The (Far-Out) Future of Software

Software making has evolved over the years, and continues to evolve. Although we have already moved light years ahead since the first piece of code was written by Ada Lovelace in the 19th century, it is really still in its infancy. Developers spend their time sorting out tiny details to make sure that tasks are carried out precisely and effectively, but although it is still a slow and complex process, it is advancing super quickly and we can only expect great things to come. Here are some predictions about what the coding crystal ball may say about the future of software.

 

The Need for Security is Getting Scarier

After Brian Krebs, a cybersecurity reporter’s website was taken down by a Mirai botnet using the Internet of Things (IoT) devices to target victims, the world started getting nervous – and rightly so. This was a wake-up call for programmers all over. Forbes predicts that we will have more than 80 billion smart devices by 2025. Who doesn’t have a Fitbit or an Apple Watch these days? We expect that security will get a lot tighter when coding for these IoT devices.

 

Data Stays at The Top of the Game

Data gathering, parsing, curating and collating should keep being a top enterprise job. The number crunchers will continue needing the numbers and the programmers will continue being tasked with delivering data in easier ways to understand. Cloud-based data centres are becoming increasingly prevalent and the fate of information servers, even in South Africa where our bandwidth is not the greatest, is drawing ever closer to the cloud.

 

Machine Learning Will Become Standard

Although it won’t happen overnight, more and more business plans are going to depend on machine learning algorithms. With digital information being at our (and our machines’) fingertips, it is becoming easier to code machines to think like humans while giving them access to information. Through neural networks computers are able to compute the world in the way that we do while retaining advantages like accuracy, lack of bias and speed.

 

Does this mean that AI is Inevitable?

While some imagine a future in which robots are doing everything, while we’re drinking martinis at the poolside, movies like Terminator and iRobot have made a lot of us a bit more skeptical – especially of artificial intelligence (AI). Distrust aside, AI is an integral part of the future of software. In an article on acm.org it is reported that AI activity already started increasing in 2016 with Amazon launching an AI platform, Google launching an AI group and General Electric acquiring two AI startups. Forrester predicts that AI will blur the boundaries between structured and unstructured data.

 

Visionaries like Elon Musk believe that AI can alter the landscape of the world and could even be the cause of World War III. We are hoping that this ominous warning won’t be realised, and all these incredible developments will instead just make software development more exciting.

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