Tech is constantly changing and evolving, and the pace seems to pick up year after year. Big data, cloud computing, virtual and augmented realities, and artificial intelligence and machine learning have all been big trends in years past. Which trends should you be keeping an eye on in 2018?
1. Machine Learning and AI
Over the last five years, machine learning has been rapidly developing. Montreal has turned into a global hotspot for AI and machine learning. Chatbots populate websites.
There’s been plenty of excitement about these advances, at least within tech circles. It’s only been in the last year or so that the general public has really seemed to become aware of just how advanced these technologies are. As machine learning and AI continue to improve, they will become more common and more useful.
At some point, AI and machine learning will begin causing a social shift. AI processors are now being embedded into consumer devices, so the shift could be coming sooner than you think. Keep an eye on how this sector is progressing.
2. Augmented Reality Becomes More Commonplace
Augmented reality is perhaps more common than you think. Less immersive than virtual reality, augmented reality “enhances” reality. Things like Snapchat filters and online tools to visualize how a new piece of furniture will look in your living room are examples of augmented reality.
AR is everywhere, but few people have noticed it. It’s about to become even more common, as both Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS have added new AR capabilities. With the potential for millions of devices to adopt these new technologies within the next 12 months, you can bet AR isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
3. Chatting with Chatbots
If you’ve visited a company website in the last few months, you may have had your visit punctuated by the opening of a chat. A bell chime and a quick welcome message pop up in the corner of your screen, telling you to ask any questions you have.
While they may have names and pictures, these are often chatbots. Many companies are already onboard with this AI tech, and many more will adopt it in 2018. Not only will they become more common, but chatbots will also get chattier. As AI continues to improve, the bots’ ability to answer questions and engage in natural human speech will also improve.
If you haven’t chatted with a bot just yet, don’t worry. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to test this up-and-coming technology soon.
4. Security Concerns
The discovery of the Meltdown and Spectre chip flaws, which affect virtually every device produced since 1995, put security concerns back on the map in a huge way. While there’s hope these two flaws will be addressed soon, it’s almost inevitable some users will remain vulnerable.
A series of high-profile breaches and ongoing scandals related to cybersecurity have also made people sit up and take notice. It’s time security became a larger priority for more companies. Identity theft and fraud have been on the rise for years. Is it finally time to fight back?
Speculation in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin and heightened security concerns have combined to put blockchain on the map early in 2018. Although the technology has been around for a while, it’s only been in the last few months it’s really caused a stir.
Essentially, blockchain uses advanced cryptography to allow businesses to share access to information with people they don’t completely trust. Expect blockchain to evolve even more security features as businesses and customers alike demand better protection.
These are just a few of the exciting developments in the world of tech in the first few months of 2018. What else will the year hold? Only time will tell.