By Luis Bravo Martins
We are ending the decade with more social changes driven by technology.
At Christmas 2010, no one guessed this wave of central populism in our political life – that the power of fake news would create bubbles of ignorance and misinformation that affect us all – that the climate is the biggest theme of political activism and that the biggest world political activist has 17 years – that the main civic movements of this decade like the Arab Spring, #Metoo or Black Lives Matter started with the action of an individual and not of organized groups – that today it is virtually impossible to spend a day in Portugal without consulting a screen.
We did not have the foresight to anticipate these phenomena or act on them, because all these transformations were enhanced by technologies that we underestimated: social networks, algorithms and, in the infrastructure, new Internet access speeds and new smartphones that influenced the sharing of messages and how we create our opinions.
We are on the verge of a new decade and the legal, educational, social and political response to these “new” technologies began just over five years ago. There is a clear need to accelerate this step.
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And it is not enough to speed up the pace, given that these “new” technologies are no longer new. Never as many disruptive technologies lend themselves to massification as in the next decade: Artificial Intelligence, Human-Machine Interfaces, Quantum Computing, Autonomous Cars, Flying Cars, Home Robots, Artificial Intelligence and Immersive Technologies – Virtual and Augmented Reality. These last two are particularly transformative, because they create more than new habits – they influence our perception and understanding of the world and others and will allow us to consult the web in 3D, making it visible in the physical world throughsmartglasses
Already in 2021, with the speed guaranteed by 5G, we will be able to see not only reconstructed Roman ruins, but even Roman citizens using these recreated spaces in augmented reality – this will bring us closer to our heritage as never before.
A teacher can travel inside a tree with the student. A property developer can present the house before it is built. The impact of these technologies is transversal to all sectors of society. Naturally,fake news
, deep fakes, security and privacy issues will also be enhanced and will bring more disruptive challenges to our regimes. So it is important that we start to dedicate time to these technologies and study them to better prepare ourselves for their non-technological consequences. We are the last generation to use the web in 2D and to obtain clairvoyance about the impacts of this disruption, new technical skills are needed – ex. designers of immersive experiences or technical scanning
3D – as well as bringing skills from other fields, such as anthropology or philosophy to guide the debate in the direction we want.
We have a worldwide challenge at hand, which is an opportunity. And Portugal is already making some progress in the development of immersive technologies.
More than 100 organizations develop immersive technologies in Portugal This is the highlight of VR / AR Association
in the first “VR / AR Ecossystem Report – Portugal” to be launched in early 2021, alongside the creation of the largest virtual and augmented reality research laboratory in the Iberian Peninsula and the entry of leading companies in immersive technologies in Portugal. Growth has been totally organic in this market – there is thus an opportunity to accelerate that growth and achieve a prominent place in the world in solving one of the main challenges facing humanity: to relate positively to the multiple emerging technologies that will involve us in next decade. Our talent pool
immersive is very diverse and is dispersed throughout the country. These professionals have the opportunity to be relevant worldwide and create unique work in Portugal that promotes the worldwide advance of immersive technologies – essentially because that work depends on their human talents and skills.
In 2021, we will see much more virtual and augmented reality in our daily lives. For the first time, we will have an investment in the active promotion of these technologies – 5G operators will promote several campaigns to explain the difference between virtual and augmented reality.Likewise, the main Chinese smartphone manufacturers (OPPO ,Lenovo ,Huawei ,Xiaomi ) have already announced the commercial launch of smartglasses
for 2021. Imagine having several people interacting with invisible objects on the street or in the workspace – that’s what awaits us.
In 2021 the Marshall Plan of our generation will also arrive, the referred investment bazooka created by the European Union that will end the greatest economic slowdown of this century – it is a unique opportunity to take advantage of our advantages and our competences to not only create an economic model , but also to prepare for the social and anthropocentric development of these technologies.
Like technology, it is an emerging opportunity and has an expiration date – 2021. So this will also be the year of many decisions and non-decisions that will determine whether or not we are prepared for this decade. On the market side, we are ready.
Head of Marketing at IT People and co-president of VRARA’s Lisbon Chapter