What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
Earlier this year, the huge consumer tech expo CES 2017 took place in Las Vegas. It prompted the usual annual raft of articles identifying the main tech trends that can be discerned for the year ahead.
Rhodri Davies, with Giving Thought, identified four of the key tech trends for 2017 identified by the experts and their possible impact on philanthropy. Read his initial reactions below and visit Giving Thought for links to additional resources and articles.
- Blockchain. Perhaps not as big a part of CES 2017 as some other trends, because it is more of an infrastructure technology, but still a given on most expert’s lists of major tech trends for this year.
- The Internet of Things. This is definitely a big one for CES 2017: every object there seems to be smart in some way, up to an including a toothbrush.
- AI (artificial intelligence). AI is obviously strongly linked to the IoT. But there are wider applications of AI, including things like the growing prevalence of algorithms and the rise of chatbots. We have touched on this issue in various places, and examined in one particular blog the question of whether a Google-style deep learning algorithm could be developed for philanthropy.
- Augmented/Virtual Reality. Another biggie for 2017. My initial sense is that the technology is incredible for the price, but that it is clearly in its infancy.
We have explored the opportunities and challenges that AR/VR might bring for charities and philanthropy, and also the specific question of whether they might exacerbate the ‘filter bubble’ effect and hence lead to further social isolation and division.
That is a snapshot of some of our thinking to date. The impact of technology on philanthropy and the work of charities is one of the key areas of focus of CAF’s Giving Thought think tank, so we will continue to explore these technologies as well as others over the coming months and years.