Over the next decade, IT will become increasingly pervasive but computers will be less prevalent as they are incorporated into vehicles, desks, and even furniture, predicts Rob Gear, manager of PA Consulting's IT Innovation Unit. Gear says semantic computing will make businesses more efficient. He predicts that by 2012 machines will be able to understand if a number is a birth date, flight number, or invoice, making businesses more productive when buying or selling online. In the public sector, highways will be outfitted with sensors and cars will use global positioning system devices to reduce bottlenecks. Individuals will carry fewer mobile devices, and computers will become more sensitive to people's emotions. Research in affective computing could advance e-learning by creating automated systems that can recognize when a student is confused and suggest an alternative lesson. Data storage and processing power will continue to become less expensive, and data storage capacities will continue to double. Nanoionic memory, which uses charged atoms to store information in nano systems, will lead to mobile devices that can hold a terabyte of data. Beyond 2050, Gear says artificial intelligence (AI) will have a major impact, leading to AI systems that solve specific problems such as credit card fraud.
From Financial Times Digital Business
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