Technological Advances That 2021 Brought Us

A robotic habd and a human hand almost touching

Technological Advances That 2021 Brought Us

2021 definitely had a lot of ups and downs. The COVID-19 vaccine became available, but the pandemic is still not over yet. And there have been many other challenges and triumphs as well. While this past year has been hard on everyone, there is one good thing that 2021 has brought us—new technological advances to help our society.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

3D rendering of a robot looking into a black space with many color sparks

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is intelligence demonstrated by a machine instead of a human. This type of technology was first created decades ago, but it wasn’t until recently that AI started to become a huge part of our lives. Within the last decade, it has been integrated into our phones, computers, TVs, and other technologies we use daily. And now researchers are trying to do even more with AI to help make tasks easier for everyone.

This past year scientists may have figured out how to create robots with more flexible intelligence by programming them with multiple senses.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Illustration of a white robot multi-tasking on several touch screen devices

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is “a software technology that makes it easy to build, deploy, and manage software robots that emulate human actions interacting with digital systems and software.” It is similar to artificial intelligence (AI) since it is used for tasks that are usually completed by humans, but it doesn’t have any intelligence like AI. RPA is used for processing transactions, entering data, interpreting applications, replying to emails, and more. The technology has existed for a while, but it has become a more frequently used technology this year and scientists have been developing it to be able to perform even more tasks.

Internet of Things (IoT)

The letters IoT sitting in the center of many technology icons

The internet of things (IoT) is a system of interrelated devices, machines, objects, and anything else that is connected to WiFi. A lot of things are now being built to be able to connect to the internet and to each other. Just like artificial intelligence and robotic process automation, the internet of things (IoT) is a technology that has become very popular in our society. It allows our devices, cars, appliances, and even TVs to be able to connect to each other and exchange data so it’s easier for us to use them. IoT was also created decades ago, but it has progressed much more in the past years, especially in 2021. And scientists are expecting the technology to expand even more within the next decade. According to the University of Miami, “Forecasts suggest that by 2030 around 50 billion of these IoT devices will be in use around the world, creating a massive web of interconnected devices spanning everything from smartphones to kitchen appliances.”

Remote Everything

A woman sitting at the beach with a laptop on the table in front of her

When the COVID-19 pandemic started, we didn’t have a choice except to do everything online. The only way we could keep ourselves and others safe was to stay home, so we had to figure out how to live our lives without leaving our front doors. And a new technology emerged from it. We now can work, attend school, have medical appointments, and do many other things completely online. While it was possible to socialize online before, everything else had to be in person up until the pandemic began. Even though this type of technology technically emerged last year, it became even more part of our society in 2021.