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Common technology trends of 2018

Last year was a busy one for technology and 2018 is unlikely to be any different.

It looks like 2018 will continue in much the same way that 2017 did – and that means it’s going to be busy. So, what are some of the key trends that are likely to be affecting the way we interact with and use technology in the coming twelve months?

One thing is certain; the increased ‘datafication’ of peoples’ lives will continue apace and that’s not really a surprise when you consider that almost everything we do leaves a trail of data. The amount of data being generated is doubling every two years and 2018 won’t see a change in that. Feeding this growth in data is the IoT, which is reaching further into our world – from cars to smart TVs and everything in between.

How we interact with technology is also likely to change as the adoption of voice technology accelerates. Building on the success of devices from Amazon, Apple and Google, it is estimated that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be by voice and some 30% will involve no screen whatsoever. So, could we start to see devices like Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Home starting to ‘talk back’?

AI and automation began to dominate public debate in 2017. As machines become more intelligent, they’ll be able to do more things. The debate about the impact this will have in terms of processes, decisions, functions and systems will intensify as humans will no longer be needed to do the jobs that machines will be able to do faster, more safely, cheaper and more accurately.

Expect cybersecurity to continue to dominate the news. What had been considered to be in the realm of science fiction by many – just consider the WannaCry attack in May – is now becoming a scary reality.

For many, 2017 was an annus horribilis for the technology industry, with a growing number of companies accused of putting growth ahead of social responsibility and providing a platform for misinformation. As a result, it is likely that calls for much greater industry transparency will grow.

It’s going to be an interesting year.

Neil Tyler

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