6 tech predictions for the future public sector

Artificial intelligence and sensor technologies dominate trends for the next five years.

A machine could be your boss or assistant; your employer could be digitally tracking your stress level; and your building could be hacked. These are some of the scenarios that technology research firm Gartner has predicted for the next five years. Here are 6 ways in which the research company believes that artificial intelligence and sensors may affect the public sector: 1. Your boss might be a robot 3 million employees may be supervised by machines by 2018. Supervisors now monitor their teams’ work through numbers that are tied to output and citizen evaluation. This can be done better and faster by artificial intelligence machines that can be tuned to learn through incentives. 2. Wearables will monitor the safety of police and firefighters People in dangerous or physically demanding jobs could be required to wear devices that can track their heart rate, breathing and even stress levels. Employers will make this mandatory for two million people by 2018. Emergency responders like police, firefighters and paramedics will make up the largest group of these people. 3. Virtual assistants will do more for you Virtual personal assistants will be able to predict their users’ needs, build their trust, and even act autonomously on behalf of them, the research company claims. 40% of transactions on mobiles could involve virtual assistants by 2020. 4. Smart buildings will need better security Whole buildings could plunge into darkness and digital signs could be defaced. 20% of smart buildings will have suffered such “digital vandalism” by the end of 2018. These products will have to be better integrated with security monitoring and management systems, Gartner says. 5. Users of cloud services should be careful In the next five years, 95% of security lapses in cloud products will be caused by their users, rather than the provider, according to Gartner. Naive users can easily cause widespread security failures, it said. Companies with over 1000 people using cloud services will have to use software to monitor their access. 6. Financial transactions will be fully automated Autonomous software will be able to make transactions for government agencies, banks, insurance companies, stock markets, crowdfunding, and “virtually all other types of financial instruments”, said Gartner. By 2020, 5% of financial transactions will involve software that we have no control over.