Technology continues to reshape businesses and even the way we communicate with our peers on a daily basis. Hollywood has long had a fascination in predicting a future world where humans are controlled by our technological advancements.
While the storylines of robots and teleportation have not yet come to pass, Hollywood visionaries were right in capturing the impact of technology on human lives.
A decade ago, terms such as ‘wearable technology’ would seem like a far-fetched idea yet today, we think nothing of it. With technology helping to push for innovation, artificial intelligence (AI) has risen from the woodworks and modern robots are looking and adopting behaviours that more resemble humans than evil machines from the Terminator franchise.
Using technology has become unavoidable in our daily activities and it has especially revolutionised how people communicate. Communication technology has taken a life of its own, having evolved from instant messaging on a desktop to video calls we make on our vacations to Europe.
While we are increasingly more on track for a world with greater digitisation, it remains difficult to accurately predict the future of communication. We have, however, selected three areas that we believe best illustrate the evolution of human interaction thanks to technology and the future of communication in each scenario.
A Modern Take on Business Transactions
Today’s businesses face a world of fierce competition with the added pressure to invest in technology and a strong customer service team. Companies such as Amazon have embraced the dawn of advanced technology and as a result, have changed the face of online competition.
They have transformed the way we conduct business which also impacts how we communicate when we shop.
Advanced technology has reduced the need to physically go to a store for shopping thus diminishing the need for social contact. Many businesses have invested heavily in AI technology such as chatbots which can deliver the speed and convenience customers expect. It is highly probable that in the future, the next time you hear ‘how can I help you?”, an AI-powered chatbot will be the one asking that – not a human.
Furthermore, the introduction of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) means that, in the future, you will no longer have to guess how your new couch will look in your living room and you can add a virtual spin to business pitches.
The bottom line is that as AR and VR technology develops further, business meetings can happen in the virtual realm, and setting a foot inside a store is a thing of the past. These scenarios being a distinct possibility in the near future is both unnerving yet exciting at the same time.
A Young Form of Entertainment
Smartphones have massively impacted communication not only for adults, but the younger generation too. Nowadays, it has become an all too common scene for children to have a smartphone as their form of entertainment and even education. This existing situation has sparked the debate over whether today’s young generation spends too much time staring at screens.
There are pros and cons of introducing mobile apps to kids; including the belief that it takes away a child’s ability to interact with other people. While millennials are thought to have spent more time running around in playgrounds and biking in their neighbourhood, such forms of interaction have become increasingly rare within the upcoming generation.
Smartphones and mobile apps have changed the definition of entertainment and social interaction, particularly amongst today’s families. A generation of children interacting more with their gadgets is a reality in the not too distant future.
The World at Your Fingertips
The evolution of communication is most visible in how we meet people today. Social media has specifically played a key role that has essentially reimagined social interactions.
While the world is not new to the effects of globalisation, the amount of access every individual has to the world has skyrocketed. We are no longer required to cautiously join chatrooms to meet people outside our own respective countries.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn make it possible to connect with anyone in the world, no matter where we are. These platforms have also changed the common form of daily interaction with features for uploading images, videos, and stories of our daily routine.
As such, we have transitioned from a time when we used to meet with friends to communicate all the latest updates of our lives into a period where they already know all about it because of our social media posts.
Therefore, the saying “please keep in touch” has become an actual possibility and one that is cost-effective. While it may seem that we have reached the peak of modern communication, the truth is, we’re likely far from it.
Elon Musk has gone so far as to predict that the future will see humans communicating through AI telepathy and he’s already founded a company to turn his prediction into reality. Even though this may seem absurd, we’ve probably said the same about high-tech apparel a decade ago.
The Next Breakthrough in Communication is…
We are experiencing an exciting time, where society is at the precipice of a new technological change. From businesses to regular people, we are all part of a new chapter that has reinvented the way we communicate.
Improved access to the world and seamless connectivity does bring its own calibre of advantages. The two-fold result, however, is that even though we have these advanced means of communication, we aren’t actually communicating with each other more.
The “social” in social media has generated its own backlash by creating a feeling of isolation since we can shop, dine, communicate, and go about our daily routine without interacting with another person. It isn’t insane to think AI telepathy as a real-world scenario somewhere down the line, but that potentially new chapter in communication requires us to re-examine the meaning of social contact.
For now, the future of communication seems promising as possibilities keep expanding. What the journey of communication has shown us thus far is that progress is inevitable and with massive popularity over innovative technology, it seems that adjusting to new changes is far easier than rejecting it altogether.