For many DePaul students, a world without the internet, smartphones, social media and dating apps is inconceivable. But their parents and grandparents can quickly conjure a time when pioneering technology meant color television or car phones the size of a brick. As the adage goes, the only constant is change.
With this seemingly endless tech boom in mind, three College of Computing and Digital Media students shared their thoughts on the technology of today–and what’s likely to come tomorrow. Earlier this year, they were among five CDM students named to the Illinois Technology Foundation’s Fifty for the Future, which recognizes some of the top technology students in the state. It’s worth taking note of their predictions; after all, these promising young scholars could very well be the next Jack Dorseys, Larry Pages, Sheryl Sandbergs and Meg Whitmans.
What current advances in technology are most exciting to you, and why?
“The current advancements in technology that are most exciting to me are clean energy, computerized medicine and high-quality online education. I am really excited that manufacturing companies are producing vehicles that are high performance, affordable and using green energy. Tesla, for example, is a growing company that is taking advantage of the technology and resources we have discovered so far to fight global warning through electric cars.
“As a computer science major, I find that computerized medicine is vital because computers have been assisting in diagnosing disease and leading to a variety of breakthroughs in discovering rarer diseases. Computers have enabled software developers to come up with efficient software applications that analyze large data and saves lives with early detection of cancer.
“My favorite advancement in technology is high-quality online education. Tuition for higher education is skyrocketing [but] with all the resources currently available, like mobile technology and smartphones, anyone who can access the internet does not have to spend thousands of dollars to get educated. In the 21st century, we can learn from a community of more than 30 million programmers from resources like Stack Overflow. Plus, a lot of universities have started to offer free online courses. Personally, I’m amazed at the technology we have available to us.”
–Arpan Patel (CDM ’17)
What advancements do you anticipate seeing in technology in the next 10, 20 or 50 years?
“The exciting part about this is that I don’t know. There are a few fields that are popular right now, like autonomous cars and artificial intelligence (AI) in general, but exactly how far they’ll go is a mystery. There’s always something new popping up, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the hot technology everyone is talking about in 10 years doesn’t even exist now. Personally, I hope that in the next 50 years we come up with far more advanced green technology and infrastructure because we’re eating up the Earth’s natural resources at an alarming rate.
“A fear I have is that in 10–20 years, automated technologies will be so advanced that common labor jobs will be wiped out. Ride-share and taxi drivers, factory workers and so many more positions are going to be eliminated by machines. The idea is great, but there needs to be a better way of implementing it all so the unemployment rate doesn’t surge up.”
–Artur Oganezov, computer science major
“While it is almost impossible to predict specific advancements in technology, there are many indications that a few broad technology categories will flourish and shape the technological landscape of tomorrow. AI is a very exciting area that is rapidly growing and is likely to become a part of our everyday lives in the next 20 years. From self-driving cars and automated manufacturing to chatbots and intelligent assistants, AI is likely to accelerate the way we work, transport ourselves and interact with machines.
“Along with a growth in AI, we are likely to see other related technologies advance as well. For example, Neuralink aims to build brain-machine interfaces that can directly connect with our brains and exponentially increase our brains’ ability to communicate and process information. If successful, this could propel the human civilization into an era of rapid growth that is unimaginable now. We are also likely to see huge advancements in other technologies such as 3-D printing and virtual reality.”
–Sriram Yarlagadda (CDM MS ’17), incoming doctoral student in computer science