2020 was a powerful year for innovation and the outlook only looks better and better for 2021. As we recover from these trying times, we will emerge stronger and better than ever before, and with that will come a strong dose of innovation, perhaps the strongest in a long time! Here are five innovative trends that are primed to bring massive disruption in 2021:
1. Ethical AI
By now, we all know about AI (Artificial Intelligence) and the groundbreaking changes it has already begun to bring to the way we live and work. But 2021 will be a keystone year for AI because it will be primarily concerned with questions about the ethics of AI.
From self-driving cars to healthcare systems, AI is going to be put in a place it has never been before – a place where it might have to make decisions that could impact someone’s life at the cost of another’s.
If a self-driving car is about to collide into a bike, but swerving will make it collide into a pedestrian, how will it decide what to do? If a healthcare AI has to assign a kidney to be donated and there are ten patients who are on the waiting list, how will it decide which one to pick and on what basis?
These are the crucial questions that AI will be dealing with in 2021, and AI scientists and engineers are preparing to tackle them head on.
2. Widespread AR
You may have already heard rumblings of VR (Virtual Reality), but have you heard of AR (Augmented Reality)? It’s like the futuristic headsets that you see in movies, or to use a more recent example, it’s essentially like Tony Stark’s glasses from the Iron Man movies. It will integrate into your vision and augment and enhance it with helpful information, reminders, and more. In 2021, AR will reach more people than ever as it becomes more economical and accessible, and it will bring with it powerful changes to the way we (literally) see the world!
Deloitte’s 2020 digital media trends survey put out some very intriguing findings recently, namely: “During the crisis, a third of consumers have, for the first time, subscribed to a video gaming service, used a cloud gaming service, or watched esports or a virtual sporting event.”
In earlier surveys, it had also found the following: “a quarter of consumers rank playing video games as one of their three favorite entertainment activities.”
Esports and video games were already growing rapidly, but with the pandemic quite literally making it impossible to play real-life sports, they skyrocketed to unbelievable popularity levels. We strongly approve of this trend, as it makes the world of sports accessible to all, even those who may be differently abled or physically unable to participate in real-life sports for any reason. Esports is the future!
4. Big Data
As has been frequently said, data is the new oil. Companies are hungry to find out more and more about consumer’s lifestyle habits, buying habits, content consuming habits, and so on. With all of us having been stuck at home for so long, our digital activity has also markedly increased, allowing companies such as Facebook and Twitter to gather even more data about how we interact online, whether with content or with people. This will monumentally increase in 2021, as new ways to buy and consume content increase. But this will also bring with it a fresh batch of privacy issues, and we need to be more vigilant than ever to safeguard our privacy and digital freedom.
5. XaaS (Everthing-as-a-service)
No matter where you look or which industry you look at, one pattern is becoming very clear. Companies are increasingly moving from products to services. There is now a subscription for everything from music to video games and Microsoft Office to IoT services. This may be more expensive in the long run, but the benefits are clear. It enables companies to deliver their services live in a manner that is more dynamic than ever before. This allows them to make the services more powerful, versatile, and interconnected than ever before.
And that concludes our list of trends to watch out for in 2021! Which one are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments below! 👇