The rise and rule of Blockchain
2017 was the year the blockchain mattered. Now with 2018 just around the corner, we are seeing a whole new face of blockchain. There is a lot of momentum there. Cryptocurrencies are driving a lot of attention and involvement in the technology, but the blockchain is yet to come into its own. 2018 might be the year that we choose to send cryptocurrency to a friend instead of regular money, or your city’s public transport system gets its own coin.
Driverless cars are coming. I am writing this in a café against a major arterial road, and I do see the contradiction between the statement I just wrote and the real world, but self-driving cars are moving in leaps and bounds. Self-driving progress makes the headlines every day, be it Google’s self-driving car, Uber testing a self-driving fleet sometimes with, sometimes without, the governments go ahead.
Bureaucracy is as significant an obstacle for driverless cars as the technology. But gradually the red tape that’s keeping letting a machine behind the wheel will be relaxed. Last month, September 2017, the House of Representatives passed a bill called the SELF DRIVE Act. It laid out a basic federal framework for self-driving vehicles.
Chinese tech giant Baidu plans to roll out fully driverless busses in 2018 across China. A likely candidate for the first autonomous public transport system, and they will start bringing out completely autonomous cars sometime between 2019 – 2021.
Ever year is beckoned as the golden age of AI, but 2018 just might be. Tech giants are rallying behind the cause, like Samsung who claim they are going to start producing AI chips for smartphones next year. They will join the ranks of Apple, Huawei, and Microsoft who are trying to build AI capable processors for consumer gadgets. “AI will be more widely adopted into sales and marketing strategies. “According to a new IDC White Paper, commissioned by Salesforce. By 2018, IDC forecasts that 75 percent of enterprise and ISV development will include AI or machine-learning functionality.” CommsMEA Keith Block, VP of Salesforce.
The Sharing Economy
The sharing economy is estimated to grow from $14 billion in 2014 to $335 billion by 2025. In the last couple of years, a sharing economy has grown based on peer to peer service and the digital platforms that link them. The initial kick-back against Uber and Airbnb from the powers that be have died down, but the sharing economy is being rapidly regulated as the governments of the world balance convenience and innovation against business interest, public safety, and fear of the unknown.
There have been a few setbacks. Uber, for example was, banned recently in London, and vacation rentals have been made illegal in high-rise buildings, because they raise the price of housing. When compared to the massive uncertainty of only a few years ago, I think it is safe to say the wrinkles are being worked out.
Internet of Things
The cycle of technology always disappoints the early adopter, and I think the internet of things caught a lot of that. The IOTs simply hasn’t lived up to the hype. I mean, there are little Amazon buttons you can press, and soap is added to your shopping cart, but that isn’t the revolution we were promised.
Bosh is investing millions to get IoTs devices into our homes, and then there are personal assistants like Google Assistant, Siri, Bixby, Amazon Alexa, and Cortana, are the biggest names in a growing list of centralized hubs that link to other devices to control our homes, and organize our lives.