Understanding the full impact of emerging technology can be challenging, and this complexity can lead to overestimating its potential benefits. On the one side, we have the technology creators; on the other, we have the skeptical side. Through a balanced approach, consumer insight will ultimately determine technology innovation’s success.
The extent of innovation transformation is generally referred to as incremental innovation or radical innovation. Incremental innovations are gradual improvements made to existing products and services. On the other hand, radical technological innovations shift the rules of the game. They can bring about massive excitement. They create a new generation’s needs. They create new consumers. They disrupt and shock competitors. Technological innovation will forever change our lives.
It’s essential to recognize that the timeline for evolving technologies can vary significantly. Developing an innovative technology product from an idea can take years, and the process can be challenging, complex, and costly. Funding is urgently needed to support their research and development efforts during the aggregate process. Technology creators must present a compelling future vision to attract investments and demonstrate solid progress toward technological advancements as the next big thing.
Historically, there have been cases of overpromising and underdelivering with evolving technologies, which can make some skeptical about current technology claims. While initial announcements may create excitement, these technologies often take several years or even decades to reach widespread adoption. This is due to various challenges, such as technical limitations, regulatory hurdles, infrastructure requirements, and societal acceptance.
In the early stages of an emerging technology’s development, the full scope of its potential impact might not be fully understood. A passion for innovation and problem-solving often drives scientists and entrepreneurs. This enthusiasm can sometimes lead to an overly optimistic view of technology’s impact on society.
Over the next decade, technological innovation will drive economic growth in countries, markets, and cities. Technology innovation creates competitive advantages in product development, sales and delivery, and customer services, increasing production efficiencies and effectiveness, for example. The broadness of technology innovation is immense; it is borderless, reaches all markets, and constantly interacts with everything we do in our daily lives.
People already use marvelous technologies in their everyday lives. Technology innovation has changed every aspect of our daily lives. Smart devices offer AI voice and speech recognition technology, for example. Today’s technology has changed how we communicate and socialize, seek information, shop, pay our bills and transfer money, and entertain and watch TV, for example. With each technological advancement, the quality of life will improve, and it will continue to do so in the future. Technology advancements will improve personalized healthcare, increase life expectancy, enhance energy grid efficiency, enlarge food production capacities, and bring about many new jobs, for example. Technological innovation will make all these positive things possible on our ongoing journey to make a better world.
People are Not Experts at Predicting the Future
The fear of missing out on the next big thing can drive excitement and exaggeration around new technologies. Both investors and consumers may feel compelled to be part of the early adoption wave, even if the technology’s value is still unclear.
Since the Industrial Revolution, we have been warned that dangers result from advancing technologies. This applies to the automobile, the telephone, the computer, industrial robots, the microchip, and many other technological innovations. Experience has proven that cutting-edge radical technology innovation seldom kills whole industries; instead, it changes them, resulting in enhanced consumer choices for products and services.
Businesses may announce cutting-edge technologies early to gain a competitive edge and position themselves as industry leaders. In that case, they are not mentioning the hurdles and constraints related to legislation, legal issues, and technological challenges that must be overcome. Before becoming commercially viable, many emerging technologies undergo extensive research and development phases, including legal complications.
People are usually left out in the haze. For example, we are told that AI automation will make millions unemployed. A robot will replace all jobs with more skills than any human. In the past few decades, a few futurists have predicted that artificial superintelligence could lead to humanity’s extinction. Humans will be augmented by placing a chip in their brains to release electrical signals. Ultimately robots will be indistinguishable from humans. It has been claimed that Artificial Intelligence could pose a “more urgent” threat to humanity than climate change. Basically, we are convinced that we will destroy ourselves by designing and developing Artificial Intelligence technology by having machines learn by themselves. Rigorous research, transparent communication, and responsible technology deployment must ensure that innovations’ promises align with their actual value to society.
