With the dawn of 2018 comes some pretty exciting potential advances in technology. 2017 was most certainly high in terms of hype, and some major advances were made in the fields of AI, distributed computing and even cats.
I’m taking a quick dive into my favourite 4 trends of observation this year. There is a lot to be proven, but if the past is anything to go by, it’s going to be one crazy ride.
Expect major advances in the medical field with blockchain-based ecosystems bringing together all the data from those devices so many of us have been wearing for so many years. Companies and initiatives like Doc.ai look set to prove the power of distributed communities in helping solve global health problems in a way never previously imagined.
Supply chains look to take full advantage of blockchain in order to prove transparency. Expect very precious metals and materials where sources and origin make a big difference.; think diamonds and fair trade coffee. Yes Woolworths, you should call the number at the bottom of the page.
Expect some major advances in the world’s collective understanding of how the blockchain could affect transparency in governments. Estonia is already streaking ahead with adoption, but expect absolute resistance from the World’s most corrupt. Also expect larger groups to take the plunge into blockchain regulation.
All in all, 2018 is the year of commercialization when it comes to blockchain. Let’s see what transpires.
Already we have seen massive gains in this space, but nothing unexpected for the likes of Ray Kurzweil. Yes, we still have 12 years until we have human-level AI, but bear in mind that human level AI within your processing power is like having a billion humans on call in one room that can all communicate together faster than they can think.
We’ve been waiting for a revolution in interfaceless design, and chatbots have been plodding along, but the recent release of two major phones, the iPhone 8 and Pixel 2, have left me thinking that the world’s biggest company is under threat. I for one have been using an iPhone 8 for a month now, and the single aspect I miss the most from my 3 year old google phone is the baked-in AI- Google Assistant. With Amazon and Google streaking ahead in their efforts to put Google Home or Echo Dots in every room of your house, expect this technology to become a part of your everyday life! Even our head of UX Design is waking up and shouting “Start my day!” to his kitchen counter.
In short, Business Intelligence has been running a slow decline for the past decade. What you did last quarter and last year is becoming less relevant; more focus is on what you’re doing now, what your competitors are doing now, and what your customers are doing now. These are the tools and tactics of today’s sales geniuses and platforms like Norway’s Meltwater and Israel’s Yotpo are enabling us to act on those and use them to accelerate our businesses growth. When I met Jørn Lyseggen, the CEO of Meltwater late last year, and having spoken to a friend of mine, Itai Raveh, who heads up Product at Yotpo, these were just another two conversations reinforcing the fact that you cannot simply rely on data coming up in monthly reports; of course it’s relevant, but if you are to be truly competitive in your respective field you need to look further and leverage what is now.
Africa’s Infrastructure Revolution
Some would argue that this has already taken place, but when we looked to fixed line communication streams, telco’s have been restrained due to geological obstacles in their expansion. Yes, signal coverage is pretty amazing in Africa, and you can get 4G in the middle of the Serengeti, but these services are bound by fixed line backbones. With the advent of 5G coming into testing this year we are expecting the technology to build on existing performance metrics and increase 4G data transmission by more than a factor of 100. What does this mean for Africa? More mobile for AI, IOT and with less cables holding up the data transmission between these major distribution points, coverage in areas that have previously been bound by fixed-line infrastructure and slow mobile connections will improve drastically.
My next post will be written without any hands, referenced.
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