The age group dominating the conversation varies across continents. Older age groups are more active in North America and Europe, while younger voices dominate in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Authorship is mostly male, academic and North America based, particularly for hype topics like quantum computing or quantum cryptography. Social implication topics tend to be from female authors, who are underrepresented globally but strongly overrepresented in Asia. Younger voices are dominating the discussion around Collective intelligence and augmented reality.
Sentiment towards these technologies tends to vary depending on the forum of discussion, with discussions on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram more negative than long-form forums. Discussions vary across continents, but with positive sentiment centred around supporting infrastructure and new technology rather than implementation.
For AI, discussions differ depending on how it is being used. Authors become more sceptical when it comes to obvious collaboration between humans and technology — for example, if AI provides instructions that could determine human behaviour, some concerns around liability emerge.
Within the sentiment analysis clouds below each node represents one article and the linkages between dots show relations between topics in the analysed data.
Positive sentiment is centered around:
- The quantum revolution, with emerging applications of quantum technology, and its potential to change the world in a positive way.
- Quantum-safe cryptography may be among the technologies closest to realisation and offers a route to highly desired increase in security.
- The potential of biocomputing (mainly DNA computing) and its expected performance.
- Neuromorphic computing as an enabler for AI use-cases in demanding environments.
- The accelerating deployment of 5G, which offers never-seen use cases for augmented reality and combining edge-computing and AI-analytics.
- AI and AR enhanced hardware and business solutions, which will result in remote industrial working or cutting edge image analysis and computer vision.
Neutral/mixed sentiment is centered around:
- The companies achieving quantum supremacy — though they are being applauded, they are also criticised for sharing premature results.
- The impact of AI on the future of work. This is a polarised discussion, based on whether AI will augment humans, replace cumbersome work, or replace humans entirely.
- The tipping point in AI, when the technology will irrevocably change its role for society: it contains scenarios ranging from Armageddon to superhumans.
- Use cases of AI in forecasting, decision-making in policy, and military applications. These have led to research and development grants, and concerns over regulation.
- AI-directed decisions, with concerns around liability.
Negative sentiment is centered around:
- Emerging cyber-threats if standard encryption protocols become crackable through quantum algorithms.
- AI entering areas of life, such as automated credit scoring, where ethical questions arise due to built-in AI biases.
- Emerging military applications, such as hostile AI and biological weapons. These are viewed very critically.