- The rise of narrow AI
Through 2017 we have seen many use cases for AI. For example, Siri, Alexa etc., Recommendation systems, Digital Marketing and many more. AI will be added to many of the existing platforms as well as products. This is the verticalization of AI (In other words narrow AI) and we, will see lot of action happening throughout 2018. AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) is yet to take off. As Deep Learning matures, there will be advancement in this area also. But rumours like AI replacing humans will only happen in the low level jobs or jobs which are good candidates for automation, for instance data entry jobs. Narrow AI would be applicable to all products, so much so that this new level of service maybe called as AaaS (AI as a service) Most of the vendors do not have a choice but to integrate AI into their offerings ushering a heap of benefits for their users.
- Blockchain finally comes into mainstream
2018 will be the year when Blockchain finally finds its position in the value chain. A lot of new use cases have been arising for implementing blockchain. The most obvious example of block chain is crypto currency as everybody knows. However, Blockchain due to its distributed and resilient properties will be applicable to areas such as FinTech, Healthcare, Supply chain etc. This means a major redesign for some of the software vendors and for the new ones it’s an opportunity not to be missed.
- AR / VR in the picture
VR is still years ahead, but AR has come of age. With Apple announcing the release of AR on iPhone X and Google also offering an AR platform, we are likely to see some good AR applications in 2018. Google Glass may make a comeback. Perhaps in a new avatar. Other vendors will also fill in the gaps by offering AR API’s. The fun has just started. So, stay tuned. We can expect a lot of AR content to be made available in 2018. VR content will also be created, however since VR did not a have a major run in 2017, its going to take a while. Multiple people manipulating artificial reality in VR may take off in 2018. AR and 360 viewing will likely make news in 2018. Remember, content is king.
- The Cyber Security – a real concern.
As you are aware, in 2017 the number of malware apps rose by 100%. With hacking of sites like Equifax and Uber, many questions are unanswered. Is all that we are developing and using safe ? Can our precious data be breached by hackers ? What are the steps taken by Cyber security companies to ensure that we get a good night’s sleep ? Well for one, all these anti-virus, anti- malware and other companies plan to use AI to thwart the possibility of being attacked. While AI algorithms are getting better, the bad guys are also using AI for stealth. Who will win ? This is an answer left to be seen. Expect more of cyber security attacks in 2018.
- The new way of interacting with machines – Voice
Yes. Voice based interface has really improved very much. Alexa, OK Google, Cortana, Siri and others do a very good job of understanding language (English, as of now) in local dialects. We can see that the understanding (which is AI) will also make major strides of improvement. Like Google Translate, there will be language conversions in the voice area. I do not predict this for 2018, but two years hence. 2020. Sensing emotions with voice has just started. There will be lot of applications which will do this. The enhanced voice API’s will be offered as a platform by vendors like Google by the end of 2018.
- The wholeness guide
People will search for ways to be happy with external gadgets. However, after being on the block so long, they will resort to inwards direction, which is what they will realize, that makes them happy. The wholeness which we are all longing for is not outside of us. We just have to focus within. The thoughts and the attitudes that we carry as a matter of habit, will have to be dropped and replaced by more positive and self enhancing views. The quest for the wholeness is deeply ingrained within each one of us. Some find it. Some don’t. I predict that more people will find the true meaning of being happy in 2018.
- The importance of a Guru
A guru is just there to show us the path – we have to walk on it – a guru can’t do that for us. People all over the world are searching for mentors, not realizing the fact that their path is not your path. However, a guru or a mentor can be a good teacher. But like the Buddha said, “Trust in your own experience” people will start to learn from their own internal guides while depending on gurus to help them make it. There is likely to be an awakening on the planet. 2017 was a rough year and I predict that the lessons of 2018 will be far more vibrant. The truth is not outside of us, but within. This is a truism that I hope more will embrace in 2018.
- For the love of the machine
A lot has happened in the area of wellness with respect to gadgets and the science of happiness. A tremendous amount of improvement has been made in things like brain meditation, binaural beats, photic stimulation and so on. These are all assistive technologies to aid us in making ourselves better. As we tap the wisdom of the traditions and the realized guru’s instructions, we are bound to make great progress in our realization of the divine or in other words, supreme happiness. The problem today is we experience joy for moments. It doesn’t stay. For the joy to stay, we have to raise our frequencies. And gadgets can help us elongate that duration. Lot of this will happen in 2018.
Wishing you a very special 2018. Sending you lots of love and light