Healthcare, Finance, Industry & Human Behaviour Will Be Transformed

The cyber changes are coming quickly and this new industrial/electronic revolution is the 4th Industrial Revolution and it is changing many aspects of personal, social life, jobs, commerce, government and the military. Some even say that the electronics of tomorrow is aiming to change us as humans making us partially robotic and able to live much longer and that this will become a norm.

Today even the current electronics such as the Internet is now something many of us take for granted which our grandparents would not have believed 50/60 years ago. 

Anyone old enough struggles to remember what it was like in times before we had the Internet. We’ve almost forgotten the slow, time-consuming time without mobiles when we used telephone boxes, when and if, they were available. The whole thing has made an amazing advancement in a few decades, and one that we may not have completely understood is how these changes are gradually taking over the globe. 

What until recently for many in the West defined a country, its boarders, language, culture, climate, education, politics, social engagement and national legal systems are now beginning to fuse and partly dissolve as electronic systems are challenging and dissolving many traditional barriers and of course some groups are trying to create some new ones. 
As global population increases and Internet connectivity improves this seems like a very obvious statement. 
What is less obvious is the rate at which it has grown and will continue to do so. 

While there has been a fairly steady growth today there are 4.6 billion people using the Internet and the predictions are that there will be more than 7.5 billion Internet users by 2030. 

This would probably represent 90 percent of the projected world population of 8.5 billion, 6 years of age and older.
Developing countries playing catch up will finally see their efforts come to fruition and the playing field is expected to be a lot more level in terms of connection speed.This is and will continue to affect markets and industry significantly just as earlier Industrial Revolutions did.  Unfortunately, many businesses have not reviewed the strategic implications and the effects it is currently and will have on their market and themselves going forward.Electronic inter-connection is changing the way some people consider their nationality and citizenship and this is also happening to commerce. 

For others where important issues divide society the cyber connectivity is increasing their radicalisation and making them want the social changes to happen faster and some would say now in news/blog time.Similar to earlier and other historical technological changes all of these movements are happening far quicker than most business and traditional governments and organisation’s structures can deal with. 

Certain societies cultures also find some of these changes unacceptable as with the recent NSA revelations concerning their new methods of data collection. The NSA has been implanting new software and computer to intercept and collect secret data in different parts of America and overseas. 

Much of this is being discussed and challenged within the constant cyberspace connection and engagement often through social media and Internet discussions set off by Whistleblowers like Assange and Snowden.

Yet for current governments just over a decade ago cyber security was not considered a pressing priority. Fourteen years ago the only real areas of apparent electronic concern were for government, corporate and military computer networks and whether they would survive the millennium number change. 

As we now know, the cyber threat is not only a concern for government and the military but also for commercial organisations and individuals. The attacks on infrastructure and the requirement to counter such cyberattacks has recently become far more pressing and continuous.  Now with the theft of everything from stored data, government intelligence to medical knowledge and commercial patents the imperative to protect has become increasingly important.

Cyberattacks in the UK are currently costing commerce over 26 billion pounds annually and with the recent economic pressures and breakdowns hackers have been employed by governments for attack, propaganda and intelligence and by criminals to find new ways of stealing. 

From a personal perspective during the next decade we will be far more deeply and electronically engage with individuals and organisations from across the world in all areas of our life, personally, commercially and certainly politically. Cyber technology will become more specific to us as individuals such that even some of our thought processes will begin to alter, as our short and longer-term thinking is affected by what we currently and in future will expect from our electronic memory systems.

In the seventeenth century Descartes wondered whether a complex mechanical system of gears, pulleys, and tubes could possibly emulate thought. Two centuries later, the metaphor had become telephone systems, as it seemed possible that their connections could be likened to a neural network. Today, the dominant model is computational and is based on the digital computer.

Western individuals are currently continually using electronic cyber systems that link and interconnect them with the Internet, mobiles and social networks. According to the Rand Corporation 84% of the EU population uses the Internet daily. 
For governments and commercial organisations cyber systems interconnect critical systems from electric power to retail and banking. The issues are significant and becoming more critical to their operation and security. 

Sensors, actuators, and other means of connecting things in the physical world to electronic networks are proliferating at increasing rates. More than 12 billion devices around the world, including computers and smartphones, are connected to the Internet. 

The number of devices connected to networks is expected to increase dramatically within the next decade, with estimates ranging from more than 50 billion devices to more than a trillion in a decade and a half. The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that half the impact of the mobile Internet through 2025 will arise in developing economies, where it will most likely be the means by which 3 billion new users connect to the Internet. Altogether, these applications could have economic impact of $15 trillion to $20 trillion annually by 2025.

This has the potential to transform activities such as manufacturing, building infrastructure, providing health care and managing supply chains by monitoring and optimising activities and assets at a very granular level. 

Any activity that touches multiple things or people across the value chain is a candidate for reimagining with the help of networked sensors and actuators.In the coming decade instant access to knowledge and the efficiency of the Web will be applied more broadly and where the physical and digital worlds blend. Cyberspace is a core element of today’s global information space, more commonly known as the ‘cloud’ or the ‘big data’ age. More importantly, the preponderance has spilled over effects on the effectiveness and efficiency of the more ‘traditional’ commons: land, sea and air. 

Information technologies and space communication systems allow, inter alia, for more efficient land, sea and air activities via GPS and other geographic location systems. They represent the information infrastructures of global supply chain structures where Internet-based open networks allow sharing localisation data. 

