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The Big Technology Trends For 2018

With so many tech giants and startups already exploring the tech ecosystem, it is expected to grow with better use cases and inclusion in the year 2018

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2017 has been an exciting year as far as technology is concerned. Breakthrough inventions in mobility, healthcare, payments technology, computing have kept us on our toes. Whether it is the self-driving vehicles or the reversing of paralysis with brain implants or making payments with face recognition, all of them have been intriguing. Technology remained the driving force of various industries in 2017, be it in the form of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Big Analytics, IOT or Digitization. However, in this fast-paced modern world, technology is being redefined by the minute.

With so many tech giants and startups already exploring the tech ecosystem, it is expected to grow with better use cases and inclusion in the year 2018. Here we are with significant opportunities that the ingenious technology will put forth in 2018:

AI powering the Mobile and Web Apps
Over the next few years, it is anticipated that almost every mobile or web application (app) and service will incorporate AI at some level. AI will drive forward most of the software and service providers. AI in the form of machine learning, deep learning, computer vision etc. enables developers to build intelligent apps. Some of the examples that exhibits and justify AI integration of apps includes, smart recommendations, smart search, fraud detection, healthcare and fitness management etc. In the following year, we could see expansion in use cases and result in productive intelligent apps.

Cloud for AI and IOT
Other than text, image, and video analytics, the most persuasive need for unstructured data analysis exists in the Internet of Things. More and more enterprises adopting and embracing a public-cloud-first policy in 2018 for big data, analytics, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will get more control over costs and more flexibility than on-premises software can deliver. Cloud implementations are increasing in popularity as it cuts down the entry cost for these technologies, besides giving the advantage of hosting all the data on a single instance.

Rise of Anything as a Service (XaaS)
Every day, millions of users are accessing online cloud services such as Apple iCloud, Gmail and Dropbox across desktop and mobile devices. The next evolution in delivering corporate cloud services is known as anything-as-a-service or XaaS. XaaS can deliver integrated hardware and software services over the internet, in one seamless package. XaaS (pronounced 'Zaas') is the next generation of cloud computing services which integrates the online delivery of separate private or public cloud services to users.

A Surge in Chatbots Number
Human assistants are now things of the past. It's the era of machines and bits, making our lives easier. Bots are not just facilitating individuals to get anytime support but also helping businesses in augmenting their customer support and automating business tasks. Conversational bots can become the heroes in customer service industry in coming times. Considering the acceptance and popularity of these communication channels, quite a few tech giants like Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon are trying to bring in chatbots to interact with customers. 2018 will see millennials conversing and interacting more frequently with bots than men.

AR and VR to become mainstream
A lot has been talked about Augmented and Virtual Reality, there have been a lot of trials and experiments which demonstrate that AR and VR can be widely adopted to be used in business functions. It's not just startups looking to get in on the action. In fact, it is likely that many of the world's biggest brands are expected to invest their resources into creating augmented-reality experiences to enhance their users' experiences both inside and outside of their stores in 2018.
 
Impact of technology on Workforce
There has been a speculation ever since that AI will replace human jobs. However, if this ingenious technology is used wisely, AI will augment the human jobs, instead of replacing it. And to be precise, the impact of AI on human workforce will be dependent upon the type of job. Eventually, there will be a rise in demand for data related jobs (like data engineers, scientist, analyst) requiring upskilling to enable the AI-human partnership. Besides, with these technologies being deployed, business functions are ought to become more efficient. When the processes become efficient, they require a greater need to skilled workforce who will be equipped to work in tandem with the new technologies.

The way ahead into Technology
With 2017 becoming the year where a lot of things were said about data analytics and artificial intelligence, 2018 will see a lot more adoption of bigger and better technologies into the everyday functions. Machines will keep getting smarter and new technology will increase productivity among businesses. We can expect to see the adoption of blockchain architecture amongst the financial companies. The Blockchain architecture is an algorithm and shared data structure which facilitates the management of electronic money amongst various parties. Drones and self-driven cars may become a reality, being used to enhance business operations, customer experiences and education. We may see the increased use of embedded analytics in Business Intelligence.  Machine learning algorithms will learn from huge amounts of unstructured data like text, images, video, voice, body language, and facial expressions paving way for better cognitive technologies like emotion recognition and behavioral analytics.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Titir Pal

The author is Director – Analytics at Absolutdata

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