It is difficult to believe that the smartphone as we know it was only introduced into public consciousness one decade ago. While the popularity of cellphones had been increasing, it was the release of the first iPhone in 2007 that truly revolutionized the way in which phones are used on a daily basis.
The functionality of smartphones is increasing at an unprecedented rate. Only a few short decades ago, a cell phone was considered a nice way to stay in touch with the office or family members in case of emergency but it was far from being essential or even preferred. Today smartphones are inching closer to becoming necessary companions for those hoping to traverse a digitally connected landscape.
Artificial intelligence is a loaded term in the field of computer science. The technical definition lies somewhere between the branch of computer science that specializes in creating a simulation of human behavior within the programming of a computer and a machine that is truly able to imitate human behavior an intelligent manner. Perhaps there should be a third definition.
Our smartphones are our own personal version of artificial intelligence. It is where a large portion of the population stores their memories in the form of images, videos, random ponderings posted on blogs and various social media platforms, and even our dreams and shopping lists. Websites such as Pinterest, Evernote, and Dropbox are all different formats for literally storing those things we wish to remember.
They are also one of the most popular formats for increasing our own intelligence. Online education has taken off in the past decade in both formal academic settings and informal courses offered by experts in a staggering number of specialties.
Our banking, correspondence, love connections, fast food orders, and entertainment can all be controlled with a tap of a screen. It is no wonder then that protecting these devices has become so important. Bodyguardz for iPhone 6 and other similar protective cases act as the skull of our digital brain, protecting it from bumps, falls, and accidental damage incurred throughout the course of daily life.
Not only have smartphones become a necessity to simply keep track of our daily lives as our own personal external memory device, they have also become our constant companions. Instead of spending time with friends in person or going out on dates with new suitors, people are slowly transitioning to social interactions that are entirely online.
Studies have revealed that nearly half of people check their smartphone before they go to bed and as soon as they wake up. This space was once reserved for those who were our closest companions. Thirty years ago it never would have occurred to someone to check their telephone, or even their computer, before getting out of bed. Now, it is rapidly becoming the dominant trend of an entire generation.
Of those surveyed, 10 percent reported waking in the middle of the night and checking their phone. This implies a deep connection to one’s digital companion that is only projected to grow over time or perhaps a deepening reliance on those with whom the device connects us to. The survey indicated that 62 percent of respondents checked their email or social media accounts as soon as they opened their device.
As the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the iPhone approaches, speculation has already begun about what innovations the next decade will bring in the field of smartphones. It is expected that voice commands will begin to dominate the field soon as voice recognition and machine learning continue to evolve at a rapid rate. It is possible that at some point one will be able to simply speak to a smartphone as though it was another person in the room. Wait, that’s already a reality.
What else is left? The artificial intelligence of our smartphones is likely to grow to the point that they truly do begin to feel like our ever-present personal companion and assistant. Banks have begun to experiment with making apps that replace debit cards and many credit cards and stores already allow for services to be paid for with our digital wallet. At some point, in the not too distant future, our phones may become literal necessities.