International Telecommunication Day, celebrated on 17 May each year, is a good opportunity to reflect on how much our world has advanced. While less than a hundred years ago it was possible to impress people with a simple light switch or sliced bread in the shops, today we would hardly be surprised to see a driverless car on the road. But this does not mean that technology has nowhere to advance.
On 17 May, 158 years ago, it was not the internet or even the telephone that was ‘born’, but an agreement between several countries to link their telegraph networks and the International Telegraph Union. Today, the latter is called the International Telecommunication Union, and the world is facing very different technological challenges. Today, we are grappling with the conundrums of whether music written by artificial intelligence can be copyrighted, how to define ownership in the metaverse, and whether it is worth implanting an implant in the brain to connect our thoughts to the internet.
The impact of modern AI tools on the world today has already been compared to the invention of the smartphone. Although their creations are still not perfect and still require more or less human touch, it is becoming clear that the AI is about to change the way we work.
A good example of this is Copilot, an add-in for Microsoft Office applications, which is currently being tested by a small group of testers and will be available in the near future. It will be able to automatically summarize Teams meetings, reply to everyday emails, write Excel formulas for us and even create entire PowerPoint presentations.
Similar to ChatGPT this year, last year’s hottest technology was Metaverse. A virtual world where we can entertain ourselves, meet friends and even accumulate capital has caught the interest of many companies and ordinary people. Various start-ups have started to sell plots of land, create digital fashion collections and Tinder has even started to move its dating service there. Talks of this world have slightly declined, but in a few years’ time we are sure that this technology will significantly expand.
Many of us have jokingly heard people say that there are so many smart things in our environment that soon we will have to connect our brains to the internet. It turns out that this is not a dream.
Recent leaks show that Elon Musk’s Neuralink company, founded in 2016, has already unsuccessfully tried to get permission from US authorities to test a brain implant on humans, so it looks like one day we will be able to use our senses to explore the internet.
According to a study by Ericsson, by 2030, people expect the internet to allow them to experience new tastes and smells, control the sounds they hear, and even allow their brains to exchange information directly with the global network.
As AI tools like Copilot revolutionize work processes, and concepts like the metaverse and sensory internet gain more traction, it’s clear that these new technologies soon will be changing our daily lives.