Whether you’re a fan of technology, always after the latest devices, or a relaxed “normal” consumer, if you’re like me, you can not stop waiting for technological developments and trends ahead. After a year with surprisingly high sales figures for smart speakers and virtual reality, as well as the debut of several new phones and tablets, I have looked at the possible trends that will occur in 2018.
As a marketing professional, my perspective often focuses on how we can use these new technologies and trends to communicate better and connect with our audience, but general technological trends have much more potential than that: they have the ability to change the way we live and communicate with each other.
So, what will be the biggest technological trends of 2018 and, consequently, how will our lives change?
1.0 Permeability of AI. Artificial intelligence (AI), which manifests itself largely through automatic learning algorithms, not only improves. It is not just about more money. It is included in a more diverse number of applications. Instead of focusing on a goal, such as controlling a game or communicating with people, AI appears on almost every platform, application or new device, and that trend will only accelerate in 2018. We are not at technopocalypse levels (and artificial intelligence will never be sophisticated enough to reach that point), but by the end of 2018 AI will become a pillar of all forms of technology.
2.0 Digital centralization. Over the last decade we have seen the debut of many different types of devices, including smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and dozens of other ‘smart’ devices. We have also become dependent on many individual applications in our daily lives, including navigation and have even changed the temperature of our house. Consumers crave centralization; a convenient way to manage everything from as many devices and central locations as possible. Intelligent speakers are a good step in the right direction, but 2018 can influence the growth of something even better.
3.0 Preparation 5G. Although technology timelines rarely work as we think, we may have a 5G network – with 5G phones – by the end of 2019. Internet 5G has the potential to be almost 10 times faster than 4G, which makes it better than the most internet services at home. As a result, it has the potential to revolutionize the way consumers use the internet and how developers think about applications and streaming content. 2018 will then be a year of enormous preparation for engineers, developers and consumers, while preparing for a new generation of internet.
4.0 Data overload. For the time being all companies in the world have realized the incredible power and commoditization of consumption data and by 2018 the collection of data will become an even greater priority. Because consumers talk with smart speakers all day long and rely on digital devices for most everyday tasks, companies will soon have access to virtually unlimited amounts of personal information and will use them. This has many implications, including less privacy, more personalized ads and possibly more positive results, such as better predictive algorithms in healthcare.
5.0 Administrative automation. Is it likely that your work will be replaced by a machine? How sure are you of that answer? AI is sufficiently advanced to replace at least some employees for years; Even in 2013 we had algorithms that could write basic news articles with sufficient data. Will 2018 be the year in which all people will eventually be replaced by their new top bosses of the robot? Almost certainly not, but I think we will see the beginning of radical labor transformation in the United States. I think it’s naive to think that jobs will be completely replaced, but they will be more automated and we will have to adjust our career accordingly.
6.0 Conversation without interruptions. A few years ago the search for votes was decent, but unreliable. Nowadays, the search for speech can also be perfect; The latest test from Microsoft gives its speech recognition software an error rate of 5.1 percent, making it easier to recognize speech than human transcribers. In the same way, robotic speech and boats are becoming more and more sophisticated. In 2018, with these cycles of continuous improvement, I imagine that we will see the manifestation or hardening of a fluent conversation. We can communicate with our devices, in both directions, without major setbacks or errors.
7.0 UI ratings. I also believe that 2018 will be an important year for the user interface; We will have to think again about how we deal with our applications and devices. The start of smart speakers and a better voice search have done this, so it is no longer necessary to look at a screen to enter data. Desktop devices are also becoming less used and mobile devices continue to take over. In the next-generation user interface, new types of more audible images and indications are likely to be included and consumers will adapt to them quickly, provided they meet their basic needs.
It is difficult to say how quickly these trends will manifest themselves, or what types of devices and updates will dictate their development, but I am sure that we will see more exposure on all of these fronts, as 2018 unfolds.
Regardless of how you feel about technology, or your main motivation to use it,
I think we can all be excited about the new gadgets and infrastructure that await us next year