Digital humans forecasted to change the future for business

 Digital humans forecasted to change the future for business

Digital humans, satellite communications, tiny ambient IoT, secure computation and autonomic robots are five technologies that will transform the digital future for business, according to market research firm Gartner. Digital humans are described as “interactive, AI-driven representations that imitate some characteristics, personality, knowledge and mindset of a human.” 

They range from physical (e.g. humanoid robots) to virtual (e.g. virtual pop stars); or human-driven (e.g. mimicking aspects of a human) to AI driven where they do not need to be human-like in all aspects (e.g. a digital twin or chatbot).

“Despite their potential, digital humans pose many challenges, including unethical applications; inappropriate behaviour; creation of bias and stereotypes; lack of regulation; risk of social backlash; varying cultural attitudes; and more”,  Gartner says, recommending companies to consider potential social and regulatory issues before using them.

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Satellite Communications
Increasing interest in low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications is being driven by the democratization and commercialization of space. Low latency makes LEO an important technology for enterprises to revolutionize communications to people and things”, Gartner says. 

“LEO will deliver broadband with global coverage and low enough latency for a wide range of tasks; direct satellite connection for small IoT devices to provide affordable global coverage without involving SIMs, telco providers and roaming complications; and voice and data services from a satellite to an unmodified 4G smartphone to extend coverage to remote locations.”

Tiny Ambient IoT
Tiny ambient IoT enables tagging, tracking and sensing of anything without the complexity or cost of battery-powered devices. This will enable new ecosystems; new business models based on knowing the location or behaviour of objects; smarter products with new behaviours; and a much lower cost of tracking and monitoring. 

Tiny ambient IoT will expand opportunities for a wide range of businesses, but the forecast recommends assessing potential social and regulatory issues before adoption.

Secure Computation
While many of the principles of secure computation are already established, implementation is challenging for reasons of cost, skills, performance and availability. To help overcome these, Gartner suggests emerging technologies such as optical accelerators will be important to enable deployment.

Drones and Robots
Autonomic systems are self-managing physical or software systems, performing tasks that exhibit autonomy, learning and agency (sense of own personal purpose). Systems that learn and adapt autonomously will be essential if technologies like robots are scaled to achieve their full potential, the forecast says.

“However, a multitude of challenges exist as it may not be obvious what a robot or AI system has learned or what it can (or cannot) do. Manage risk by analyzing the business, legal and ethical consequences.”

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