Although technology innovation has become increasingly complex, knowledge seekers need to know where we are right now. They need to know the next big technology business and how technology innovation will shape our future. While new technologies undoubtedly bring about positive changes and advancements, scientists, entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, the media, the academic world, and the general public must maintain a balanced and critical perspective when evaluating and promoting new technologies.
The question is how jobs will transform in response to new technology. For example, let us consider the latest emerging generative AI technology. Until now, only market-leading companies could afford advertising agencies to create and design video and photography ads for their brand products. With generative AI technology, anyone can now produce the highest quality text, video, and photography for advertising purposes. In that case, large advertising agencies will lead the generative AI revolution in video and photo creation. However, at minor costs, smaller companies can produce video and digital photo advertising with the same quality as large market-dominating companies. Saying this, in every company, we will see the creation of a newly created job role, the role of “Generative Artificial Intelligence Marketer.” Possibly, one will be present in every company. Thus, generative AI will create new jobs in sales, marketing, and social media rather than destroy them.
Technology Innovation Requires Massive Capital
Sometimes, new technology’s true implications and limitations are not fully understood at the early stages. There is a temptation to present technology in the best possible light to attract investors, secure funding, or gain public attention. Researchers and entrepreneurs might be genuinely enthusiastic about the possibilities but may not correctly grasp the challenges or potential negative consequences.
This pressure to secure funding can lead to optimistic claims that might not align with the technology’s actual capabilities. This can lead to exaggerated claims and inflated promises about the technology’s benefits. This, for example, could apply to autonomous vehicles, AI and superintelligence, humanoid robots, and quantum computing, among several other technological innovations.
This enthusiasm can lead to inflated expectations about the technology’s potential impact on economic growth. Media, marketing, and even some researchers and entrepreneurs may contribute to this unwarranted hype, presenting the technology as a magic bullet changing the world forever. Media plays a crucial role in shaping public perceptions of technology. Sensational headlines and clickbait articles tend to focus solely on the radical benefits of advancing technologies. They downplay the need to analyze the risks and uncertainties associated with them.
Innovations in technologies often promise significant disruption to existing industries and practices, leading to excitement about their transformative potential. However, the magnitude and timing of such disruptions might be difficult to predict accurately. Navigating the regulatory landscape and ethical considerations can be challenging. Some may downplay or overlook these complexities in their enthusiasm to promote the technology.
End-Users determine Whether Technology Innovation Succeeds
Innovations in technologies must be evaluated using critical thinking. Society often holds high hopes for technological solutions to pressing issues, such as climate change, poverty, or health crises. As a result, there is a strong desire to believe in and support technologies that promise to address these challenges effectively. This can hinder a clear understanding of its real implications. Furthermore, such an approach may leave potential investors oblivious to the product’s limitations and drawbacks, resulting in ill-informed investment decisions. It is, therefore, imperative to be mindful of emerging technologies’ potential value generation and approach them with an objective and balanced perspective. This will help ensure that decisions are based on facts and not driven by speculation or hype.
Consumer insights drive all changes. Every technology innovation must be evaluated from the bottom up, starting with consumer-user information. It is crucial to identify differentiated and relevant technology innovation. In addition, it is essential to identify the size that makes it rational to capitalize on its further development. Many questions need answers: Who are the users? How will the product make revenue and profit? Are consumers’ choices relevant to technology innovation? Will they want it? What is the user occasion, and how big is it? And many more.
Getting consumer insight means understanding each touch point the consumer or user has with the novel technology product. The “ah-ha” discoveries can best be captured through a systematic consumer insight analysis, focusing on the offer’s perceived value. Consumer understanding sparks investor interest in participating in the innovation process, making it possible to become a reality. Hence, the most significant technology innovations worth investing in will capture, create and fulfill the growing user demands on a large scale. In other words, focusing on consumer needs and wants rather than destroying jobs, industries, and societies. Technological innovation must be evaluated and valued through a balanced “bottom-up” approach according to its real value proposition, size, and scope.
The book Technology Innovation by Baldur Gudgeirsson is the source of this article.
For reviews of Baldur’s four books, visit: https://www.icebergbooks.com/