50 Emerging Technology Themes to watch out for in 2019

“It is said that the present is pregnant with the future. “ — Voltaire

Technology permeates our lives, more than we realise it does and it’s becoming more so as we move to permanently connected age. This list is drawn from soothsayers smarter than me who have put their neck on the line to predict what 2019 will bring. For me, it’s not about whether these themes will become the new normal, it’s more about how soon.

I have curated this list of 50 themes based around what struck me as interesting and noteworthy and worth further investigation. It’s purely selective and I’d encourage you to dig deeper into the reports and articles from which they are drawn. Some of this list of 50 predictions sit clearly outside of the bracket of technology and emerging technology but they clearly sit within this tech-driven world. I hope you find much in this list that makes you ponder a little. And remember — predictions are just that — a forecast. They may be right, they may be wrong but they are based on someone’s inclination that something might be happening.

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1 — Personalised Nutrition becomes a thing

One of the most promising developments, and one we predict will become increasingly visible in 2019, is personalised nutrition based on your gut microbiome. Diet and nutrition advice tends to be delivered at a population level (e.g. five-a-day, eat more fibre), but the more we understand about the gut, the more we discover that a one-size-fits-all approach to diet doesn’t work. Biotech companies like Viome and Atlas Biomed have been promoting at-home gut testing for a couple of years as a way of finding out more about your gut and what to eat, and this year Carbiotix became the first company to release a low cost gut microbiome test. In 2019, Project Sapiens — a team led by geneticist Tim Spector and including some of the best artificial intelligence experts in the UK — will release a test that uses machine learning to help people understand how their body responds to specific foods.

Sinead Mac Manus, Digital Health in the Health Lab from NESTA, Ten Predictions for 2019

2 — Maps become Personal

In 2019, maps will begin to become a layer on which we do everything from communicate to compile data. For most, maps are a feature of a smartphone. A user pulls up Google Maps, types in “bars,” and navigates over to the nearest one. But there’s more potential for maps than just locating nearby happy hour spots — in the future, maps might offer a user bar recommendations based on past preferences, connect them with friends in the area, and even warn them from visiting locations that have high pollen counts.

CBInsights, CBInsights Tech Trends 2019

3 — The Internet of Bodies will exist within us.

IoT and self-monitoring technologies are moving closer to and even inside the human body. Consumers are comfortable with self-tracking using external devices (such as fitness trackers and smart glasses) and with playing games using augmented reality devices. Digital pills are entering mainstream medicine, and body-attached, implantable, and embedded IoB devices are also beginning to interact with sensors in the environment. These devices yield richer data that enable more interesting and useful applications, but also raise concerns about security, privacy, physical harm, and abuse.

IEEE Computer Society, Top 10 Technology Trends for 2019

4 — Space becomes an investment race

Morgan Stanley predicts that 2019 will be the year the space industry will soar on Wall Street. The mega financial firm is holding a “Space Summit” next month so investors can be briefed on the “key milestones and catalysts” expected to emerge from the field. Elon Musk’s company SpaceX , Jeff Bezo’s enterprise Blue Origin, the possible formation of a U.S. funded Space Force and “young space companies” coming forth with “cubesat” missions are all ideas investors should know about, says Morgan Stanley.

Adam Jonas, Morgan Stanley, CNBC, Morgan Stanley says 2019 could ‘be the year for space,’

5 — Robolawyers go mainstream

In 2019, legal AI will become mainstream. Instead of a visit to a local solicitor, you could soon sue your employer, dispute an immigration decision or get a divorce from the comfort of your smartphone. Low-cost, AI-driven legal services could radically open up access to the legal system for people and companies who are currently excluded. People could reclaim their unpaid invoices, get a refund from a dodgy builder or take a workplace bully to an employment tribunal at a fraction of the current cost. All of these are potentially life-changing problems, yet many face financial, time or knowledge barriers when accessing them. Lawtech has the potential to change lives — not just by cutting back the cost of the law, but by broadening its reach at the same time. There are already promising early movers in this sector: DoNotPay is a Facebook Messenger bot that helps people challenge parking fines, gain compensation for delayed flights or apply for asylum, among other tasks. California startup HelpSelfLegal automates simple legal tasks like clearing marijuana convictions or taking out restraining orders. Legal Utopia helps consumers understand legal problems by explaining their issue in plain language, without jargon.

Olivier Usher, Challenge Prize Centre from NESTA, Ten Predictions for 2019

6 — VR Gaming becomes normal

“Oculus’ ambitious new headset the Quest will meld the portability of mobile hardware with most of the tracking accuracy of high-end PC VR, an important step towards VR really breaking into the mainstream. Prices will likely keep coming down, and there are some big, exciting VR games coming that do things that just wouldn’t be the same outside of virtual reality.”

Steve Messner, PC Gamer, What to Expect from VR in 2019

7 — Bitcoin will bottom out and ICOs will die

Bitcoin has been the biggest asset bubble in history; and history tells us that after a collapse in an asset bubble recovery is slow, if not anaemic. Expect a collapse and consolidation throughout the market — miners, tokens and coins. More than half of ICOs from 2017 have already failed. I now expect this market to come close to near-death as demand shifts to regulated Security Token offerings (STO). ICO demand will be limited to a smaller section of the retail market.

