Is 2016 the year of Virtual Reality, AI or the IoT?


The annual South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival, held in Austin last week, is an incubator of cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity and has become the place to discover the technology of tomorrow today."[1] This year, conversations around SXSW Interactive have been dominated by mobile apps, virtual reality, 3D printing, the internet of things, artificial intelligence and security but there are 3 areas that are beginning to gather real pace are set to have a profound effect on our industry. Fear of a robofuture was prevalent at SXSW, with apprehensions about how humanoid machines, artificial intelligence and deep learning will impact our future. John Havens, founder of The H(app)athon Project, went as far as to run a session called "The Dispensables", pointing to Gartner research predicting that 1/3 of all Americans will be out of jobs by 2025 due to automation. Dr Ishiguro suggested that both the home computer and ubiquity of smartphones have paved the way for more futuristic applications, including personal robots and digital retail assistants that can help customers with their clothes shopping.

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