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Guest blog by Igor Bobriakov.

First days after celebration of the New Year is the time when looking back we can analyze our actions, promises and draw conclusions whether our predictions and expectations came true. As 2018 came to its end, it is perfect time to analyze it and to set trends for the next year. The amount of data generated every minute is enormous. Therefore new approaches, techniques, and solutions have been developed.

Looking back to our article Top 10 Technology Trends of 2018 we can say that we were preparing you for the upcoming changes related to aspects of security, changes provoked by the AI in business operations, extensive application of blockchains, further development of the Internet of Things (IoT), growing of NLP, etc. Some of these statements have been implemented in 2018, yet some will remain topical in 2019 as well. Only one factor remains stable — development. There is no doubt, the technologies will continue to develop, improve and upgrade to fit their purposes better.

Primarily smart data technologies were actively applied only by huge enterprises and corporations. Today, big data has become available to a wide range of small businesses and companies. Both big enterprises and small companies tend to rely on big data in the questions of the intelligent business insights in their decision-making.

The ever-growing stream of data may also present a challenge to businesspeople. The prediction of changes in the role of big data and technologies is even more difficult. Thus, our top technology trends of 2019 are to serve a comprehensible roadmap for you.

1. Data security will reinforce its positions

The range of threads is enormous; therefore the discussion of the cybersecurity related issues will continue. The consumers have a growing awareness of the value of their information. Consequently, they become even more interested in the way how it will be used. Governments are actively planning, developing and adopting regulations on cybersecurity in this regard. Due to some cases of violation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and loud scandals concerning Google and Facebook the application of enforcement measures is expected in 2019.



Moreover, we believe that cybersecurity will become more intelligence-driven in the upcoming year. Intelligence may become the only solution to the fast, automated attacks. Machine learning is called upon to play a crucial role in providing this intelligence. The AI-powered smart machines are expected to become more independent in the decision-making process. Probably, it will help companies to be one step ahead of the hacker, to predict attacks and define possible sore points.

2. Internet of Things will deliver new opportunities

It is quite evident that IoT is now being used by the companies representing all spheres of human activity. Moreover, the companies and businesspeople get even more interested in the practical implementation of smart technological solutions rather than in theoretical development. The attributes like “connected”, “smart” or “intelligent” are now added to all technologies and solutions developed for various industries.

According to some specialists, it is yet not the time to regard the IoT as something done. Undoubtedly the changes brought by the IoT are only under development. In 2019 the IoT capabilities are expected to shift to automating and augmenting how people experience the connected world. It will most probably result in a more unstructured landscape of a wide variety of dynamically meshed things and services.

3. Automation continues to be game-changing

The automation has entered in different industries, won a dominant position and acquired a good reputation. Undoubtedly, 2019 will bring progress, upgrade, and prosperity to robotic automation.

Autonomous things like drones, robots and autonomous vehicles are rapidly developed along with AI solutions. We expect a shift from the stand-alone things to complex systems of intelligent autonomous things. With the development of the AI technologies, autonomous things get more and more brains to interact and establish interrelations within complex systems. Thus, self-driven cars are capable of images recognition and geolocation tracking for making routes, voice recognition to follow the commands and various other technologies to provide convenience and comfort to people.

The RPA, or robotic process automation, is no longer a one-day technology. Nowadays it proved to be a technology changing the businesses. In 2019, the number of attended robots, those working alongside humans, is going to grow even more significant. In additions, the RPA in the public sector will rise, and governments will discover new opportunities with RPA.

4. AR is expected to overcome VR



For the 2018 year it was common to consider VR (virtual reality software) to be the most significant achievement of our generation. However, the situation has dramatically changed. VR proved to have a limited range of application among the companies and the customers. Therefore, the experts forecast the overcoming of VR by the AR (augmented reality software) soon.

The AR technologies will continue to be profitable for enterprise software development. In 2019, AR will become more common for mobile devices. Unlike VR, it does not require headsets. Therefore the AR’s ability to be deployed on mobile phones and tablets is far more robust.

Also, it is expected that AR will change the spheres of marketing and advertising in the upcoming year. AR provides a completely personal experience. Thus customers’ engagement is skyrocketing. A consistent communication channel for direct dialogue between the customer and provider will be ensured using the AR developments. Probably, AR will also reinforce its position in the area of manufacturing. Industrial AR platforms help the manufacturers to visualize data sets and provide assistance in jobs related to physical labor. It is predicted that AR software will become a key to the transformation of this sphere.

5. Connected clouds will shift to hybrid cloud solutions

The majority of companies now rely on cloud computing. Therefore, the consumption of cloud services is going to grow over in 2019. Gartner predictsthat the cloud computing market will reach $200 billion.

The range of cloud solutions and delivery models is getting bigger and bigger. This fact makes cloud services more adaptable in different areas of activity. Hybrid cloud solutions will be winning popularity among companies. However, they will also present a challenge for some companies. The majority of IT service providers think that hybrid cloud solutions help to speed up service delivery. This is a crucial milestone. At first, cloud solution was regarded as a way to avoid building vast IT infrastructures from scratch and in such a way to reduce costs. Shortly these solutions will bring more flexibility and the abilities to react fast and even more efficiently to the rapidly changing market conditions. A new view on the cloud solutions adoption will be developed by the industries. So, we expect 2019 to be the year of hybrid and multi-cloud solutions for business.

