2019 Technology Trends and Our Sci-Fi Future
The technology trends over the past few years have been quite revolutionary. We have advanced to the sci-fi future that our ancestors had only dreamt of and never thought would come true. Today most devices in the home are smartphone enabled and controlled, from refrigerators to thermostats. We are seeing child-sized robots being tested in classrooms as teaching assistants and the rise in popularity of cryptocurrencies. Many of the technological advancements that are currently hot topics have been subtly transforming our culture over the past few decades. They have intelligently advanced to the point of having broad applications. For example, artificial intelligence (AI) is the reason for self-driving cars, text-to-speech features in smartphones and predictive analysis. To predict the future trends and determine which technologies to expect in the market soon, it is important to examine the past occurrences. Let’s look at the trends that could build all our impossible dreams.
Many people have come to learn about AI from science-fiction movies and yet don’t realize they’ve been personally using it for several years (e.g. smartphones, Google Search). Combining several technologies and techniques, AI enables applications or machines to process and learn from external input and then deliver the appropriate responses or actions. In 2018, the technology trend that was most popular within AI was Narrow AI (or weak AI), which consists of machine learning (ML) solutions that perform a single task. Narrow AI is also good at finding patterns and correlations in large amounts of data. It is called Narrow AI because it can’t naturally process and understand info like a human can. Strong AI (or general AI) would have the human ability to naturally process info but is not thus far available. On the whole, AI will have more uses as the technologies and techniques continue to advance. Business success can be achieved with AI by focusing on the many benefits that it can bring to the business.
Intelligent Applications and Analytics
Having the most promising impact on a business’s success, intelligent applications and analytics incorporate AI to process historical and new data from different sources in real time. They also improve the user’s experience and can be customized. In the workplace, they reduce the input or steps required for processes and services in terms of expertise and staff. In the next generation of advanced AI technologies and techniques, automated customer-care services, advanced analytics applications and intelligent language translators are expected to be even better than they are now. Designed to augment employee roles and ensure customer service excellence, intelligent applications and analytics are not meant to replace people in the workplace but to make them be more productive.
Self-driving cars and robot vacuum cleaners are examples of intelligent things. They are physical devices that use IA and ML to perform their tasks autonomously via the incorporation of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and sensors. Intelligent things make our lives more efficient with their online capabilities, and in some cases, safer. As the next wave of advanced AI technologies approaches, expect devices to be better and more intelligent than their predecessors. The next wave will ensure that farm tools, vacuum cleaners and even military equipment work will beyond simple sensors. They will have the capability to visualize and make judgment calls from the data they collect when performing their required tasks, and some devices will be able to collaborate with each other.
Cloud to the Edge
With growing popularity, edge computing can be defined as an in-cloud computing feature that enables the collecting, processing and delivery of data nearer to the source of the information. Because it is decentralized, edge computing can improve a network’s efficiency while still adhering to security and compliance requirements. Also, it is not affected by intermittent connectivity, which means devices continue to operate without disruption. With decreasing costs for sensors and processors, edge-specific networking and colocation are expected to become more common as more devices become intelligent and online. A big bonus for businesses is they won’t need to invest in new expensive equipment because edge computing easily connects legacy instruments with today’s smart instruments. Early adopters include GE, Microsoft, Amazon and Google.
Almost three decades after its inception, blockchain has become very popular because of its use in cryptocurrency. It allows parties to exchange confidential data and information across networks easily and securely through a decentralized system. Even though most of the utilization of blockchain is with cryptocurrencies, it can be implemented in other areas too. While the protocol is still in the early development stages, the billions exchanged in cryptocurrencies have proven that it is ready for other applications. Most recently, the City of Denver, CO announced a pilot program for a smartphone app using blockchain encryption to give military and overseas voters an easy and secure way to vote.
Many of us already incorporate the basics of biohacking into our lives–such as biofeedback, DNA testing for health risks, and wearable devices to track our vitals–to help us proactively improve our wellbeing. However, on the extreme end of biohacking is DIYbio. These are do-it-yourself (DIY) biologists who apply biohacking’s systems-thinking approach to the human body via self-experimentation with new or existing technologies outside of the regulated medical/health industry. The goal is to hasten the discoveries that will lead us to the optimal versions of ourselves. These experiments could be for medical/health advancements or for body modifications using implanted devices to simplify our complicated world or enhance our sensory perceptions. Though DIYbio is a sensitive topic, biohacking overall has generated new viable uses of technology. It has greatly helped with human health and healthcare, and shows no signs of stopping.
The future of technology is very bright. Whether you need to run an operation-intensive enterprise or only perform simple functions, it is clear that the technologies will continue to advance into the year 2019 and the years to come–and most of the ideas that were once fantasies will come true.
Contact the team at Ascendum to explore next-gen technologies that will take your business into the future.