In the modern world, software is often taken for granted even as it’s used in everyday life for highly important and sophisticated tasks. That should be taken in a literal sense; software can and is used for everything, and that includes the mundane and rare. Most tasks are often only possible due to the amazing software that can be found in everyday households. You are even using software to read this right now!
The creation of said software is another matter entirely. It takes highly-trained specialists to create good, useful software and a large amount of money in research and development. For this reason, those that are seeking software made for their businesses or personal use tend to go to companies that specialize in the development of software. This is the reason that software companies are seeing tremendous growth and their stock prices tend to reflect that. Look at a PLTR stock forecast to see for yourself.
That being said, there are also other methods for creating software such as Open Source software. This is software that, unlike proprietary software, has its code open for modifications by users. This is done in hopes of having a collective attempt to boost software development.
Mainly, software is used to make life more convenient. For example, software is used in operating devices for both personal computers and smartphones. Applications can be used to contact others, take a picture, or display navigation data for driving in the form of GPS. On the opposite spectrum, software can be used to operate advanced medical machines, run the energy levels of nuclear plants, and even pilot an airplane. The uses of software are as varied as they are difficult to develop. Some even use software to understand where and when to dispatch taxis before they are even needed. This is a rather special property of software that, when combined with a strong AI, can even be used to accurately predict future patterns based on previous data gathered.
Knowing that software is used for everything is a good start to understanding the value that software has in the modern world. For instance, Amazon, one of the biggest companies in the world, makes over 70% of its profit from its software business. We are talking about billions of dollars in profit from a single company alone that can be attributed to the success of software. It is misleading to say that software has facilitated everyday life; it does little justice to the true influence it has on society. Software has changed how we do everything.
A perfect example of this is how software can change the way that law enforcement can track criminals. Not too long ago, it used to be that eyewitnesses had to be used to create a description that would be used as a baseline for officers to look out for. If the crime occurred in a place that had a form of CCTV, then a digital image could then be used as a reference to keep an eye out for, and while this worked, it wasn’t the best method to look for criminals.
Enter AWS Rekognition, Amazon’s facial recognition AI. It has been used to catch a not-insignificant amount of criminals to this day. Once Rekognition has a facial match, it is very easy to look through the vast pictures on the internet for a match. Furthermore, it is also possible to have another CCTV camera flag the appearance of a match at a later time.
Software will continue to become more useful and important in human society as it begins to take the responsibility off of humans as they interact with the world. That might sound disheartening to some, but its software can and does save lives every day. Consider something like this—38,000 people die every year in the US due to car crashes, but software that allows cars to drive themselves would be able to reduce the amount of human error that is the main source of this particular problem. With all that being said, software definitely deserves much more praise than it gets.