Last year only a few technologies dominated the headlines, and quite likely to dominate the headlines again this year.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
As predicted last year, AI/ML dominated the headlines in 2017, and will likely do so again for 2018. We continue to make great strides in improving this technology and finding ways to implement in practice. In 2018 it will only get better and better, making it difficult to distinguish a machine from a real person.
Automation and Robotics
With AI/ML comes automation. Automation allows many of the mundane, routine tasks to be performed by a computer or robot, freeing people to do other things. However, many people take things further and believe that the robot will take over jobs completely.
The possibility of replacing human jobs exists. McKinsey predicts that automation could kill 73 million U.S. jobs by 2030, while Gartner predicts that Automation will render only 30% of the IT jobs in India relevant. Other researchers believe that more jobs will be created, but they will be lower paying jobs causing a shrinking middle class.
But all these fears did not stop progress on automation from happening, and more progress is expected in the upcoming year. We need to prepare for the next step, but what that is exactly is still up in the air. Some claim that creativity, critical thinking and empathy are skills required for the workforce of the future, while others think that the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) are. At this time, things are changing so quickly, it’s hard to go where the puck is going, but my money would be on STEM.
Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies
Bitcoin prices grew 900% in 2017 and there’s no stopping bitcoin now. It’s a bubble, we know it’s a bubble, but yet people can’t help but get into it.
I’m still hopeful for the Blockchain technology, and blockchain technologies such as Ethereum. We should focus less on the marketplace and more on making the technology better. That will enable a whole new level in the business and financial world.