Time has flown by…I remember our first Wednesday night thinking that maybe I should drop this class based on the first forewarnings and lists of assignments. But boy am I glad that I didn’t! What I have learned this semester is both invaluable and applicable for all us moving forward, many thanks to the eye-opening presentations, Twitter feed, class discussions, readings, guest speakers, and inspirational TED talks.
I have come to think differently about advances in technology and see them as possibilities for the better rather than impossible unknowns. I have learned about the dangers of using technology when it comes to a business’ reputation on the line. And I’ve learned about curly fries, virtual coins that cost $1000, to not tweet before a flight, how to guess jelly beans accurately, and how a little touch of Chris Brown can take your video from popular to viral :)
I’d like to dedicate this post to mention different areas in technology we discussed about in class and what we predicted might occur in the next 5 to 10 to even 20 years. That way, I can read this post in the future to see just how far we’ve really come.
Dear Future Self in 2037,
It’s currently 2017, you know, the year of ripped jeans, chokers, and slip-on sneakers. You currently have an iPhone 7+ (with portrait mode!), a virtual reality headset, Uber app for transportation, and accounts on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter. You watch YouTube videos regularly, listen to music on Spotify, and watch television/movies on Netflix.
- Facebook dominated
- Yes, Facebook has been around the longest, years before the other social media platforms listed above. I currently have the largest network on Facebook, and we’ve talked about the different services Facebook is adopting to compete with the other social media platforms, including going live, adding stories to the messenger app, and adding artificial intelligence to display what stories you see on your newsfeed. And more recently, how to detect and combat fake news. What we predict is that while many social media platforms come and go, Facebook will most likely stay around. Has it? What other social media platforms exist?
- Snapchat (the so-called camera company) released sunglasses
- Snapchat went public during this semester, receiving both positive and negative reviews from business insiders. And yes, Snapchat Spectacles were released and passed around our class. Do they still exist and how successful is Snapchat today? Do I wish I invested in its stock (if we were allowed to)?
- Self-driving Cars
- So we’ve talked multiple times about autonomous vehicles in class, and we predict that they will come into play in around 10-20 years. Have you ridden in one in Boston? If so, are you nuts?! Do you at least sit in the front or were you taking a nap in the backseat? And has the trucking industry, like we talked about in class, been affected?
- Uber has had some corporate screw-ups this semester, including some political and social ones. Do you still use Uber, or maybe even Uber Elevate? We don’t know what to predict on this one–either people will continue to use Uber for its convenience and price, or other competitors will swoop in and take over.
- The Sharing Economy
- In 2017, we seem pretty comfortable sharing our cars and homes with strangers. And even more comfortable rating others, whether it be a service, quality of a product, or a video we see on YouTube. What other peer-to-peer lending sites have been invented that you utilize regularly?
- If you remember, this is the class where nobody knew what was going on. Please tell me you understand it at least better than we tried to. We predict that blockchain will first impact financial industries (ex: Bitcoin). Do you use blockchain for any of your finances, or are there other areas where you currently use it? Such as possibly removing middlemen services like Uber?
- Artificial Intelligence
- Have robots taken over yet?
And finally, what other forms of social media do you use on a day-to-day basis? My guess is that you are probably laughing while reading this post remembering how times used to be. Do your kids laugh at your old-school interaction with digital technology and social media, or do you find yourself at free Apple store lessons trying to learn how to use new devices?
As much as I hate to say goodbye, it is indeed a goodbye to the past. A goodbye to times when having to describe the internet was the most technological advanced question someone could ask you. It’s not the end of the internet or social media platforms as we know them today, but it’s definitely the beginning to the end of a technological era, and a start to a new one. Hello to a world where artificial intelligence, sharing economies, and collective intelligence spark new ideas and unimaginable technology. Hello to the future.
Thanks for an amazing class in IS6621! I’ve enjoyed everyone’s discussions, presentations, and social media posts. Cheers to 2017!