The 21ST century has witnessed ground breaking technological inventions and scientific discoveries that have to a great extent affected our lives, improved our standard of living, given us opportunities to create wealth, and in most cases save lives. In no particular order, this article will make mention of 6 significant technological innovations that have affected our world on a global scale.
1.Artificial intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence is used to describe machine intelligence in computing. In today’s technological world it is hard to see any specific advancement that does not deploy the use of AI at various scales of the product development, for instance smart phones, computers, house hold devices all deploy the use of AI .
AI at its advanced stage of deployment, has also been used to navigate satellites, drones, unmanned vehicles etc. the technology has become so functional that it is used in almost every sphere of life, it has been deployed in agriculture, banking, security, telecommunication, healthcare, finance, retail, manufacturing, education etc, as a matter of fact the internet would not have been possible without the use of AI.
The term artificial intelligence is used to describe machines (or computers) that mimic cognitive functions that humans associate with the human mind such as learning, logic and problem solving.
AI can be classified into three different systems: analytical, human inspired and human artificial intelligence. AI was first developed as an academic discipline in 1956, but in recent times has become a wide spread phenomenon helping to solve problems and create solutions in computer science, software engineering and operations.
The phenomenon, which today is referred to as robotics, is the fusion of the various spheres of; engineering, research, and advancements: bringing together at its core, mechanical, electronic, information engineering and computer science.
These technologies are used to develop machines that can substitute for humans and replicate human actions.
Robots can be used in many situations and for lots of purposes, but today many are used in dangerous environments ( including bomb detection and deactivation) manufacturing processes, or where humans cannot survive ( e.g. in space, under water, in high heat and clean up and containment of hazardous materials and radiation). They can take up any form but usually made to resemble humans in appearance.
Robotics are also used as a teaching aid, and with the advent of nanorobots-microscopic robots that can be injected into the human body, could revolutionize medicine and human health.
In today’s world of finance, e-commerce, e-trading, research, search engines, quantum mechanics, weather forecasting, climate research, oil and gas exploration, molecular modeling, physical simulation; would essentially be impossible without the aid and use of supercomputers.
Their high level of performance and speed in computational logic makes these computers an essential tool in computational science and in a wide range of computationally intensive task.
A super computer is a computer with a high level of performance compared to a general-purpose computer. The performance of a super computer is commonly measured in floating point operations per second (FLOPS) instead of million instructions per second (MIPS). There are currently 500 super computers in the world today and they are all run on a Linux based operating system.
Unlike the multipurpose computers the supercomputers are bulky and usually stored in zero degree air-conditioned warehouses referred to as server farms.
4.5G network systems:
5G is used to describe the fifth generation cellular network technology, as classified by the industry standard organization 3GPP (3rd generation partnership project) which develops protocol for mobile telephony.
This network system which is currently developed in China will be super faster than the current 4G network by almost a 1000 times faster.
The 5G network when fully implemented, would reduce interferences, increase connectivity in speed as well as also cover a larger geographical area with minimal hardware requirements.
The network will not only revolutionize the industry but will also inspire the innovation of smart gadgets which will fully deploy the use of the 5G technology at their stages of development.
China is currently at the forefront of the 5G development and deployment, despite criticism from their counterparts, especially the United States. China’s telecommunication giants Huwaei and ZTE are currently the early developers of 5G network and have began the deployment of the technology to Europe and Asia.
Electric cars in the 21th century have revolutionized the automobile industry and have taken the world by surprise. Hitherto, the combustion engine and hybrid engines were the order of the day, but with the manufacture of a fully electric operated vehicle by Tesla Motors Inc in 2008, called the Tesla Roadster, industrial standards were changed and electric became the benchmark for innovation.
Tesla with the development of the Roadster revolutionized the automobile industry into the era of electric operated vehicles; today other automobile giants have begun experimenting on electric cars.
The Tesla roadster is a battery electric vehicle sports car, which is based on the Lotus Elise Chassis, the vehicle is 100 % fully operated by electric motors and uses the Lithium–ion battery cells.
The vehicle is the first to travel 320 kilometers per charge. In recent times other automobile giants like Mercedes, Audi, Toyota, and BMW have also produced electric cars that have archived this mileage. Though a large scale commercialization of electric cars is still far fetched due to the high cost of production, regulatory bottle necks, consumer sentiments and infrastructal limitations especially in 2nd and 3rd world countries, however with further advancements n the technology of the rechargeable battery, especially with the extension of the recharge span of the battery cells and reduction in the driver’s anxiety (which is the distance that it will take to recharge the battery), electric cars may become popular along with its climatic benefits.
6.Unmanned aerial vehicle ( UAV):
An unmanned aerial vehicle ( UAV) ( or unscrewed aerial vehicle , commonly known as a drone) is an aircraft without a human pilot on board and a type of unmanned vehicle . UAVs are a component of an unmanned aircraft system( UAS), which include a UAV, a ground based controller, and a system of communications between the two. The flight of UAVs may operate with various degrees of autonomy: either under remote control by a human operator or autonomously by onboard computers ( again AI).
UAVs were recently originally used for military applications, they are now rapidly expanding to commercial, scientific, recreational, agricultural and other applications, such as policing, surveillance, product delivery, aerial photography and even Drone racing (which by the way is becoming a serious and competitive sporting event globally).
It is estimated that in 2015 over a million civilian UAVs were sold worldwide, with further reduction in hardware cost and operational training requirements, drones would be become popular and in demand.
In conclusion, the 21st century is indeed the panicle of human civilization, with further technological advancements it will become possible for us to dominate our world and live in a global village.
THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY EUGENE IGWE