Are you someone who loves finding out about and trying all the latest tech tools? Or do you work in the tech sector, or perhaps even plan to change careers due to being let go during the COVID-19 pandemic fallout?

No matter your position, with so much of the world relying on technology, even more so recently due to the coronavirus, it pays to stay up to date on the latest industry trends. Here are some of the critical tech developments you need to know.

1. Artificial Intelligence

It has been a hot topic in movies for decades but now is when artificial intelligence (AI) is genuinely coming to life, so to speak, in the real world. As it stands, most of us already use AI in some form or another, such as through smartphone personal assistants, streaming services, navigation apps, smart home devices, and the like.

However, from now on, we’ll see AI built into increasing numbers of tech tools and operations. It will continue to be a significant trend because it affects so many elements of how we work, live, and play. Plus, there is still so much growth that can happen in the area.

If you’re thinking of a tech career, working in AI will provide many opportunities, in roles such as development, programming, testing, maintenance, and support. Plus, artificial intelligence also happens to be the driving force behind many of the other trends listed below, so the scope is almost unlimited.

One of the main areas where AI is having an impact right now is manufacturing. The increasing ability of machines to learn as well as act intelligently makes them perfect for things like driving down costs and protecting margins, analyzing data, giving recommendations on optimal cleaning and maintenance routines for equipment, spotting deviations from the standard in production lines, and a whole lot more.

2. Robots and Cobots

Robots have been rapidly growing in sophistication and scope over recent years, and soon we’ll see more machines taking over jobs previously completed by humans. Today, robots are handling everything from window cleaning and customer service to inventory management and even being involved in big sporting events.

Many people theorize that by the end of this decade, most workers with transaction-based jobs or businesses will be looking for a career change, as robots will be doing their tasks instead.

Also on the rise, though, is the “cobot.” This name is the shortened term for collaborative robots. While robots are more intelligent than ever and can perform many jobs without any human intervention, there are still many cases where it’s necessary to have robot colleagues work in conjunction with humans for maximum efficiency and accuracy.

Cobots assist people with work that may be too tedious, strenuous, or dangerous to handle independently. These machines are designed to learn on the job.

3. Cybersecurity and Resilience

When you think of technological trends, cybersecurity likely doesn’t come to mind straight away. However, while it may not be a new term, the need for security solutions, such as ransomware, antivirus protection, and other tools continue to grow and develop.

The ways they’re designed and rolled out do too. Businesses, organizations, and individuals face unprecedented new threats from hackers, so it’s ever more critical for all of us to mitigate risks and deal with threats.

Cybersecurity is evolving rapidly to keep up with how quickly cybercriminals are changing tactics and testing ever-more sophisticated ways of breaking into systems, stealing data, crashing networks, and locking owners out. As such, there’s also a growing need for cybersecurity professionals.

Career paths include jobs such as security engineers, ethical hackers, and other testers, and Chief Security Officers for businesses and other organizations.

4. Drones and Unmanned Aerial Machines

Drones and Unmanned Aerial Machines

In the last decade or so, drones and other unmanned aerial machines have changed how many military operations run. Plus, in recent years, we’ve seen the popularity of consumer drones grow. However, there’s set to be a surge in the use of these remotely or autonomously-piloted aircraft for a variety of tasks.

For example, the tech products are starting to factor into law enforcement, firefighting, search and rescue missions, transportation, and more. It’s likely that one of these days, we’ll even have passenger drones (think the Ubers of the future) to move us around.

Those are only some of the main trends in technology, having an impact at the moment. Keep an eye on developments in areas such as wearables and human augmentation, the internet of things, cloud and edge computing, digital twins, chatbots, and nanotech.