THE BLOG
24/10/2017 09:42 BST | Updated 24/10/2017 09:42 BST

Ignore It At Your Peril, But Technology Is Irreversibly Changing Our World

Not only is it bridging the gaps between industries, but also the application of scientific knowledge to machines for practical purposes has yielded previously unseen societal advances, furthered human innovation, and enabled our race to connect across societies and cultures through electronic means.

The fourth industrial revolution is upon us, and technology is re-shaping almost every corner of human existence.

Not only is it bridging the gaps between industries, but also the application of scientific knowledge to machines for practical purposes has yielded previously unseen societal advances, furthered human innovation, and enabled our race to connect across societies and cultures through electronic means.

Just a few weeks ago, global consulting firm Capgemini released a research report across 1,000 organisations in nine countries highlighting how highly regulated sectors such as telecoms, banking and insurance have shown the greatest adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in recent years.

The key takeaway from the research found that machine-learning technology was of fundamental importance to alleviating red-tape measures and even bypassing regulatory processes completely.

Complex, monolithic industries like banking have seen creations like PayPal, the introduction of contactless cards and the explosion of the mobile phone-based money transfer firm M-Pesa in the booming tech hub of sub-Saharan Africa, pushing Kenya ever closer towards a cashless society.

These collective developments have resulted in a comprehensive re-configuring of the interaction between the public and the payments industry.

The impending implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018 opens the door to greater consumer scrutiny of how businesses are handling our data. Data has transcended oil as the new currency, and the public want to know who is handling their personal information, and why.

However, this digital revolution should be cause for positivity and optimism - not trepidation - about the younger generation's and in particular the UK's future prospects.

Another recent global study singled out the UK as one of the best digital economies in the world, surpassing economic giants like the US and the rest of Western Europe, officially categorising us within a select number of countries branded as the "digital elite".

Moreover, despite the political and economic volatility of the last 12 months, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported late last year that the UK was the fastest growing economy in the G7 too.

Though one could class this relationship as purely causative, technology is unquestionably at the heart of national economic advancements.

The government too has just taken another significant step towards accepting, and in fact embracing the changing digital realities.

As businesses tout their desperate need for workers with technical skills, most notably in digital technology, the introduction of T-levels as an option for teenagers from autumn next year is widely being billed as the biggest reform to 15-19 education for 70 years.

With the tectonic plates of digitisation in a constant state of flux, technology has been responsible for reframing traditional routes to business success for both established companies and solo entrepreneurs. The latter in particular now need nothing more than an idea, a laptop and a phone to create the next transformative start-up.

Throughout history, technology has changed the way we work, communicate and live. Despite this, today's new digital age is different and it is time society collectively latches on to these developments and acknowledges these changes, for the better.