Top Tech Trends Debate 2019

Nina Muhleisen | 4 September 2019


Last night I was lucky enough to be invited back to moderate the Top Tech Trends debate for the Churchill club!

As always it was a fun and engaging night with some of the best minds talking about what they believe to be the next big thing in tech. Now there are two criteria that the trends have to live up to – it has to not already be known to us today and it must have an explosive impact in the next 3-5 years.

The trends this year were brilliant, with an overall agreeable panel. The four trends that we heard about were :

1. Troy McCann – A new space for commerce.

Many existing industries will directly use space as a location for commercial activity.

2. Charmaine Green – Imagination: the future of game development in Australia.

The rise of cloud gaming is driving unprecedented demand for creative developer talent. Where will these makers thrive? In economies that can supply a mix of technical expertise and creative imagination – a market Australia could well dominate.

3. Dave King – Future of Creativity.

Creativity may well be the greatest of all ambitions for artificial intelligence. But rather than teaching an AI to be creative, the opportunity for it to augment our own capability is immense. Many of us will soon rely on a creative AI sidekick to help us think critically, invent and solve important problems.

4. J.J. Hastings – Biology as we’ve never seen before.

The rapidly accelerating market for synthetic biology, with an estimated global valuation of around USD $14 billion by 2026, is able to produce fast, efficient, and customisable materials through biomanufacturing. Thus far, the approach has been to appropriate and optimise the production of biological materials and circuitry from existing organisms. In future, the exponential power of machine learning, coupled with computer-aided design, will lead to an entirely new array of advanced materials that have not yet ever existed before on Earth.

All of the trends were engaging, the idea of building things in space that are not happening here today and the fact that this is already happening. Was captivating. I mean who isn’t interested in the big wide world of space. The panel questioned whether this could be completed within the 3-5 year time frame.

Now gaming definitely isn’t my strength, but Charmaine made some excellent points bringing in an inclusive tribe mentality, the idea that we are all looking for an escape and that we have the resources and creativity to make Australia the next best thing! However, the panel questioned whether we really did and with our slow NBN if this was enough, as we were already getting overtaken by other countries.

Having an AI sidekick to help with creativity, to bounce ideas off. Seemed to get the crowd excited! Someone who could take your thoughts and notes and synthesis them back to you. With technology that was already progressing in AI and natural voice language capabilities that are already better than what we are comfortable with, raised the issues of will we ever be comfortable with it and will privacy laws be able to keep up within that time frame!

Finally, JJ blew us out of the water with her energy. Bringing together synthetic biology and AI, helping to create spider webs without spiders and designer silk without the worms. We are on a path to being able to create fashion, food and function at greater efficiencies and pace than ever before! We are already seeing designers adopt this technology with a new range from Stella McCartney. We are on the path and it has a great outcome for our society

With that, it was a clear winner to JJ and Biology as we have never seen it before.

With a great deck for drinks, amazing Melbourne spring weather and excellent networking to top off the night it was pretty much a great night.

Thank you again to everyone involved for a great night.