Technology is an ever-evolving animal, and 2017 was a big year for intelligence. We saw more and more businesses focus on moving the bulk of the companies to the cloud. We also saw an increased number of organizations adopt big data in their operations, and finally, we saw more self-driving cars on roads as the year closed out. Other trends that dominated include machine learning and increased activity in the internet of things space (smart speakers such as the Amazon Echo played a huge role here). That’s why this year we expected to see an exponential change in all fields of technology. 2018 promised even more significant evolution, here is our top of trends that are making the biggest splash this year.
The most significant piece of news that has the potential for substantial impact in this area is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This regulation in EU law that aims at protecting EU citizens’ data. The regulation was adopted on 27th April 2016 but came into force on 25th of May with substantial fines set for noncompliance. This, therefore, means that companies operating in the EU have to find ways of complying while remaining profitable. If you want to know what we’ve changed in our corporate processes, follow the link. Other areas of legislation with similar potential include changes and pending cases at the FTC as well as federal cases on data security before the Supreme Court (the United States vs. Microsoft being one) in the US.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Despite the significant innovations of 2017 in this space, there is still quite a lot to be done. One major area of development will be self-driving cars. There has been significant progress made thus far, but the accidents and resulting controversies show that this idea requires some refining before we can all give up our driver’s licenses. We also expect to see increased activity in the automatic construction and tuning of AI models. Google launched AutoML (machine learning products that allow developers to train top-notch models) last year and since then there has been a spike in interest for constructing models. We might also see AI integrated into healthcare as AI chatbot apps are used to diagnose and provide advice on health conditions.
Virtual Reality (VR) was all the rage at the beginning of last year, but interest in the technology waned as the year proceeded. However, that is all set to change, and we expect to see a renewed enthusiasm in the field after VR giants Oculus launched their cheaper Oculus Go headset earlier this month. AR/VR is mainly used in gaming, but an alternative application that is fast gaining traction is in medical science. Psychologists have recently found VR to be effective in treating post-traumatic stress disorder. VR could also be used to virtually recreate patients’ internal organs which would greatly aid surgeons in planning difficult surgeries.
There were many high profile cyber attacks in 2017, highlighted by the particularly nasty Wannacry attack, which leads us to ask what does 2018 hold in store for us? We expect to see more Internet of Things (IoT) related attacks as this technology gains popularity. There will also be more Ransomware attacks after Wannacry established the high probability of success in such attacks. Finally, we expect to see AI employed in cyber-attacks seeing as how AI is becoming more ubiquitous as time goes by.
Other trends that didn’t make it to our list but deserve an honorable mention include increased activity in online shopping, innovations in data security and finally, significant strides in quantum computing.