Here’s How Information Technology Continues To Transform Lives, Albeit With Some Challenges

Take the boom in hardware capacity, and couple it with software technology advancing at a massive pace. Also, add to it the possibilities of a globalised world, and we have the perfect setting for massive disruption in the status quo of the world. writes Vedant Goel

Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Intel, famously predicted that the number of transistors that engineers could fit in an Integrated Circuit (IC) chip will double every two years. This prediction also called Moore’s Law, has stood the test of time for over five decades now. Moore also famously calculated the compound annual growth rate for this explosion in electronics hardware capacity – a staggering 41.4 per cent.

Take the boom in hardware capacity, and couple it with software technology advancing at a massive pace. Also, add to it the possibilities of a globalised world, and we have the perfect setting for massive disruption in the status quo of the world. The possibilities of transforming human lives, societies, and businesses are endless. It is no surprise that the current times are called the age of Information Revolution – the third great revolution since the Agricultural Revolution and the Industrial Revolution.

Here is a list of ways in which technology is changing lives in current times : 

Greater leisure 

Technology, in principle, has always allowed people to do more in less time and with less effort. This is consistent with Moore’s law, where our computing machines are getting smaller, smarter, and more integrated into solving our real-world problems. With humankind ushering into the information age, the amount of leisure people enjoy has increased significantly. This phenomenon is also coupled by the rise in Social Media and a boom in the entertainment industry, arts, and literature; which in turn is making human lives better.

Informed societies 

More informed people can generate quicker responses to events and trends. From the Arab Spring to the anti-corruption agitation in India, and the recent mass protests in Hong Kong, it is evident how people can share information and organise much faster than they ever did before. Societies are becoming more informed and hence, more participatory in active politics, decision making, and driving change.

More complex learning 

With evolving technologies like machine learning, big data, and Artificial Intelligence (AI), it is now possible to create complex learning networks. With ambitious projects like the Human Brain Project (HBP) underway, we are much closer to creating an artificial human brain using supercomputers. Genetic research and biotechnology have matured as fields, and are opening up newer domains of medical and scientific progress.

Global networking 

Networks today have become global. Global tech giants today have offices and development centres across the world, with information systems connected through the most secure and robust networks. Business can today be conducted at the speed of thought, and changes can be implemented on a global scale.

Denser social circles 

While most social networks are currently hotbeds of unending debates and bickerings, these networks have also created denser social circles around common interests, ideologies, hobbies, and support groups. Some of these social groups have even come together and created organisations and institutions around arts, social interests, businesses, among other things.

Cheap prices

In a well connected, tech-enabled world, markets are turning global, leading to cheaper prices of goods, commodities, and services. These competitions are not restricted to streets or between shops anymore but are playing out on the global stage. Countries with existing technological prowess, business acumen, or labour advantage are using it in their favour to create greater economic growth, while others are in the process of catching up.

Economic progress

Between 1991 and 2016, India’s GDP grew 2,216 percent from Rs 5,86,212 crore to Rs 1,35,76,086 crore. During this time period, India’s average per capita income grew 1,388 per cent. Much of this growth was backed by a booming IT industry in India. Companies like Infosys, Wipro, TCS, and HCL became global tech giants and witnessed massive year on year growth for decades together. The current startup ecosystem in India is equally promising, with companies like Alphalogic going for Initial Public Offering (IPO) with the BSE Startup Platform.

The ways in which technology has transformed human lives are endless. From booking train tickets to matchmaking for marriages, every aspect of one’s life has changed over the past decade. It is also no wonder that some of the newest entrants in the large business community today are tech giants. But, despite all the positives, technology has also posed several threats in front of us. These challenges include pollution and climate change, posing a serious existential threat to the existence of humankind during the next decades. Other challenges posed by technology include human alienation, lifestyle diseases and disorders such as obesity, and mental health concerns, among others.

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About the Author

Vedant Goel
Vedant Goel