Over the last few months, I have pondered the risks and impacts of moving too fast to implement new and bleeding edge technologies. While much of these technologies make our lives better, make no mistake, I believe we are moving too fast.
Looking back to just over 27 years ago computers were not in nearly every household, there were no smartphones, there weren’t really even mass users of cellphones – also known as bricks back then, and for good reason. Most people did not carry a camera with them everywhere they went either.
Fast-forward to today. These technologies and more exist, and they are everywhere. We are also seeing the emergence of driverless vehicles (cars, trucks and even aircraft), robotic food servers, smart devices making up the Internet of Things (IoT), and much, much more.
What worries me is not the technology itself. It is the unchecked, ubiquitous, implementation and the level of security that is being implemented with the use of the devices. Or as I should say, the lack thereof.
According to Gartner 6.4 Billion connected “things” will be in use in 2016 and up to 50 Billion is forecast by 2020, though others cite that number will be closer to 30.7 Billion. Though many of those leave off things like smartphones, tablets, and computers. The numbers of connected and interconnected devices is staggering. In addition, anyone can purchase their own micro-controllers, set a device up through WiFi, Ethernet, or even through cellular networks, it is hard to maintain an accurate account of all the devices.
We’ve already seen small scale attacks and malware infections of these devices, and some have been used to launch DDoS attacks as well. Corporate cybersecurity initiatives are failing in a big way, and now there is just more to protect. Just imagine when your Fridge, TV, and Car fail to work until you either pay ransom or is used to launch devastating attacks against your own corporate network using your home network.
But it is not just the IoT’s to worry about. At a time when unemployment is a major issue for most countries around the globe and those who have jobs are demanding more for their employment, the trend is quickly moving to automation.
We see automated delivery trucks already in service. As I mentioned before, the driverless cars and cabs are expanding. Self-checkout at the grocery store, restaurant based kiosks, fast-food automation, drone-based deliveries. And it doesn’t end there. Artificial Intelligence is also making a huge surge.
My prediction is of increased unemployment and adoption of automated systems will grow at a rapid pace. What our future will hold is uncertain. Some will retrain to service these devices, while the future for others will remain uncertain.
I was recently at a marketing seminar and heard much the same there with the same worries. That can’t be good if others are seeing it too.