How software makes our lives easier
You'll be amazed how much software does for you
We live in an age unlike any before. This digital age has allowed us to endure, propagate and learn far faster than predicted. As of now, the culmination of all human knowledge is said to double every 12 hours. Though this figure should be taken with a grain of salt perhaps, it is definitely beyond the linear growth that Buckminster Fuller predicted. In this article, we will take a look at software’s role in our lives and how it could shape our future.
What is software
Software is a catch-all term for computer programs. Fundamentally, software is a set of instructions or programs that tell a computer to perform specific tasks. It is most commonly broken down into the following 3 categories.
1. System Software - The foundation for application software is system software. It typically comes preinstalled with the device and governs its fundamental operations. Operating Systems, device drivers, utilities, text editors and compilers that improve computer performance are all considered to be system software. Additionally, it is in charge of maintaining hardware elements and offering essential, non-task-specific operations.
2. Programming Software - Programming software, also known as software development tools, is a program or collection of programs that provides developers with tools such as linkers, debuggers, and text editors to help them create, debug, and maintain other programs and applications.
3. Application software - Consumers most frequently associate the term "software" with this specific type of software. Application software is designed to perform specific tasks. It can handle a wide range of common and specialized tasks, such as accounting, communication, data processing and word processing. Application software can be a single program or a collection of smaller programs. Examples include database systems, games, and office suites.
How does software affect our lives?
In this digital age, you would be hard pressed to get very far into your day without running into software. In fact, the majority of us rely on software to get us up and get the day started. When your alarm goes off in the morning, you've already started using the software. Next, you might be feeling drowsy and seek the liquid euphoria of a hot cup of coffee. Software heats the water to the ideal temperature and precisely fills the cup. Hungry? You’ll probably be going to the fridge that’s been diligently working while you slept to keep your food just cool enough to prevent it spoiling. Almost every household appliance and device you can think of is using software to make your life as stress-free as possible, affording you the time to be, well, you.
Software has become so prevalent in-fact that it is hard to imagine what a world completely devoid of it would even look like. While this may be a daunting or negative concept for some, software is, for all intents and purposes, a tool like any other. As a species we have always used tools to lessen our load which has given us the ability to focus our attention on development.
Change is a perpetual aspect of humanity. We better ourselves and, through that betterment, discover new tools and ways with which to better ourselves. In the digital age, software has become an integral part of that cycle and is likely to develop in a similar way. It is safe to assume continual growth in the fields of AI and Machine Learning. Gartner states that 37% of organisations have already implemented AI to some degree and Service Global Solutions estimates that, by 2025, 95% of customer interactions will be powered by AI.
As the Metaverse dawns, Extended Reality, a culmination of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality, will continue to gain traction as a major player. It is already a rapidly growing field with haptic suits already available for pre-order.
RPA, or robotic process automation, is the process of using AI/Bots to interact with a GUI by replicating the actions of a user. This is currently being used as workload relief as each RPA has its own virtual task and workspace. With further development in the field of AI as a given, it is also safe to assume that the applications of RPA will also grow in parallel. More advanced AI will result in more complex tasks being given to RPA, freeing up developers to focus on the more creative and innovative tasks.
Datafication, the process of turning everything in our lives into devices or software powered by data. It is currently being used in retail for better marketing campaigns and a deeper understanding of the target audience. In HR social media data can be used to make assessments of a prospective employee’s behaviour patterns thus making the personality test of the past redundant. In construction and production industries it is analyzed and used in order to make predictions of productivity, material usage and haulage times. As more parts of our lives become data, it is idealised that we will have a clearer, more accurate picture of humanity as a whole than we have ever had thus far.
Naturally with more data than ever before floating around in the ether, the efforts of cybersecurity will need to be redoubled. Developers are already looking for new and innovative ways to ensure that this data is safe and protected from anyone who might want to misuse it.
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