The importance of building an awareness around current IT trends

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(File photo: Jordan News)
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Jean-Claude Elias

The writer is a computer engineer and a classically trained pianist and guitarist. He has been regularly writing IT articles, reviewing music albums, and covering concerts for more than 30 years.

Information technology is driving the world. There is no doubt about it. Being aware of the current trends in this leading, critical domain, is not only interesting, it also may help us to better live alongside it, and cope with its progression, as it will progress into all aspects of daily life.اضافة اعلان

Though it is not the only trend, AI, understandably, is the most obvious and spectacular one. In less than nine months, and since the beginning of this year, AI has moved from an eye-opening curiosity to tools we started using in a practical, tangible, daily manners. If ChatGPT is the most publicized one and probably the first to hit the big time, AI has been injected and applied in many a system. Microsoft AI and Google AI – as expected - are other important players in the game, and not minor ones, of course.

From automatically designing websites or commercial logos, to coming up with a catchy, creative name for your new company, monitoring forests with intelligent cameras for the early detection and warning of fires, drafting the ideal CV, or simply fueling chatbots – not to mention doing students homework - AI is here. For good.

Alongside AI are the ever-expanding online digital services. Almost two years after the Covid crisis - the event that contributed to pushing it to new heights - the trend goes unabated to moving online every single service that can be digitized and managed remotely.

In terms of time, effort and transportation cost saved, with the consequential positive impact on the environment and on the human stress factor, online remote services are invaluable. Some will inevitably criticize the de-humanizing aspect of “doing everything remotely”; and they may be right, in principle. But today we are past this kind of debate. The advantages of doing it remotely outweigh the downsides, and by far. Hence it is essential to understand these trends in order to adapt them to be more practical and better live alongside digital life.

Digitization of public infrastructure
Jordan is among the countries that are implementing this change faster and better than most other countries in the world. Sanad mobile application, managed by The Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship (MODEE), offers a significant number of government digital services to the citizen.

In addition to civil status identification or health documents, among others, one can even order a passport online. Just last week, MODEE added a service to Sanad that lets departing travelers obtain an international driving license at MODEE’s office at Queen Alia International airport, before boarding their flight. The whole process takes less than five minutes.

Digitization of personal space/memory
Another noticeable trend is the usage of cloud storage for personal use. The history of this tool is interesting. Whereas most users believe that it started about 10 or 15 years ago, the concept was actually introduced as early as in the 1970s by scientist Dr. Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider. Back then it was only theoretical. The first applications came circa 1990 and remained confined to the professional community. But indeed, the wide public was given the possibility to make use of this storage over recent years only.

What is inspiring today with personal cloud storage, is that apart from old timers like Google Drive, Dropbox, Apple iCloud and Microsoft OneDrive, the massive, global use of the feature has generated a number of similar services that offer interesting alternatives to the big ones, and that often propose free storage of up to 20 and even 50 GB in some cases. This is more than enough for most users.

Mega for example, based in Australia, is one of these relatively new cloud services. It is fast, technically reliable, and you can trust it with your personal data. It has an excellent reputation when it comes to data integrity and privacy. Sync is another similar service, but contrary to Mega, it does not seem to have any free plan to offer to its users.

At enterprise level, cloud servers are becoming the norm, and understandably, their use goes well beyond mere data and files storage. It extends to full processing and software handling.

Jean-Claude Elias is a computer engineer and a classically trained pianist and guitarist. He has been regularly writing IT articles, reviewing music albums, and covering concerts for more than 30 years.

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