The 21st century has seen a lot of technological advancements in a span of a very small time. We went from no internet on phones to talking about 5G. How we communicate and interact has completely changed. Even how we conduct business, how we buy and sell products has evolved. Currency and financial systems are becoming more and more user-friendly. The vast credit system, loan systems, e-banking, bitcoins, virtual currency all are the results of the technological evolution. The list of all the technological advancements of this century is a long one, but few have truly made the lives of people easier and different forever.
1. Evolution of the Banking and Finance Sector:
The banking system has evolved as fast as telecommunication in the last two decades. Because of the options of online banking on your phone and computer, you can make payments, pay bills and even do transactions through different banking applications. The advent of microfinance banks and the option of doing transactions through your mobile phones has made banking easy and available for those who are not literate enough to handle the formal banking system. E-commerce gave way to many new startups and small businesses to establish to fulfil the needs, the world of internet and networking has created. With this fast-growing industry, the funds are also needed at the same speed and ease. This has brought in fast capital 360 commercial loans, funds that are available for everyone in any amount you need to finance your start-up. There are even systems that help you make payments against your phone number. Cards, phone payments, online payments, virtual currency, bitcoins, have made survival possible even without cash. Money has started to exist more and more in the form of numbers than in banknotes.
2. Age of the Internet and Smartphones:
Though mobile phones were present in the last century too, and wireless communication has been present for some time now. However, the way we communicate has been changed completely by the internet and texting. Texting has brought the conversation in real-time with people who are miles away or on the other side of the globe. This changed the way humans interact. The Internet and smartphones have caused globalization in the way it was never thought possible before. It has introduced people to new cultures, media, music and entertainment industry e.g the fame of K-pop in the last decade. With culture also came the new products, fashions, and cuisine of foreign places. It has given a huge boost to trade within the countries. If people want anything they go online and buy it. The fact it is manufactured in another country is no longer a barrier.
3. Technological Advancements in Medicine:
Medicine has improved a lot. There are many new things and life-saving and improving technologies that have come to be in this century. There is 3D printing of blood vessels and work on creating artificial organs is being done, which will change the landscape of the medical field if done successfully. The Capsule Endoscopy technique came in 2001, which is helping doctors to see the state of internal organs of a person without exposing them to radiation or cutting them up for a surgery they might not even need to fix a problem. Another life-changing development is gene-editing technology, named CRISPR in 2012. Through this technology one can edit genes of an organism considered harmful, like Alzheimer’s gene or muscular dystrophy genes. Though it also raises some serious ethical and moral questions about its use for reproduction purposes. Heart pacemakers and retinal prostheses have made life easier and provided a way for people to live a better life with their disabilities and life-threatening diseases.
4. Small Satellites and Rockets:
Many satellites have been launched into space in the last two decades. These satellites weigh from 1 kg to 40 kg only. As of 2019, about 2400 small satellites are revolving around the earth. This all has become possible as the size of technology has shrunk. More data can be stored in very small chips. This has not only improved data storage, but also made analyzing and processing of the data easier. Another important thing regarding space travel that has been done, is the building of reusable rockets. This will make future space travel cheaper. As it will get cheaper, more will be possible regarding space missions.
5. Evolution of Artificial intelligence:
Artificial intelligence hasn’t evolved as much as that Jarvis of Iron Man but its prototypes have started to pop up. There are virtual assistants offered by tech giants whose purpose is to assist the user with whatever he/she needs. The development of virtual assistants hasn’t become a universal phenomenon, but there are algorithms that read what the user is looking up, talking about or researching and according to it he/she is shown related products, imagery, videos, etc. The world of online marketing and shopping is becoming increasingly dependent upon these recommendations. Artificial intelligence has a long way to go, but if done right, it can evolve into smart robots, much smarter virtual assistants and much more.
6. Virtual Security:
With each passing day more and more systems are digitalizing, with that the digital security threat increases. A lot of people use their personal information and banking information on numerous digital platforms like social media, online shopping sites, online games, etc. This has given the world a new security threat and a new form of identity theft danger. Blockchain technology is a new technology that came into being after the emergence of bitcoin in 2008. It gives enhanced efficiency, data sharing, traceability, and data security than any other system present.
This century has another 80 years to go. The future is uncertain, but few things seem like they are going to be around for a while: social media, space inquisition, and artificial intelligence. Social media came into being in 2002-2003 with the creation of “My Space” however, it has evolved now into many new things. At least one-third of the world population is on some kind of social media. It has changed the world, our relationships, interaction, and socialization. It probably will have an everlasting impact on human social culture. The quest for space has been around for some time, but with the private industry getting involved in it, it will speed up exponentially in the coming decades.
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