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Where is the tech world heading to in 2018?

date: 4 January 2018
reading time: 5 min

2018 is with us now which means another 12 months full of exciting technological developments. The top 2018 tech trends surely have the potential to improve the way we live, to transform whole industries and to propel us into the future.

Many areas are being rapidly redefined by tech development. Changes in the way we stay healthy, use transport and make business are already on the way – and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

It is important to remember, that it is humankind that creates technology, and it is technology that changes the humankind.

Is there a revolution or rather an evolution coming in 2018? Let’s find out!

More people connected to the Internet

According to Statista and Internet Lives Stats, approximately 3.8 billion people are now connected to the Internet. Still, it is only 46,8 % of the world’s population. By the end of 2018, this number will rise to 48,9 % and we should expect it to grow exponentially in the nearest future. This means millions of people accessing the knowledge available online, unlocking their potential, and eventually speeding up the tech race.

More IoT, AI and Machine Learning

These technologies are already quickly moving from a concept phase to a more practical application. They are embedded in everyday business, becoming a normal part of our lives, rather than an exception. In 2018, we will continue to interact with smart technology in many new areas.

As the IoT gains momentum, it leads to an unprecedented growth in data, both in terms of its volume and in terms of its strategic importance. This phenomenon allows companies to make data-driven decisions, catered to business needs.

What is more, IoT makes the hardware more expressive and more… human. Long gone are the days of cold, robotic voices. With machine learning facilitating personalisation at scale, digital experiences are enriched by contextual guidance. High-level profiling is used to facilitate searching the internet, shopping, watching movies or listening to music, which delivers tailored results to each and every user. This trend will undoubtedly gain grounds.

Change in the way we interact with technology

In March 2018, a new Steven Spielberg movie is coming to cinemas. ‘Ready Player One’ is a vision of a whole mankind living in a fictional virtual reality world. In the movie, people use VR not only via helmets or glasses, but rather with a whole body. This trend is already here – we are interacting with technology in very different ways. As machines become more and more sophisticated, we use voice and gestures to communicate with them.

For now, both AR and VR are transporting us to new worlds, but leave us alone in them to explore. The next stage of enhanced reality is to further engage users by adding the element of interacting with other people, making it a communal experience.

Change in the way we work

Development of technology comes together with a need to reinvent worker roles. In the future, a lot of work – which is done manually today – will be automated and assigned to machines. More and more decisions, processes and tasks will be carried out by robots and algorithms.

Automation will impact a wide range of industries, starting with simple tasks that can be done cheaper, faster, safer and more efficiently by a machine. People will lose their jobs, but at the same time, tech development will create a big number of positions in IT, cyber security or new technology.

Change in data distribution

Blockchain originates from Bitcoin, but has many potential uses aside from cryptocurrencies and it is surely here to stay. Called ‘the backbone of a new type of Internet’, blockchain allows digital information to be distributed, but not copied.

Don and Alex Tapscott, authors of the Blockchain Revolution (2016), explain:

The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.

We can imagine it as an extremely secure and decentralised database, hosted simultaneously by millions of PC’s, accessible to anyone online. It is a new view on protecting, storing and authenticating data. In the future, we can even expect public election to be conducted using blockchain technology.

Enabled or endangered?

The rapid pace of tech development can be disruptive. Some argue that talking about innovation and risk in the same breath is a bit of a paradox. Others argue that tech advancements make them feel like they are losing privacy and that changes already arrive so quickly, that they struggle to keep up.

People predict that soon it will be almost impossible to be up-to-date with technology. A lot of us constantly feel like beginners, despite the effort to be with-it tech-wise. With internet allowing everyone to learn and forget anything faster than ever, the trend is to use knowledge in the moment and on the go. At the end of the day, doesn’t the tech buzz just cause confusion?

Exponential, not linear!

Tech advancement grows exponentially. However, humankind is not wired to think that way. We live linearly and therefore think linearly. Exponential changes are already under way – and this concerns every tech trend mentioned in this article. With this in mind, the questions should rather be not if, but when. And the answer is – sooner than we expect.

An educated guess

Whether we find this disruptive or promising, the lines between the digital and physical world will continue to blur.

A digital approach in medicine will bring personalised, targeted and intelligent advice to help you be healthier. Autonomous vehicles will soon dominate the roads and make the transportation safer, smarter, and eco-friendly. Top businesses will harness AI to gain financial and operational advance. Machine learning, cloud, VR – many technologies of the future are already broadly embraced across industries and will only continue to gain momentum.

It looks like we should not expect a single technology breakthrough that will have the biggest impact on our lives in 2018. We should rather assume that a combination of many stimulants will continue hitting the business.

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