Millennials to finally take a break from social media: Telenor Research

  • Flight mode will be used more frequently and it may become trendy to leave certain social media platforms all together
  • Transparency on AI needed

Millennials to finally take a break from social media: Telenor Research

AFTER spending an increasing proportion of their time on social media apps, millennials are expected to finally take a break from social media -- this was one of the five trends identified by Telenor Research in a report on Jan 24.

The report, entitled "Telenor Research on Tech Trends 2017: On the verge of social media fatigue?", highlighted that the world may see a "counter-reaction" on social media this year.

"Millennials spend an intcreasing proportion of their time on apps, and in particular social media. During 2017, we expect to see a counter-reaction. Young people long for breaks from the never ending social interaction and updates.

"Flight mode will be used more frequently and it may become trendy to leave certain social media platforms all together. Moreover, during 2016 we have observed how social media is being used as a vehicle for spreading "post-truth" entries," said Bjorn Taale Sandberg, head of Telenor Research. 

"We predict that users over time will be increasingly frustrated. This will accentuate the trend of social media fatigue."

According to a news report by Telegraph in 2015, citing findings from GWI, an average person has five social media accounts and spends around one hour and 40 minutes browsing these networks every day. This also accounts for 28% of the total time spent on the Internet.  

Besides predicting the social media fatigue, Telenor Research also shared its thoughts on some of the possible trends in 2017. 

Millennials to finally take a break from social media: Telenor Research

Keeping AI ethical

According to Telenor Research, applications using Artificial Intelligence technology are increasingly common. 

"It will soon be difficult to imagine a ‘dumb’ digital service, one that does not tailor itself to your needs and preferences or takes into consideration the specific context in which the service is used," said Sandberg. 

Today, the main driver of AI is data and the selection of data. It is also hard to explain exactly why an AI built using today's cutting edge technology makes the recommendations it does. 

"We thus have the challenge with transparency should these systems be deployed in areas where justification is important -- e.g. criminal justice or selecting students for college," he said.

"The combination of biases in data and difficulty in explaining why an AI proposes what it does, will become an increasingly important problem to tackle. Add to that the understood need to protect user data to maintain customer's privacy, and the 'Ethics of AI' will soar as a trend for 2017," said Sandberg.


All rise for IoT

From sensor technologies, IoT service delivery platforms and services themselves, to radically new business models, 2017 will be a landmark of innovations within the IoT ecosystem. It also will shape the way businesses, consumers and governments interact in the physical world across multiple sectors, such as manufacturing, the connected home, transportation, utilities and agriculture.

Worldwide IoT spending is forecast to grow from US$737 billion in 2016 to US$1.29 trillion in 2020, with Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) seeing the greatest IoT spending, followed by the US, Western Europe, and Japan.

"'IoT as a service' will form a basis for many new and exciting IoT applications and drive open innovation through APIs to pull the developers. Online marketplaces, app stores and user forms will be the 'places' to show off new IoT solutions," he said.


Chatbots + customers = BFFs   

Millennials to finally take a break from social media: Telenor ResearchTelenor Research believes that the world will see increased experimentation with computer programs able to carry out a meaningful conversation. Chatbots —or artificial intelligence interacting with humans - will be used increasingly often to serve customers online. 

Messaging app LINE recently announced plans to invest in AI and chatbots to prepare for an eventual global marketplace dominated by a small number of messaging platforms.

"Initially, the chatbots will be text-only, but augmenting with speech to text capabilities will disrupt the customer support process in many Asian countries. 

"The ultimate chat bot can carry out an intelligent and meaningful conversation with a human, without disclosing that the chat bot is artificial," said Sandberg (pic right).

He added that the technology can be useful to companies that provide customer support. 

"Today, more and more of this support is given through digital channels such as email, SMS, chats and Facebook. This is an opportunity tailor-made for chatbots, and using chatbots is potentially of great value. 

"This is a viable and tangible application of artificial intelligence algorithms, and in 2017, we expect to see important, preliminary steps on this journey. Specifically, chatbots will have impact on the modern telco in the way customer support is carried out," he added.


5G: Testing 1, 2, 3

Telenor Research also said that 2017 will be a year of 5G trials. 

"This year, lots of them will take place, all claiming to test 5G technology as a step towards 5G’s commercial launch. 

"Some will focus on technology capabilities while others will focus on system aspects for vertical eco-systems and new market opportunities offered by 5G verticals. These could fall within sectors such as health, automotive, and energy," said Sandberg.

He added that new antenna types will also be tested, such as massive multiple output (MIMO) solutions. 

"For end-to-end networking, the softwarisation will continue being tested further on practical network slicing connected to 5G verticals. Network slicing is the logical allocation of network resources to enable flexible service operation supporting 5G verticals," he said.

The first parts of the 5G standards worked at 3GPP will appear in 2018, and the full 5G standard will appear in 2020. 

Asia Pacific will be the second fastest growing region for 5G subscriptions, with 10% of all subscriptions being 5G in 2022, while China recently announced that it will start commercial use of 5G in 2020.


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