In the modern day, technology is interwoven in everything that we do. For the generations that grew up alongside the development of our modern technology, most of this knowledge comes as second nature. But if you’re one of the few who don’t already have that base of knowledge, and want to learn, it can seem overwhelming to figure out where to begin.
While it may seem like a daunting task, you should also know that technology isn’t necessarily a complicated topic. Much of technology is easier to grasp through shared metaphors and guided observations of the outside world. Tech is undoubtedly a booming industry, making it useful to at least comprehend the basics. In fact, writers at the Harvard Business Review published a compelling article that actually declared data science to be the sexiest job of the 21st century!
The “Rule of Three”
To begin acquiring a standard base of knowledge, you might consider exploring three separate and unrelated topics for variety, or investigate a series of increasingly intertwined topics. An example of the former could be investigating technologies that address global climate change, space exploration, and population growth. These are all topics that are relevant to the majority of people, meaning you’ll have a healthy base of information to start a conversation and learn about other perspectives. On the other hand, you could thoroughly investigate one particular topic, such as the implications of big data, automation, and artificial intelligence. The appeal of taking the latter approach stems from being able to slowly increase your knowledge about other topics after becoming an expert in one.
The Importance of Data
Prior to learning about any additional tech topics, it’s important to understand the significance of data networks. Big data holds vast promise in a world with increasingly ubiquitous internet access and interconnected devices. More and more activities are finding their way online through digitized products and services. Tapping into the flow of user-generated data to make more informed decisions makes intuitive sense, and is vastly superior to the ad hoc approach that guides many businesses and other organizations. Emerging brands like SplashBI encourage businesses of all types to do exactly that: make data-driven decisions to produce better outcomes on a regular basis.
Automation takes that solution to the next level. If the promise of big data is enabling better human decision-making, then the promise of automation is eliminating the human element from the equation. This is especially important for mission-critical systems at scale, which can often be prone to human error. But make no mistake: automation will impact systems and industries far and wide. Some find the idea or partial or full automation across certain aspects of life extremely troubling.
Those same people are unlikely to favor artificial intelligence (AI), but the promise it holds would fully realize the potential of the first two: big data and automation. There’s a lot that people stand to gain from AI when it comes to daily life. The promise of AI effectively replaces all human decision-making with perfect data-driven insights only achieved through relentless self-directed computational progression. That’s when you begin to wander into ethical territory, because it’s likely that we humans will be the direct benefactors or victims of any decisions made by an AI.
Choosing relevant topics like these will allow you to build a solid foundation of information and knowledge, which will enable you to branch out to learn even more about tech. It’s useful to be able to draw from a wide variety of real-world examples, because much of what you learn will come from other people who are knowledgeable about tech and data. By learning about their different perspectives, and their reasoning for these opinions, you’ll understand various standpoints that can guide you towards additional research.