2018 was a great year for technology. There was no end to the speed of advancements, the number of success and a fair share of setbacks. And the pace for 2019 is only expected to pick up.
According to a recent report from Telenor Research, there are seven technology trends that will shape the coming year. Across the trends, the Group says the notion of “responsibility” will resonate.
A company rep said, “The world of technology is constantly on the go. With exciting innovation – which we point to for the next year in greater scale than ever – comes the need for reflection, pragmatism and perspective. We think that the tech pendulum is swinging in that direction in 2019. People are taking a step back and assessing ‘what do these deeper developments in technology and connectivity mean to me, to my family, my community?’”
He added, “In the end, we all want the assurance that technology – no matter how many steps ahead of us it might seem – can fit into our lives safely, sensibly and positively.”
Seven Tech Trends for 2019
- The rise of deepfake
Top of the list is the marriage between deep learning and fake news, deepfake.
Deepfake content will grow at an exponential rate given the attention to hone generative adversarial networks. The algorithm learns quickly, spewing out larger volumes of deepfake content. Moreover, the content is expected to be so advanced that people will have a harder time telling them apart from what is real.
In tandem with major political events such as India’s general elections in 2019 and the preparation for the United State’s 2020 presidential elections, misinformation and manipulation by information will set the tone.
Fortunately, media forensic tools and techniques will stifle deepfake content’s permeation. Internet service providers, operators and regulators have likewise deepened their commitment to overcoming this problem through public awareness campaigns.
- Aye AI ethics
More public and private organisations will clearly outline AI governance frameworks and adopt new codes of conduct to ensure high ethical standards of operation. These frameworks will ensure that AI systems are non-discriminatory, transparent, traceable and secure. Humans will always be accountable for its design, development and adoption.
In 2019, the report says more dialogues on AI can be expected across all levels of politics. There will be new platforms for education and training in AI, as well as investments in tools and systems that enable ethical AI development.
- Taking 5G to the next level
2018 saw some interesting applications of 5G. The 5G drone coverage of the Winter Olympics in South Korea is a good example.
In 2019, “5G islands” will emerge around the world. The high-speed network will connect communities and businesses. Norway’s Kongsberg is a first example of a 5G pilot town.
However, it will only be two years later when 5G global standards will be released. For the near future, there will be commercial advances in 5G such as in automation.
- IoT is going industrial
From proof-of-concepts to large scale commercial deployments in low-power wide-area ecosystems (LPWA). LWPA technology allows connected devices such as sensors, meters or even things like shipping containers to communicate over large geographical areas at a low bit rate. This is how IoT is expected to grow.
LPWA, in particular, is expected to blossom in 2019, enabling larger industrial applications which have yet to mature as quickly. The report says that with maturation and vetting of the tech stack by developers, large scale IoT can be rolled out. Smart cities, industrial manufacturing and process industries will receive the biggest impacts.
- Chatbots find their way home
Voice-activated chatbots will soon be joining the family through household devices. Although the technology is still nascent, maturation over time will lead to smarter voice-recognition applications.
By the end of next year, the Group thinks domestic chatbots will be on almost everyone’s Christmas list.
- Screen time downtime
There’s no shame in admitting you have a problem with tearing your gaze away from your mobile device. In 2018, there has been an increase in the number of time tracking apps, night-time and do-not-disturb modes on phones. This trend is likely to pick up speed in the coming year.
The need for quality human connection could lead to, what the report calls, simpler connectivity. Staying connected is permitted but only for a limited time. Ideas spurned will be translated into the form of wearables, other small connected devices and even flip phones.
The last one comes as no surprise. With climate woes coming into most people’s consciousness, mobile-driven green technology will help people live and consume more smartly than ever. Green-tech apps and devices will only continue to gain popularity.
Read the release here.