Are we reaching a standstill
or is our life just getting complicated?
Several months ago, a thought came in my mind that it has been a long time we are not receiving any revolutionary change in the field of computer technology. Actually, the word ‘revolutionary’ is debatable. By this, I meant modern mobile operating systems like android and iOS which was inaugurated in probably 2007–08. Many may argue that many revolutionary things are developed with the huge advancement in artificial Intelligence after that. But I actually considered them as ‘development’ not something ‘revolutionary’. The logic behind this I’ve thought as correct is that things like self-driving cars is still far from their popularization in the middle class people of a third world country. Perhaps the smartphones with android is the last thing that reached among the mass people all around the world. So, a question came in my mind — are we gradually moving towards a standstill or has the curve of revolution has become much milder than before? I decided to search for the answer and for last few months, I went through hundreds of websites, youtube videos, forums to gain some knowledge on what is actually happening in computer science fields and how the software systems are affected by it; how much easier or tougher future is becoming for the computer scientists and engineers; what things should or should not be like they’re proceeding currently. Here everything can be arguable. Whatever I have stated here is from the view of a tech geek student who is currently pursuing undergraduate in Computer Science & Engineering in a renowned university of his country and has tried a lot to learn about this field from his academics and the online resources.
Recently I had to choose a real world system and had to find and design solutions on that for an academic course in my university. While working for that, these questions piped in my mind again as I could rarely find a system with a problem that doesn’t have corresponding software based solution for that. That was obvious as there exist nearly 5.7 million apps in leading app stores and more than 1 billion websites in World Wide Web today. So, it’s become common that you’ll target a problem and later find that, “there’s already an app/website for that”.
Now, many can say that much mores are to be created and more than that needs further development. But, it’s also true that many frameworks, CMS (Content Management System), API’s are also created. Once one needed to hire a developer just for making a personal blog. But with the help of CMS like Wordpress, Joomla, Wix etc. one can make a nice website easily. Though delegate developing may need a developer, but that task is again replaced by various plugins and themes available. One may say that building these tools needs more programmers, but the more developing is occurring in a way so that one doesn’t need the help of a programmer to make apps, websites. Obviously, one can gain profit by making more advanced tools and market it. But, marketing is not that easy here as huge number of free open source software are available which satisfies the consumer’s basic (sometimes more than that) need. So, it is practical that consumers won’t pay for your software unless you serve much more than the open source alternatives do.
So, here the task of developers has increased a lot. They need to add a lot more functionality in their software .Problem arrives here, too. While making this software, they get a lot of options in front of them. There are nearly 256 programming languages and thousands of frameworks built on them. They need to go through many of them to know which one will suit his working environment most.
So, if we are not to admit that we are reaching a standstill, we may say that a little applications with artificial intelligence is done and the applications with A.I. functionality is yet to be developed more. There are some apps recently developed with successful A.I. techniques and gained huge popularity. But as newer applications are coming, building apps with up-to-date A.I. techniques will be great challenge for programmers.
Now, let’s explore the research sector. As the business demands are increasing in the field of A.I., more research are getting funding and promotions in these field. Already, Data Science is considered as the sexiest topic for getting job in current era. And so, with the upraise of number of CS students, more and more people are entering these field. More and more research in both theoretical and application side of machine Learning(ML) are taking place. I tried a lot to get the detail statistics about the development in machine learning field (how much papers are published on it each year, when the last basic ML algorithm was developed etc.), but unfortunately failed. Many says the recent progress has not involved any major new conceptual breakthroughs remarking that theoretical development of ML is on the way to its saturation and only application part is remaining and obviously progress in application side grows very fast. Again, many says ML is far from its standstill and there is still many things to do. But all are making predictions, there is no statistics driven data that how much a topic will be in the hot seat and how its future can be.
But what about other fields of CS? The comparatively old ones like Computer Architecture, Language theories, Operating Systems, Database, Networking and also the upcoming or newer ones like Cloud Computing, Internet of Things(IoT), Quantum Computing, Genome Computing ?I’ll discuss more detail on them that what I’ve found about them studying the internet in the next parts of the story.
(To be Continued…………)