In a defense context, the combination of space and cyberspace functionalities allows for seamless tactical and strategic communication, intelligence and space situational awareness. Therefore, it is feasible to argue that we are moving towards a combined space and cyberspace where the constant stream of technological and commercial developments allows for a seamless integration of Internet-based capabilities into cyber cloud systems that affect everything from governments, their military, intelligence agencies, police forces, to corporations and business worldwide. For instance, the days of government-sponsored or politically allied newspapers having a media monopoly are being eclipsed by the advent and adoption of social media. At the same time, our increasing use of the Internet and other digital technologies increases our vulnerability to cyber threats. 

Criminals are increasingly using cyber space to gain access to personal information, steal businesses’ intellectual property, and gain knowledge of sensitive government-held information for financial or political gain or other malicious purposes. 
Currently a number of media organisations around the world are reporting attacks on themselves and government systems, national infrastructure and businesses. These attacks have gained intelligence access to forthcoming media news and analysis stories that can be countered or used to effectively counter another view or purpose. Also the broader attacks can be seen as having resulted in access to commercially sensitive information, intellectual property and state or trade secrets. 
Some of these attacks have apparently been instigated from government level through corporates, organised crime groups, independent organisations like Anonymous and Wikileaks to terrorist groups and individual hackers.

We have therefore seen a global increase in ‘hactivism’. Hacktivists seek to gain control over computer systems or websites to manipulate them to promote a cause, make a political statement or disrupt services, for example, by overloading websites with botnet attacks, which can deny or prevent the legitimate use of the service. Now let’s move to another method of connections that hackers will use to attack in the future The Internet of Things (IoT), but it also has a number of positives. 

IoT – The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is a relatively new term and it is basically a system whereby other items than computers and phones connect with each other. Fridges, clocks and other appliances can be connected using this technology. 
You might wonder what advantage that has, but what about a fridge that can add cheese to your online grocery order because it knows exactly how little you have left? 

This is valuable, time-saving technology and it’s going to get better. Within a few years, it’s anticipated that this technology will also connect cars, wallets and health monitoring equipment. 

Anything that can be connected to the Internet eventually will be connected to the internet and it will soon become yet another technological breakthrough that we can’t believe we ever lived without.
We are the only planet we know of with the Internet and until proof of other life forms on other planets is verified in some way we will remain the only planet with the Internet. And so these electronic connections and machines will begin to change us as humans.

Future Expectations

Our engagement with robotics and such elements as wearable computers that can monitor human health and help to improve our memory and decision processes are no longer science fiction. As these new electronic consciousness systems will increasingly offer individuals new information, analysis and decisions to maintain and grow our memory, personal plans, commercial and political strategies for our future development.

We will create systems and robots, which are smarter than us. According to some futurists, computers will have the same level of intelligence as humans by 2045 or even earlier. Using big data, computer programs (or artificial intelligence) will be capable of analysing massive amounts of information, identifying trends and using that knowledge to come up with solutions to the world’s biggest problems, such as hunger, diseases, climate changeandoverpopulation.

Predicting future events will become extremely advanced and accurate. You might even be able to predict human behaviour. This could both positive and negative effects on society, education, commerce, politics and warfare. 

Our minds and bodies will be enhanced by prosthetics and implants giving us infallible functions and motorics. 
Technology could cure us of deadly injuries, replace our limbs and organs, or give us sensory abilities far beyond existing vision, hearing, and manipulation. These future systems will be enabled via robotics, augmented reality, neuro-science, 3D printing, programming, material design, etc.

Instead of being physically enhanced by technology, we will be living in symbiosis with super-intelligent systems. We will connect our brain directly to them, thus expanding who we are. 

Imagine being able to access a computer thousands or even millions of times more powerful than your own brain. Human and artificial intelligence have potential to create combined systems that are smarter than either alone.Instead of only connecting yourself to the cloud and using its resources, you will be able to upload your whole consciousness into the cloud or virtual reality. You could live out your wildest dreams and become immortal. The idea is that consciousness is the product of an individual’s neural activity, and if all of the “data” in a brain (memories, thought patterns, etc.) could be “copied” into a digital realm. That way life would prolong for infinity.

The way we work has changed throughout the history, from agriculture to the industrial revolution to knowledge workers. It is quite easy for machines and automation to replace recurring and routine tasks, such as assembling products, mowing a lawn, sending out emails, and even driving, doing surgery and research.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

All our current positions will shift in the next few decades, we will have to learn new skills or even new professions. The positive thing is, people will have more time and energy for more creative and meaningful work. The connection of AI, Machine Intelligence and Bio-Technology will mean that aspects of it will be used to extend our life time. Living with the help of machines/robotics, AI and Bio-Technology will potentially extend our life time continually and extensively.  

This current goal of artificial intelligence, that a machine can have a type of general intelligence similar to a human’s, is one of the most ambitious ever proposed by science but has already begun to be used. 

In terms of difficulty, it is comparable to other great scientific goals, such as explaining the origin of life or the Universe, or discovering the structure of matter. In recent centuries, this interest in building intelligent machines has led to the invention of models or metaphors of the human brain and it has also created interest in moving humans to other destinations. 
And plans are already afoot to create Internet access on Mars for when people eventually settle there. This might be a lot further off than just 10 years, but it is a plan that NASA thinks needs to be made already. 

Once Mars has been colonised the idea is that it will be possible to send messages via the Internet to friends and family back home and to communicate regularly with robotic Earth. This will be achieved thanks to satellites orbiting the red planet and it is anticipated that it will take 24 minutes to transmit data one way.

For more information about Cyber Security and your business please contact Cyber Security Intelligence for an economic strategic cyber assessment. 

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