Monique Morrow

Chief Technology Strategist

Technology for a Higher Purpose

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November 2017

From where we’re standing, the future looks pretty cool. Self-driving cars scoot around the streets, robots serve as secretaries, and smart homes line every block.

Just as the world we’re living in today seemed unfathomable to other generations, what lies ahead seems shiny and opportunistic. But, what’s critical to understand, is that the future of technology looks bright in ways that aren’t related to kitchen appliances or flying vehicles. Technology is advancing in more ways than one, and we can see its opportunities most transparently through technology for a higher purpose. From the blockchain revolution, to ed-tech, to the medical industry and beyond, it’s critical that we examine the higher purposes technology is being designed for.

Let’s begin with a blog I published over a year ago, one emphasizing the vital role of technology in providing a legal identity to all through a digital identification system. By providing equal access to identity services to anyone, anywhere (through a blockchain system), technology would be able to grant refugees and immigrants the ability to regain their personal identities and thus, their lives.

Speaking of blockchain, we’ve also discussed the benefits of a distributed blockchain enterprise as a whole. The blockchain revolution promises the redistribution of power back to the people, a shift towards transparency and accountability that is untouched by regulatory agencies. For cryptocurrencies in particular (which blockchains support), people across the globe will become encouraged to make more secure and transparent monetary transactions.

When it comes to sustainability, the benefits of technology are far-reaching. Think saving trees through cloud storage, reduced emissions and energy consumption through IoT, and better managing of time, product, and resources.

And then there’s higher education, which technology supports through artificial intelligence and machine learning. While AI works to assist educators in providing personalized learning for K-12, as well as college-level courses, data-driven insights (powered by technology) are being used to increase student retention and engage all types of learners. And don’t forget the world of online learning (benefitting nontraditional students), now enhanced by ever-advancing AI technology.

Lastly, but certainly not least, the medical industry has many voids to be filled by the promise of technology. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will become critical for healthcare in terms of accurately and efficiently analyzing data, monitoring health epidemics, predicting disease risk, diagnosing diseases, developing customized drugs, and enhancing decision-making for physicians and consumers. Plus, when you pool all of the data into a blockchain system, you further increase accessibility and shareability, and in turn, enhance practices in the field as a whole.

If it hasn’t been made clear, the technology advances in our society are more than cool. They function to serve a much higher purpose.