The next stage isn’t about ever-more powerful computing, although computers will get more powerful. The focus will be on making them easier to use with voice automation and artificial intelligence (AI).
Amazon has developed Echo, a voice-controlled speaker that can play music, answer questions, read the news, and control lights, switches, thermostats and other ‘smart’ home devices.
Google, IBM and Microsoft are doing the same thing. They are developing AI so you can tell a device what you want using simple language. This could have a big effect on business. People who aren’t IT experts or IT managers can tell a computer what files to store, or to do other more complicated tasks.
You won’t need as many IT support staff if your computer is not working. You will explain what’s wrong with your computer and it will do diagnostics and fix itself, saving you from spending 30 minutes on the phone with IT support.
In five to ten years’ time, talking will become the normal way to interact with computers, with no more having to download apps for different tasks or services. Your computer or device will ask for clarification if it doesn’t understand your questions. It may even ask you, in a friendly, human-like voice, if you’re sure you want it to do something that may damage the computer.
You will have more time to do more productive things in your job, and spend less time on routine administrative tasks.