase the risk of IP infringement …. Another innovation risk is the use of IP rights themselves, especially patent rights as a tool to seek to extract value from successful businesses….”

What are the privacy and security compliance obligations users need to consider before they adopt a cloud-based solution (public sector and private sector)?
“….A key factor in each customer’s decision of whether to adopt cloud-based solutions is understanding if the solution meets the customer’s compliance requirements. In Canada, key compliance issues are privacy and security because we have mandatory privacy and security obligations and those are applicable both for the private sector and public sector. I’ll differentiate between those two because while there are a lot of similarities, the rules are generally the same….”

What are some contractual issues in cloud computing?
“….The starting point is to look at what the cases and the decisions of the Privacy Commissioners have suggested. … There should be covenants restricting collection, use and disclosure of the information other than for purposes for which the Cloud service provider is expressly retained …. There should be covenants requiring the service provider to maintain specific privacy, safety, security and backup standards for the personal information …. There should be obligations to provide access to personal information to the company and its customers or employees as required by their own privacy obligations …. Some of these requirements for organizations using foreign service providers include notification of individuals if the service provider outside of Canada will collect personal information on behalf of the organization, and notification if the organization is transferring personal information to a service provider outside of Canada, and information on the outsourcing practices of the organization including its policies….”

How will this impact you at home and at work?

Robotics

You see the weekly news coming out of Japan where robotics are highly evolved. Who would doubt the continuing penetration of robots due to the rapid advances in machine learning, Big Data, projects on deep learning and brain simulation and in large part founded on the work of Judea Pearl. Robots walk, talk, and have burgeoning intelligence or at least the appearance of intelligence. You see glimpses of progress and the rapid evolution of machine learning with Apple Siri, Google Now, Microsoft real-time translation of Chinese.

The ACM Webinar, IBM Watson Beyond Jeopardy, provides a good demonstration of real world capabilities of machine intelligence. The technology improves business intelligence, knowledge discovery and management, self-service, relationship management, decision support with applications in every sector (government, healthcare, legal, compliance). The current evolution is teachable possessing deeper insights, higher precision, lower costs into large volumes of unstructured data.

In my chat with the Turing Award winner Pearl, the full text provided in the earlier link, he provides this thought. “When we talk about human beings, the conversation immediately becomes philosophical and unmanageable. But when you talk about robots, it becomes clear because no one would claim that robots have free will. So then the question is, can we equip robots with free will? It becomes an engineering problem. Under what condition would you not be able to? You would not be able to distinguish between a robot or an organism that has free will, and one that does not like current day robots. I think the solution lies in making a robot that can explicitly speak about his or her will. Like, why did you want to do that? Once the robot is equipped with that ability, then you wouldn’t be able to distinguish, and according to the Turing test, a robot that acts as though it has a free will, does have a free will. That’s not a question anymore. With that comes, for instance, social responsibility. Social adaptation. An agency that all comes with the idea that, and communication through credit and blame. One robot should be able to tell another, you acted wrongly, and you should be blamed. You should be put out of our team. You caused us to lose the game. The other robot, the blamed one, should be able to take that communication and translate it into a reconfiguration of its software. That would be then the proof that the robot has free will, and he or she understands the meaning of credit and blame.”

The CEA report discusses the history and future of robotics.

Will robotics end off-shoring since the low-cost (human) labour advantage is removed? Do you see the impact on your career and your home life?

Driverless cars

It is already the case that cars are embedded with an array of sensors and cameras supporting parking, accident avoidance, object detection, satellite monitoring, road guidance and tracking. Test cars can drive long distances without human intervention and we see glimpses of this at past international CES.  I expect more will be on view at the 2014 International CES.

The CEA report provides coverage of consumer attitudes which overall are positive, trends and challenges.

Digital health care

The hot investment area is mHealth where wearable and smart devices provide constant monitoring, remote monitoring, rapid diagnosis and behavior recognition, just-in-time service, and access to health guidance and history.

You see the major vendors involved such as Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco Systems with fully integrated healthcare solutions. There are also the largest healthcare specialist providers like GE, McKesson, and Philips. Big Data and the cloud working in tandem with smart devices is the technology hub for all of these growing innovations.

These are important issue when you consider that the Canadian healthcare budget is $207 billion and the US. spend is well over $3 trillion. To put this in perspective, this puts US healthcare costs within the top 6 global economies in GDP or Canada within the top 50 GDP global economies.

The CEA report contains an analysis of the many facets, innovations, costs and implications of digital healthcare.

How will this impact your family budget and health, and likely your job / career with so many opportunities within HealthCare?

Internet of Things or IoT

The reality is that increasingly everything will be connected to the Internet. Gary Shapiro in the CEA report introduction talks about Cisco predicting this number to be 50 billion by 2020.

Vint Cerf, co-creator of the Internet, in his recent ACM Webcast (now available on demand), “ Internet’s Future Social Implications: Upheaval or “Trek’s” Promise?” provides a founder perspective of all things internet, its challenges and social implications. Asia has the highest internet population at over 1 billion, followed by Europe with over 500 million, and North America at nearly 300 million. IPv6 is the future requirement and work done on the interplanetary internet; with growth in sensor networks, smart grids, and mobile devices. Notable changes are internationalized domain names, new gTLDs, domain name system security (DNSSEC) and digitally-signed address registration (RPKI). Impactful trends include internet-enabled devices, smart grid interoperability panel (SGIP), SEP 2.0 (Smart Energy Profile), internet policy challenges, economic challenges,…

The CEA report talks about 100 billion nodes, blending the physical and digital, communication challenges and a good description of the history.

What are the social implications, how will this change your future at work and play?

Share on LinkedIn Share with Google+ Comment on this article
More Articles