IT trends in 2018.
Written by Stefan Radosavljevic 08 January 2018

Over the years, I have learned that the best way of predicting the future is to observe and follow the people who are creating it! Future is now interweaved into code and science, IT and robotics, in things of nano and others pretty small sizes, but large enough to make people’s life easier.

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So, here’s my top tech IT trends for 2018!

  • AI (Artificial intelligence)

We’ve talked a lot about this topic, right, so, what is AI?
AI is the ability of a computer to act like a human being. We can divide understanding of artificial intelligence into two parts, where the first part about strong and weak AI and for the second part example is from Arend Hintze.

First part – We have a weak AI design for the specific task, like Apple Siri or Google Assistant, while stronger AI represents a general intelligence or the ability that machine has a conscience like a human being.

Second partArend Hintze, an assistant professor of integrative biology and computer science and engineering at Michigan State University has categorized AI into four types, from AI systems that exist today to sentient systems, which do not yet exist. His categories are as follows:

Type 1: Reactive machines. An example is Deep Blue, the IBM chess program that beat Garry Kasparov in the 90’s. Deep Blue can identify pieces on the chess board and can also make predictions, but it has no memory and cannot use past experiences to make the future ones. In simple words, this machine analyzes possible moves.

Type 2: Limited memory. These AI systems can use past experiences to make future decisions. Some of the decision – making functions in autonomous vehicles have been designed this way.

Type 3: Theory of mind. This is a psychology term. It refers to the understanding that others have their own beliefs, desires, and intentions that impact the decisions they make. This kind of AI does not yet exist.

Type 4: Self-awareness. In this category, AI systems have a sense of themselves, have consciousness. Machines with self-awareness understand their current state and can use the information to infer what others are feeling. This type of AI also doesn’t exist yet.

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Today, the artificial intelligence is most commonly used in video games, where the computer is made to act as another player, and of course, we are talking about the weak type of AI. We can find AI in healthcare – best-known healthcare technologies is IBM Watson. AI also finds its purpose in business: machine learning algorithms are being integrated into analytics and CRM platforms to uncover information on how to better serve the customers. AI in education can assess students and adapt to their needs, helping them work at their own pace.
Manufacturing is another field where AI is widely used -this is an area that has been at the forefront of incorporating robots into the workflow. Industrial robots were used to perform single tasks and were separated from human workers, but as the technology advanced that changed.

In the years, decades to come, AI will definitely become smarter, faster, more fluid and human-like thanks to the inevitable rise of quantum computing. In the future, not so far away, quantum computers will be able to solve all of life’s most complex problems and mysteries regarding the environment, aging, disease, war, poverty, famine, the origins of the universe and deep-space exploration…

 

  • VR (Virtual Reality)

Virtual reality (VR) is a computer-generated scenario that simulates a realistic experience. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, virtual means “existing or resulting in essence or effect though not in actual fact, form or name”. Therefore, virtual reality is best described as an illusion of reality created by a computer system.

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So, let’s talk about where virtual reality is used today? Here are a list and short descriptions, so we can all get a little bit deeper into this topic.

  1. Military uses of Virtual Reality
    Virtual reality has been adopted by the military – this includes all three services (army, navy and air force) – where it is used for training purposes.
  2. Virtual Reality in Healthcare
    Virtual reality is often used as a diagnostic tool because it allows doctors to give an exact diagnosis in the combination with other methods such as MRI scans. This removes the need for invasive procedures or surgery.
    This technology is also used in robotic surgery. This is where surgery is performed by a robotic device – controlled by a human surgeon, which reduces time and risk of complications.
  3. Virtual Reality and Education
    VR is able to present complex data in an accessible way to students which is both fun and easy to learn. Plus these students can interact with the objects in that environment in order to discover more about them. For example – VR astronomy.
  4. Virtual Reality in Entertainment
    The entertainment industry is one of the most enthusiastic advocates of virtual reality, most noticeably in games and virtual worlds. Also, it is equally used in other popular areas such as museums for example.
  5. Virtual Reality in Engineering
    Virtual reality engineering includes the use of 3D modeling tools and visualization techniques as part of the design process. This technology enables engineers to view their project in 3D and gain a greater understanding of how it works. Plus, they can spot any flaws or potential risks before implementation. You can only imagine how important Virtual Reality is when it comes to rail building construction or car design.
  6. Virtual Reality in Film
    Virtual reality is a very common theme in science fiction movies, where it is often used to turn fantastical into something that seems totally real.
  • 5G technology

5G is a type of wireless technology that you may have heard about in recent headlines – Verizon selecting Samsung as the provider for its 5G commercial launch and similar.

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One reason why it’s such a big deal is that it will result in higher wireless speeds, capacities, and lower latency – which generally means that there will be far fewer delays or “technical hesitancies” in some of the things it powers, like wireless VR or autonomous vehicles.
That benefit is two-fold. It doesn’t only enrich a user experience when it comes to something like AR or VR by providing higher data rates, but its also practical when it comes to safety – which is the part where the latency piece comes in.
During the presentation, the example of a two-hour movie download was used. On a 3G network, for example, that would take 26 hours. On 4G, it would be lowered to six minutes. But on 5G, it’s lowered to 3.6 seconds.

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