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The Future of Computer Science


24 Dec 2016 View Comments
#computer #future #AI #machine #learning #IOT #industrial #revolution #vr #ar #cybersecurity

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Fourth industrial revolution

I thought I would cover a story in my opinion where software developers have headed and my thoughts on this topic. So I have lived through the third industrial revolution; a massive electronics production, the internet, computers, and basic automated systems. I would like to call that we are living through a fourth industrial revolution now. The items are covered below and discussed in detail.

AI / Big Data / Machine Learning

It’s hard to stay away from the word, Artificial Intelligence, these days, especially on tech talks. Artificial intelligence (AI) is the overall field of working to create machines that carry out tasks in a way that humans think of as smart. The field has been around for a long time although people had not had the clear vision of how AI will play its role in the future. AI cannot be discussed without Big data, Machine Learning, Deep Learning. Machine/Deep learning is a subset of AI that provides computers with the ability to learn without programming them for a specific task. Essentially the Learning involves feeding a computer system with a lot of data (big data), which it can use to make decisions about the certain task. This data is then fed through neural networks, as is the case in machine learning. These networks – logical constructions which ask a series of binary true/false questions, or extract a numerical value, of every bit of data which pass through them, and classify it according to the answers received. Because this Learning work is focused on developing these networks, they become what are known as Deep Neural Networks – logic networks of the complexity needed to deal with classifying datasets as large as, say, Google’s image library, or Twitter’s firehose of tweets. AlphaGo is a great example of Machine/Deep learning. AlphaGo is a computer program that calculates the move in the game of Go. March 2016 was a memorable day in AI history. A computer program beating down Lee Sedol (A Korean 9-dan Go Player) without any handicap. It is remarkable as previous attempts all failed. I was excited about the game a couple of days before the match. With the matches, I saw Lee’s frowned faces throughout the game. It was a good game. AlphaGo works by gathering massive data and calculates based on the data where would be the next move. There are millions of possibilities of where the next move reside in the game of Go. It is truly amazing that a program which is beating a human brain.

IoT / VR / AR

You probably heard of the word IoT (Internet of Things). From what I see, IoT could have following traits: sensors, wifi, processing power, big data and mobile devices. Using certain sensors, it can behave in a certain way. You can extend it to have wifi+data processing+mobile devices to do other smart things. Let’s take a look at a real life example. Think about a smart key to your car. You do not require the key to unlock the car. You just need to be nearby the car with the key and car door unlocks. A little more advanced IoT could be a dashboard at home acting like your personal secretary to tell you about the weather, appointments, advice on what you should do based on some historical data. It could well be combined into a Home Care system which lets you check the status of the front door using mobile devices outside then you can control it to lock and unlock from a mobile device. Let’s think about another example. There can be an application which is shared between households that list items running out at home such as toothpaste, hot sauce, laundry detergent etc. Then whoever that has an access to the application can simply go through the items and buy things that are needed. VR is another hot topic these days. VR is similar to IoT but does not necessarily have to have smart feature built into VR. VR which stands for Virtual Reality which comes in goggles or a helmet which generate realistic images, sounds and other sensations that replicate a real environment. VR is normally connected to a device for you to behave with some sort of screen on your eyes. VR is sharing quite number of traits with AR (Augmented Reality). AR is when you use entire body to act like you are playing a game instead of creating that reality on a device. I hope this summed up the good chunk of IoT, VR, and AR. I believe these items have a huge opportunity in the future. I just see an infinite number of items that can be turned into an IoT.

Cybersecurity

I covered this topic because as technology evolves the security in cyberspace has to be growing. There had been numerous exploits with the newer technology as they are being produced. It will be more difficult to protect the data as the more data are being made. Either it is for gathering a large amount of data to IoT devices, we will be dealing with securing them. The importance of securing them will turn into the next priority of our IT. I used the word cyber instead of the computer because we are not limited to just securing computer anymore. We are responsible for securing the computers plus everything being transferred between computers. The jobs required in this area will only increase in the future.

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Me

I am a passionate software developer working in Downtown, Vancouver. I strongly believe in art of algorithms and together with it to write clean and efficient software to build awesome products. If you would like to connect with me, choose one from below options :) You can also send me an email at