The Opportunities & Threats of Advancing Ubiquitous Technologies

We had always built things that we predominantly had to physically operate and manipulate by ourselves for us to enjoy their potentials. But in this incipient era of the ‘things of things’, things defined as objects that are sentient through technology will be moving of their own autonomy as directed by our algorithmic commands and at our whims and caprices. So, the human race has indeed come a long way and this is a defining age, indeed. One where the modern man is on a higher ‘altitude of awareness’[1] both algorithmically and technologically, thus nearing his next stage of evolution.
As the CEO of Samsung describes it at the CES 2020 unveiling of its new robot, “Ballie”, this is the “age of experience”. And for the purpose of this study I will define this as an ‘age of singularity’[2]an age of algorithmically infused intelligence where inanimate objects integrated using IoT protocols, are given autonomous, cognitive and intuitive interactions to subsist in human-like ‘stateful-ness’. Subsequently, these stateful objects will become prevalent and pervasive around us, helping us fill any gap that we may have. These capabilities in such objects and things are going to be far beyond the current state of ‘smart’ objects and things that we are deploying here and there, at this time.
To this end smart cities as cities of objects and things become more than just a city where put things acting synergistically but still in siloed stateful-ness depending on what they interface. Smart cities will be cities that is autonomous and operated by this singularity feature described above. Cities where there are climatic sensors telling it to not allow additional rain to pour and can selectively chose what type of clouds converge and how to control the use of resources to avoid the accumulation of rain clouds over a defined period of time in the first place, in order to proactively manage the occurrence of storms, tidal waves and wind that bring too much of rain and destructive storms that are not needed. By consequence, while we are seated in our homes, these autonomous agents are making our cities safe on our behalf.
[1] A consciousness and capabilities brought on by the emergent technologies of artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
[2] The age of fully cognitive and algorithmic intelligence in inanimate things and objects that make them human-like and self-aware.

To be continued…
Shade Adepeju-Joseph

Industry Analyst, Resilience Thinking Media Institute

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