How Will Technology Change the World?
Technology has become such a pervasive part of our daily lives that it’s hard to remember a time when it didn’t play such a significant role. Besides affecting our personal lives, technology, of course, also transforms most businesses; and, in fact, it’s difficult to think of a business that hasn’t changed.
With that in mind, three industries that technological progress will radically change in the future will be the healthcare system, the automobile industry, and the manufacturing sector.
The Healthcare System: The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Diagnostics
While the accuracy of diagnostics overall has never been better, accurate diagnosis of rare diseases is still far behind diagnostic trends.
The biggest struggle the healthcare system faces with diagnosing rare diseases is that they are little known. Physicians often misdiagnose rare diseases and, as a result, patients with a rare disease don’t receive the right palliative treatment to mitigate their acute symptoms.
Physicians aren’t necessarily to blame. Genetic disorders are so scarce that even a highly experienced doctor may never have seen one before. Most doctors who come across a rare disease for the first time mistake it for a more familiar disease. Confounding things is the fact that the symptomatology of the same rare disease differs between patients.
AI will improve the accuracy of diagnoses even for little-known diseases. It will not only improve the time and the cost of testing but will also reduce the distressingly high misdiagnosis rate. In fact, the current rate of misdiagnosis is far higher than most patients realize–-cognitive psychologist Arthur Elstein who has studied how doctors conclude most physicians are wrong about almost all diseases about 10 to 15% of the time.
The Automobile Industry: The Impact of Autonomous Cars on Society
Despite the prevailing skepticism that driverless cars will always be too unsafe to go mainstream, autonomous car safety is making impressive progress.
Once perfected, this technology will bring about many benefits: a huge reduction in traffic accidents and the economic costs caused by injury, fatalities, and property damage. Since these cars will also drive far more efficiently than egocentric human drivers, the energy expenses of transportation will also drop.
While this technology will improve car safety and driving efficiency, it will also disrupt the automobile industry. Private ownership will decline because it will be easier and more cost effective to request a car rather than own an expensive one requiring regular maintenance and periodic repair.
The days of private ownership will become a historical anecdote—similar, perhaps, to stories today’s children hear about how their grandparents once had to use a rotary dial to make a telephone call.
The Manufacturing Sector: The Disruptive Influence of 3-D Printing on Manufacturing
Many people are still unfamiliar with the concept of 3-D printing, although scientists developed it in the 1980s. This technology can create a 3-dimensional object by adding layers of successive material– a process called “additive manufacturing.”
Futurists anticipate that 3D printing will particularly impact manufacturing industries that specialize in low-volume production of high-value parts. Manufacturing will eventually become far less labor and capital intensive and require fewer materials. In the future, it will be easier, cheaper, and more efficient to fabricate components for industries or consumers.
Besides dismantling many aspects of current manufacturing industries, 3D printing will also have a significant impact on global supply chains. Reducing the complexity of making small batches of products will improve time to market ratios and merge the number of people, machines, and processes necessary for manufacturing.
In sum, these are just a few of the many ways that technology is changing our world as we know it. Although these changes will disrupt industries and slash employment rates, they will also create new industries and introduce interesting jobs.