Five Tech Predictions for 2018

Autonomous Transportation Marches Forward

It may be 20 years before anyone can take a nap while their car takes the wheel, but 2018 will mark public acceptance of autonomous vehicle testing. Upcoming international auto shows will highlight how major automobile companies — not just tech giants — plan to integrate autonomy into their core business strategies. As the technology gradually advances with each new model year, consumers will come to recognize autonomy as a default feature, like seat belts and airbags.

Stay tuned to see how traditional auto manufactures, large technology companies and related startups interact this year.

3D Printing Goes Mainstream

3D printing or additive manufacturing has been quietly revolutionizing large parts of the manufacturing sector. Yet many people still view 3D printers as a novelty item to craft plastic toys or a niche tool for garage tinkerers. This year will see 3D printing have a major impact on how and where we produce many of the devices that underpin daily life.

Stay tuned as more sophisticated parts and components are manufactured in nontraditional ways.

Acceptance and Understanding of AI Grows

Artificial intelligence will become a daily used word, rather than a Silicon Valley buzzword. Why? More and more Americans will interact with AI-powered tools in their daily lives, from home assistants to customer service chatbots. The average person will save time as AI makes their lives just a little more efficient.

Stay tuned to see how vocal groups of AI-skeptics and AI doom predictors interact with this trend.

Health-Tech Continues to Explode

A few years ago, bracelets that tracked daily steps were groundbreaking. Today, you can count your steps, monitor your heartbeat, take your temperature and measure your sleep patterns. Not to mention, you can undergo at-home DNA testing to determine not only your ancestry, but your predisposition to certain medical conditions. This trend will only accelerate in 2018.

Stay tuned as health monitoring devices become a common requirement for insurance.

Cybersecurity Risks Aren’t Going Anywhere

Experts declared 2015 the year of the breach, and 2016 the year of ransomware. Unfortunately, this trend isn’t going anywhere. 2017 brought us WannaCry, NotPetya and Equifax. Every day, more devices become networked, more sensitive information gets sent to the cloud and more bad guys spend countless hours looking for opportunities to exploit the openness of the Internet. There is little reason to be optimistic that 2018 will be anything other than another record year for cybersecurity incidents.

Stay tuned to see whether the public starts to change their behavior and demand more stringent security guarantees in the wake of headline incidents.