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Top Tech Trends Debate 2020 Recap | Churchill Club

28 Sep 2020 15:20 | Toby Norgate (Administrator)

The 2020 Top Tech Trends Debate brought scintillating debate to our audience of over 120 fellow curious minds. Taking part online via Zoom, this year we had panellists dial in from the UK and audience members from all over the country.

This year’s panel gave us an intriguing window into what life could be like in 3-5 years, each pitching their vision for the next big thing in emerging tech. But ultimately, it was Anushka Wijendra’s trend on edge computing that took out the crown for this year’s top tech trend.

The panel presented their arguments for the tech trends set to make and explosive impact in the next 3 to 5 years:

  • Edge computing
  • Precision and food health
  • Green ammonia
  • Diversifying technology
  • FinDevOps.

With panellists:

Anushka Wijendra: Edge computing

Winner Anushka pointed out that it’s predicted the world will have over 50 billion connected devices in the next decade. That’s a huge jump from the approximate 4 billion we currently have. The problem is, cloud computing doesn’t have the capability to process mass amounts of data on a large scale. The longer the distance, the slower the speed and the greater the lag.

Enter the edge. Anushka believes edge computing, meaning computing that’s done closer or nearer to the source of data, is on the cusp of something big. More computing will be done locally before data is transferred to the cloud for AI and machine learning purposes. Edge computing will allow us to engage with tech in real-time without any lag.

As we enter into a world with autonomous cars and smart cities, slow tech solutions can cost lives. This is where the edge will come to the fore and become the dominant force in computing.

Sarah Nolet: Precision food and health

Taking out equal second place, Sarah Nolet believes there’s a revolution of personalisation coming that will impact our health, what we eat, our plants and the climate.

She contends that soon we’ll be able to understand how our trillions of microorganisms will impact on our health in real-time, unlocking a whole economy of personalised health and nutrition.

Feeling stressed and tired? Look no further than your daily dose of personalised vitamins, tailored to your gut health. Feeling ill? Your doctor will be able to prescribe specific meds and food tailored to your microbiome.

Sarah believes this will also have a massive impact on plants and animals too. We’ll be able to tailor soil to our climate and engineer out the emissions caused by livestock for a greener planet. ‘You are what you eat’ will take on a whole new meaning.

Charlie Day: Green ammonia and the hydrogen economy

Our other second place runner up, Charlie Day explained there’s a new industrial chemical on the block, and that’s ammonia. Hydrogen is critical in creating cleaner energy sources, but it takes up a lot of space and needs to be cooled at 250 degrees sub zero to be stored.

Charlie contends we need to find a way to use and store hydrogen that isn’t hydrogen itself. This is where ammonia comes in. Ammonia is a carrier of hydrogen, and when liquified it has 50 percent more hydrogen volume than hydrogen.

Looking at the feasibility of this trend, Charlie argues that green ammonia plants will be operational by 2025. Some countries already have the infrastructure ready to distribute it.

Charlie asserts that green ammonia won’t just revolutionise our energy system, but will revolutionise Australian politics within the next two election cycles.

Gala Comacho: Diversifying technology

The face of modern technology isn’t in innovation, but in the uprooting of stereotypes of the people within it. That’s what Gala Comacho advocates as the next biggest trend in emerging technology.

As we diversify the people creating technology, this has a real impact on the technology we create. As we diversify the people creating technology, this has a real impact on the technology we produce. Gala contends that as we pump diverse and inclusive resources into the tech pipeline, the industry is making space for use of technology that wasn’t possible before.

Using examples of domestic and sexual violence SMS chatbot service Hello Cass, and IVF imaging AI tool, Life Whisperer, Gala believes that diversification allows us to solve real-world problems. It’s the sound of getting diverse voices heard that Gala believes will take the tech world by storm in the next 3-5 years.

Simon Wardley: FinDevOps

Simon Wardley thinks the biggest changes in history are caused not by the exciting, but by the boring. Nuts and bolts are what kicked off industrialisation. With that in mind, Simon believes a new set of practices within money and code, is on its way. This will change our investment strategy, finances and the way we operate. Welcome to the serverless world.

Serverless architecture means less time and money spent on managing the server, and more resources attributed to what you’re actually trying to create.

Simon uses the example of iRobot, utilising Amazon’s serverless architecture. Rather than having to manage high volumes of traffic through the iRobot app, going serverless allows iRobot developers to focus on running a backend platform.

He believes dev ops through the cloud is becoming redundant, and serverless is the new order.  

Keen for more interesting, innovation and thought-provoking conversations like those from our Top Tech Trends Debate? Check out the coming events on our website and mingle with other like-minded individuals who share a passion for emerging tech.

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