Significant advances in technology and shifts in economies and culture are bringing about a new age of intelligent tools that are aware, can make sense of their surroundings, and are socially cognizant of the people who are using them.
Sentient tools are the next step in the development of computational systems, Smart Cities and environments, autonomous systems, artificial intelligence (AI), Big Data and data mining, and an interconnected system in the Internet of Things (IoT). These tools are “what comes next” and emerge from a base of computational, sensing, and communications technologies that have been advancing over the last 50 years.
The "awareness" of these sentient tools is not comparable to a human level of consciousness. They are not meant to mimic, mirror, or replace human interaction. These tools are designed for specific physical and virtual tasks that could be vastly complex but are not meant to replace humans. Conversely, they are meant to work alongside the human labor force.
The rise of sentient tools will have a significant impact on the global work force and education, leaving practically no industry unaffected.