Creating Something ‘Invisible’ But Essential In Today’s World

By UN definition, the reasons for celebrating International Days are to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity, but also to educate the public on issues of concern, and to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems. Today, on World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, I reflect on the importance of ICT in my life.

Without ICT, I wouldn’t be able to do my job. I am an engineer by education, and company officer by profession, in the US-based company called Authority Partners. We employ over 300 people in 22 countries around the world. Our largest clusters of consultants are located around our offices in Bosnia and Herzegovina, USA, and Turkey. We create software solutions for our clients in Western Europe and Northern America. We work in teams of 3-7 people supported by program architects, program managers, scrum masters, engineering managers, business analysts, system engineers, account managers, talent management, and talent acquisition professionals. And I didn’t even mention everyone. We use SCRUM as an agile process framework that helps us manage software development.

At the moment, our CFO works from New York, our CEO from Zagreb, and our founders are in California. Our colleagues are spread across 5 continents and 13 time zones.

If you are not in ICT, all of this may be unfamiliar to you. We create something that is “not visible”, but it is essential in today’s world. By doing what we are doing, and thanks to ICT, we are able to create virtual teams of talented, educated, capable, motivated people around the world, on a mission to fulfill the business needs of our clients and to make great lives for themselves. In my opinion, it’s super cool and interesting. We’ve been doing for years, what coronavirus pandemic made us all do recently – connect without physical contact.

How did we get here and what the future of Information and Communications Technologies might bring to all of us?

In my opinion, this is more of a philosophical question, and as an engineer, I am more prone to see practical and positive things.

I depend heavily on everything Internet-related and I am loving it – from looking for news and information to paying bills, shopping, planning and organizing business and leisure traveling, ordering food lately (thank you Door Dash!), or staying in touch with people I care about.

On the other hand, in his latest book – “21 lessons for the 21st Century”, historian Yuval Noah Harari beautifully addressed many challenges that the future might bring. I will summarize some of his ideas.

“The technological revolutions will gather momentum in the next few decades and will confront humankind with many challenging questions – from what will happen with a large number of jobless people who might lack education or mental stamina to compete on the new job market, to what will happen to our “free will”?

Or what about our privacy? Our emotions are the result of our biochemical processes. If the machine-learning algorithm could analyze the biometric data streaming from sensors on and inside our body, it could gather all kinds of info about us. On the other hand, thanks to learning algorithms and biometric sensors, we can have access to more personalized and better healthcare.

What kind of skillset should we teach our kids when Artificial Intelligence might replace us in so many jobs, including software coding?”

After four billion years of organic life evolving by natural selection, we are approaching an era defined by the desire for “intelligent design”. Existing social, political, and economic models that were more or less successful in the past, will be challenged again. In my opinion, many systems that we’ve been using for years, from education to healthcare, have become obsolete. ICT is able to bring much-needed change. It can also help us with environmental issues and climate change.

According to some sources, by 2137, all human jobs will be automated. But what of humans themselves?

It looks like we have 2 possible scenarios:

According to one, further ICT revolution might prove to be the biggest mistake in human history. It could enable global dictatorship with an unprecedented degree of surveillance, inequality, and suffering.

But according to other, if we use the achievements of the technological revolution wisely, the future will be better for all. We could be healthier, happier, and free to live our dream lives!

In my opinion, and we can argue about this one for hours, globalization has changed the world for the better. It created many positive things, but it also brought us close to the (Borg) Collective.

Knowingly, or not knowingly, we’ve been assimilated….Hello Species 5618, I hope you are having a wonderful day!