2018 became the Year of Intelligence: the advance of technological achievements has triggered exciting and unexpected trends with wider impact horizons and very promising business prospects. This year we expect drastic exponential changes in every technological direction. Machine learning and artificial intelligence will transform the entire industries, making way for virtual helpers and a myriad of cases for automatization.
The Internet of Things (IoT) will become more intelligent, uncovering a huge potential for smart homes and smart cities. A more efficient human-machine interaction will become established with the natural language replacing specific commands.
1. Artificial intelligence will reshape the business strategies
AI brings enormous changes to business operations, reshaping entire industries with the power of advanced technologies and software. Some companies now acknowledge the value of implementing the AI strategies for their business, and a major leap towards AI is on the way. Large companies with over 100,000 employees are more likely to implement the AI strategies, but for them, this process can be especially challenging.
Brave ideas that used to be hard to believe, are becoming real. The constant development of machine learning and AI technologies will make every business become data-driven, and every industry smarter. After years of background work on prototypes and ideas, the new solutions will be breathtaking. Virtual assistance for patients, computational drug discovery, and genetics research give a glimpse of the amazing use cases in medicine. Many more applications for automation, robotization, and data management in different industries will bring significant changes. Healthcare, construction, banking, finance, manufacturing — every existing industry will be reshaped.
Everyone is now talking about blockchain, a revolutionary decentralized technology that stores and exchanges data for crypto currencies. It forms a distributed database with a digital register of the transactions and contracts. Blockchain stores an ever-growing list of ordered records called blocks, each containing a timestamp and a link to the previous block.
Blockchain has impressive prospects in the field of digital transactions which will open new business opportunities in 2018.
This technology also uncovers many new possibilities with various applications in various other fields. Due to the growing role of social responsibility and security on the internet, the blockchain technologies are becoming increasingly relevant. In a system using blockchain, it is nearly impossible to forge any digital transactions, so the credibility of such systems will surely strengthen. This approach can become fundamental for disruptive digital business in enterprises and startups. Companies, previously operating offline, will be able to translate the processes into the digital environment completely.
Business needs to account for the blockchain risks and opportunities and analyze how this technology can influence the customer behavior. As the initial hype around blockchain in the financial services' industry will slow down, we will see many more potential use cases for the government, healthcare, manufacturing, and other industries. For example, blockchain strongly influences the intellectual property management and opens new insights in protection from copyright infringement. Some websites like Blockai, Pixsy, Mediachain, and Proof of Existence intend to apply the blockchain technology for this purpose.
3. New approaches to privacy and security are coming
The technological development boosts the importance of data, so hacking techniques become ever more progressive. The increase in numbers of devices connected to the internet creates more data but also makes it more vulnerable and less protected. IoT gadgets are getting more popular and widely used, yet they remain extremely insecure in terms of the data privacy.
Luckily, the solutions are achievable, and this year we will see great improvements in the data protection services. Machine learning will be the most significant security trend establishing a probabilistic, predictive approach to ensuring data security. Implementing techniques like behavioral analysis enables detecting and stopping an attack capable of bypassing the static protective systems. Blockchain brought our attention to a new technology called Zero Knowledge Proof.Another new approach to safety is known as CARTA (Continuous adaptive risk and trust assessment.
It is based on a continuous evaluation of the potential risks and the degree of trust, adapting to every situation. This applies to all business participants: from the company's developers to partners. Although our security is still vulnerable, there are promising solutions that can bring better privacy into our lives.
4. The Internet of Things will become intelligent
The intelligent things are everyday devices capable of smarter interactions with people and the environment. These things operate either semi-autonomously or autonomously in uncontrolled real-world conditions without the need for human intervention.
Intelligent things have been in a spotlight for several years, and with a continuous expansion and enhancement in 2018 they will influence another global trend — the Internet of Things.
A network of collaborative intelligent things will be created where multiple devices will work together developing IoT to its full potential. Connected to the global web and combined via wired and wireless communication channels, things will turn into a one big integrated system driving a major shift in the human-machine interaction. The fusion of artificial intelligence with the Internet of things brings about new amazing technologies to create smart homes and cities.
Nowadays, deep learning faces certain challenges associated with the data collection and the complexity of the computations. Innovations in hardware are now being developed to speed up the deep learning experiments, e.g. the new GPUs with a greater number of cores and a different form of architecture. According to Marc Edgar, a Senior Information Scientist at the GE Research, deep training will shorten the development time of software solutions from several months to several days within the next 3-5 years. This will improve the functional characteristics, increase productivity, and reduce product costs.
Currently, most large firms realize the importance of data collection and its influence on the business effectiveness. In the coming year, companies will start using even more data, and the success will depend on the ability to combine the disparate data.
The popularity of collecting data on specialized sensors like LIDAR is also on the rise. Integrating the existing systems with all types of client data into a single information pool will definitely be on trend. Startups will continue to create new methods for gathering and using data, further reducing the costs.
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