6. Personalization will result in the rise of adaptive devices

Actually we are the witnesses of the immense evolution of AI-powered chatbot technology. Starting with simple routine tasks, chatbots are now actively turning into AI assistants. Customers got used to them very fasts and now cannot even imagine dealing with some issues without AI assistance.

Moreover, personalization will be represented not only due to the purposeful user commands for different devices but also in the devices themselves. Thus, they will be able to adapt themselves to the individual needs of the owner after a certain period, even without any commands on his part. This technology has become rather sophisticated. Thus the majority of customers cannot even guess whether they communicate with a person or with a chatbot.

Due to the excellent operation of Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, people started to rely more on AI assistants in daily routine. What is expected in 2019 is that even more advanced assistants will appear and take responsibility for more complex dealings. With the help of the improved speech recognition techniques, the AI assistance will get a chance to provide you with a far more personalized experience. Perhaps you will find yourself speaking, communicating, and giving tasks to your refrigerator or lamp, as well as letting your car build the best routes and drive you there shortly.

7. Reinforcement learning and new architectures of neural networks will revolutionize prediction

The key idea of the neural networks is to create millions of active interconnections within computer brains to provide it with multiple opportunities to perform tasks and learn from them. A primary neural network usually consists of millions of artificial neurons. They proved to learn from image, text, audio data very efficiently. It is expected that due to the new theory applying the principle of an information bottleneck the deep neural networks will forget noisy data, yet to preserve the information what this data represents. Thus, the neural networks become more and more alike to the neurons of human beings.

Reinforcement learning (RL) in its turn is a form of neural network that usually learns from its environment with the help of observation, actions, and rewards. Reinforcement learning has not been widely applied in various industries due to the existence of some obstacles and complications. The following facts may explain it: RL involves more complex algorithms and less mature tools and requires accurate simulations of the real-world environment. However, the potential capabilities of RL proved to be enormous. It can easily solve traditional neural networks problems. These are the three main problems: the absence of training data, the lack of training data, and the high cost of training data. These factors make reinforcement learning a good method for solving sequential decision-making problems that are common in game playing, financial markets, and robotics.

Most likely reinforcement learning will become one of the most significant trends in 2019. Due to the successes of DeepMind’s, AlphaZero and OpenAI’sDota bot, a lot of companies are now actively investing in the development of reinforcement learning platforms. These platforms will considerably increase the opportunities of the companies. Moreover, there is a whole generation of data scientists who regard RL as a means to revolutionize prediction. Therefore the implementation of RL will find a vast amount of use cases in various industries.

8. Energy efficiency and sustainable development remain core goals for humanity

The matters of energy sources and their efficient use exponentially increase their popularity every year. There is a whole range of factors that will influence the energy market in 2019.

First of all, efficient energy management demands more insights into energy usage. Therefore, smart tools are to be widely applied here. The new regulations will come into effect in 2019. Also, we expect the strengthening of interconnection between technologies and energy. Integrated platforms and smart data solutions will bring their benefits both to the energy producers and energy consumers.



Sustainability continues to be a core goal for every single company. And as a last but not least, a growth on the energy storage market is expected in 2019. Get ready for the more common use of portable energy sources and GaN (gallium-nitride) solutions for efficient use and storage of residential and commercial energy.

9. Upgrading humans becomes real

2019 promises to become a year of AI technologies application in healthcare and medicine. People will face with a chance to get new opportunities, physical and mental capabilities they could not even dream of before. Humans will get a chance to modify, improve and continually upgrade their abilities and minds.

AI applications are capable to accelerate and improve accuracy of diagnosis. Machine learning algorithms will be used to explore the biological and chemical interactions of drugs. Telemedicine will also improve healthcare by making it easier for patients to communicate with doctors. It will provide better opportunities for treating and monitoring chronic diseases 24/7.

Also, biomedical electronics will take the stage. The digital technologies are to broaden the sphere of their competence in providing assistance doctors and mitigating the stressful situations. Bionics and biomedical electronics will introduce new solutions for people with handicaps or those suffering from severe illnesses or some injuries. Nowadays, prosthetics are being developed extremely fast. New light and reliable materials, 3D printing technologies and smart algorithms allow building highly-functional prosthesis.

10. Smart spaces will continue growing into smart cities

During the last several decades the way people live, work and interact has been considerably changed. The focus of human life has shifted from nature to technologies. Rapid development of science, industrial revolution and constant development of new technologies largely influenced on the way people live. The life is speeding up. Nowadays, the borderline between virtual and physical blurs. The technology became an essential part of our daily life. Thus, there evolves the need to create spaces where technologies and physical environment will successfully coexist.

Smart space is a physical or digital environment where people and AI-powered technological solution can efficiently interact. Because technologies have entered our daily life, smart space is going to win its popularity in the upcoming year. Smart spaces take individual technologies and combine them into collaborative and interactive environments. The growing popularity of smart spaces reflects in the appearance of smart cities, digital workplaces, smart homes and companies.

Conclusion

Technologies are now in the center of attention for all industries. We expect 2019 to become a year of new use cases and possibilities. We will witness new changes and feel the benefits of machine learning and AI development.

We compiled a list of trends that in opinion of our experts are the most probable. Hopefully, these trends will bring us only positive and valuable results. This list is always open to your suggestions. Please, feel free to express your ideas in the comment section below.

Originally published in activewizards.com

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