Navigating the unknown: Modern technology’s race to the future

Tech Fest 2019 dives into the hot new trends in technology with a lineup of programs like coderace, roborace, 3D printing, IoT workshops, design bootcamps, gaming development, circuit debugging, and deep learning. We explored these technologies, the future and what it holds for humanity with some of the minds behind Techfest – Neelakantam Poorna Venkat, A. Rajesh R Athimoolam, Jaswitha Reddy Guntaka, Sreya Tatineni TP Rao, and Pavan Krishna.

How do you see the future changing with the advent of new technologies?

N. Poorna Venkat: Technology will play the most prominent role in the future with tools and resources that make critical information available at our fingertips. It is fair to say that the future will be totally driven by emerging technologies and hopefully used to solve people’s daily life issues.

A. Rajesh: The advent of new technologies and applications in medicine and communication is at the core. I believe implementation of user friendly technology will continue to shape the way we live.

Jaswitha Reddy Guntaka: On the positive side, more advanced quantum computing and better security for information on the web. On the negative side, a world with zero privacy,  less security and AI controlling a major part of human life. I think the protection of web content and the information on it must be given absolute importance.

Sreya Tatineni: We are at a juncture in the history of the world where marvellous new technologies come up every other day changing the course of our lives. I look forward to the future where the reality is closer to our fantasies and imagination which is virtually like we see in sci-fi – automatic cars without drivers, Delhi to NY commute in 30 minutes, colonies elsewhere in the galaxy.

According to you, which technology will be the most important in the coming 5 years?

N.Poorna Venkat: Internet of Things (IoT ) will be the most important technology in five years. It helps us connect to every man made device.

A.Rajesh: According to me, Nanogenerator technology that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy and wirelessly transfers energy to a nearby battery. Scientists from Clemson University have developed a new triboelectric nanogenerator that can generate 2000 volts of energy and transfer it wirelessly.

Pavan Krishna: Sustainable technology will be very important. We should contribute more towards natural environments rather than the technology of artificial holograms, as an example.

Which is the one thing that needs to be changed with the help of technology?

N.Poorna Venkat: Technology should be able to solve daily problems, mainly for farmers. For example, in India the weather forecast technology has to be improved.

A. Rajesh: The future use of drones in healthcare is very thought provoking. How can the industry best use this technology to improve safety and care delivery? For example, through a startup called Matternet. drones have been trained to deliver food aid and medical supplies to areas hit by disasters such as Haiti. But, while drone delivery makes it possible to courier needed vaccines to remote areas in harsh weather, it isn’t without challenges. Both blood and vaccines must be kept at a certain temperature during transport or they will be unusable when they arrive. Anyone working with the payloads must be properly trained to ensure the products arrive at the right temperature and that deliveries go smoothly.

Jaswitha Reddy Guntaka: I think climate change is an issue we can confront with the help of technology – Using simulations to show people what our world can change into in the next 50-100 years might change their perception.

Sreya Tatineni: How great would it be if there is a technology that helps us with the biggest challenge we face today namely law and order? A technology that enables faster solutions to the institutions around the world that fight crime in all forms.

Pavan Krishna: There are many things that have the scope to change with the help of technology because it all depends on that one moment where an idea culminates and transitions into implementation using existing technology, science and knowledge. If I have to be specific, I’d say converting food wastage – it should go into machines either as fuel or it should produce useful products. The machines I refer to should shrink in cost, size and effect to such an extent one can have it safely in the house

Which is your dream technology? Given a chance, which technology will you be looking forward to developing? why and how?

N.Poorna Venkat: My dream technology is one that helps farmers. We need to develop higher yield seeds or breeds that can grow in all weather conditions. This is possible only through modern technology.

A.Rajesh: I foresee a technology that can quantify the ‘feelings’ of people. Other than that, technological developments in healthcare have already saved countless lives and are regularly improving our quality of life.

Sreya Tatineni: Personally, my idea of a dream technology is the one that makes possible flying cars. It would avoid a lot of traffic congestion across the world and also prevent traffic-related catastrophes. How cool would it be to see cars flying across high-rise buildings and landing at any floor of the building as per our convenience?

Pavan Krishna: My dream technology would be Smart Vehicles which can be self-driven, traffic-adaptable (it should analyze the traffic and switch to different modes), its fuel consumption should be environmental friendly and get automatically refilled by different sources of energy?

Which technology intrigues you the most?

N.Poorna Venkat: The new technology that intrigues me is IoT, and how it can be implemented in the agricultural sector.

A.Rajesh: Voice Interface Technology intrigues me the most because voice recognition is changing the user experience and how we operate our daily lives. For example, I use Google Home every waking hour. That is what the power of a new and drastic shift in user interface and user experience can do to help users complete the simplest tasks.

Jaswitha Reddy Guntaka: The technology that intrigues me the most is AR/VR. Although I am not interested in developing it I love playing with it. I currently play Sims 4, a simulation video game.

Sreya Tatineni: As of now, it would be IoT, interrelating a variety of computing devices to transfer data across machines and living beings.

Which is your favorite book/article on technology?

N. Poorna Venkat: I basically read books related to social studies. My favorite is ‘Politics after Independence in India’. I have never actually read a book related to technology.

A. Rajesh: ‘What Technology Wants’ by Kevin Kelly is my favorite book on technology. Its focuses on human-technology relations and argues for technology as the emerging seventh kingdom of life on earth!

Jaswitha Reddy Guntaka: My favorite book on technology would be ‘Digital Fortress.’ If given a chance, I hope to develop a machine similar to the TRANSLTR.

Sreya Tatineni: One of the best ways of understanding the effect of technology on human lives is the book I read recently called “Hit Refresh” by Satya Nadella where he beautifully explains the effect of our unique human quality – empathy – in determining the course of technological advancement and its impact in changing the status quo.

Pavan Krishna: The article I can never forget is on the success of ‘Mission Mangalyaan’ where I realized that all technological advancements need not be costly and knowledge is truly timeless.

Who is the most influential person in the universe of technology and why do you think so?

N. Poorna Venkat: Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam because his hard work towards achieving his goals inspires me a lot.

A. Rajesh: John Giannandrea is the most influential person in technology. As Google’s head of search, Giannandrea is at the heart of the company’s most important business and the world’s most popular website. He’s also an artificial intelligence expert who runs Google’s A.I. efforts. His current position puts him at the juncture of search and A.I., a critical nexus for Google as it prepares for a future dominated by digital assistant software like the Google Assistant and voice-powered hardware like the Google Home rather than text-based queries.

Jaswitha Reddy Guntaka: There are many influential people in this domain of technology and Elon Musk is one of those people with whom I see eye to eye, on a few of his ideas.

Pavan Krishna: The most influential person in technology is Elon Musk because he’s trying to explore everything that is available and possible in this universe – automobiles with Tesla, transportation with Hyperloop, space with ScapeX, Banking with Paypal and many more. The interesting fact to consider is that all his ideas are towards sustainable technologies.

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