Romal Almazo, CAPCO, Crypto Predictions for 2019

8 — The Digital Swag Market grows

In July 2018, Epic Games’ free-to-download game Fortnite hit over $1B in sales. The entirety of that money came from in-game purchases, like skins. The craze around digital goods and collectibles is a trend that will continue into 2019. While these goods can’t be owned in the physical world, they come with clout, and offer personalization and in-game experiences to otherwise one-size-fits-all characters. They’re also just fun.

CBInsights, CBInsights Tech Trends 2019

9 — WFH becomes the norm, not the exception

According to Global Workplace Analytics, 25% of the US workforce teleworks (Works from home) at least part of the time, yet 50% holds jobs that are compatible with remote work. What’s more: 80–90% of the US workforce says they would like to telework at least part time. When you zoom in on Millennials — who will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025 — that percentage jumps to 95. This demand for more flexible work arrangements combined with the accessibility of remote access technology means that businesses must embrace remote work wherever possible if they intend to attract and retain top talent, and ultimately remain relevant.

Heinan Landa, Chief Executive Group, Top 10 technology predictions for 2019

10 — An Autonomous Car crosses the US

The prospect of a computer-driven car has excited commentators for decades, with Google’s self-driving car project bringing the idea to a more mainstream audience when it burst onto the scene in 2009. That project has since been spun off into its own company called Waymo, existing under Google’s umbrella firm Alphabet. But despite nearly 10 years of active development, and over 10 million autonomous miles, Waymo is still ferrying people around a small area of Arizona. But that could all change next year. A coast-to-coast drive would demonstrate the technology’s ability to a broad audience, even if it doesn’t herald the start of consumers undertaking their own coast-to-coast drives. A supervised trek across the fourth-largest country would help prove the self-driving car’s viability, and it could be about to happen.

Mike Brown, Inverse, 2019 Tech Predictions

11 — Weed gets branded

“2019 will be the year that marijuana dispensaries will provide not just weed, but atmosphere and experience,” A culture is being created around marijuana where patrons will seek dispensaries that are destinations. Consumers will look for “fascinating products, insightful information, and interesting environments,” he says. “It’s true that some marijuana customers will simply want to score their weed–think packaged liquor store. Others will enjoy the discovery retailing process of searching for unique products and learning about the various strains of marijuana in an interesting environment–think Napa Valley wine store.”

Pat McBride, The McBride Company, Fast Company, CEO Predictions for Business in 2019

12 — AI, Robots and “AI Robots” shake up the jobs market

“AI and its related hardware-centric field of robotics will continue transforming the workplace in 2019. Whatever profession you work in, whether it’s medicine, law, driving a taxi or working in a warehouse, you can expect to see a growing level of disruption from the steely hand of automation. According to a recent report from the World Economic Forum, around 75 million jobs will be lost or massively disrupted by machines by 2025. AI promises to carry out the four ‘d’s’ more efficiently: jobs that are dangerous, dull, dirty or dear (read: expensive). “The good news? Around 133 million jobs will be created during the same time. In other words, AI is going to shake up the jobs market more than ever, but there are enormous opportunities nestled among the threats.

Luke Dormehl, technology commentator and author, The IET — Technologies to watch in 2019 and predictions for the engineering year ahead

13 — Less Social Media, More Social

The social media honeymoon is over. As people question their screen addiction, the impacts are felt in all walks of life, from dinners where guests demand the phones be put away to changing trends in the beauty industry. “In 2019, people are looking to scale back, simplify their routine and their look,” says Melissa Butler, founder and CEO of The Lip Bar, after years where trends were set by Instagram influencers and elaborate makeup tutorials on Youtube. “Social media has played such a big part in pressuring us to show up in a certain way. People are looking to reconnect with who they are, go back to the basics.”

LinkedIn — 50 Big Ideas for the Year Ahead

14 — Your Digital Identity becomes you.

Historically, we have assumed that people are better at checking and verifying identities than computers. However, technology has recently become better than people. There is by definition a need for regulations to be up to date with these results and allow computers to start performing these tasks instead of humans. Digital Identity is a very interesting trend to watch. Would you rather have it decentralized or centralized? The risks of a centralized approach links to the debate around data protection and the risks of fraud.”

Rupert Spiegelberg, IDNow, The Next Web — 8 Tech predictions that will define 2019

15–5G will have us livin’ on the edge

The first 5G devices are slated to hit the market sometime next year with the much-anticipated next-generation network that promises to completely change the data game in terms of speed and accessibility. Low-latency, high-bandwidth networks mean more connected things, cars and systems — and a boat load of AI, Machine Learning and Compute happening at the edge, because that’s where all the data will be generated.

Dell technologies, 2019 Predictions

16 — Drones will deliver

Consolidation will continue in the hyper competitive third-party delivery space. Market leaders such as Grubhub, Postmates, Uber Eats and DoorDash will battle for domination. A differentiator in the space will be those that can add delivery through drones. Uber is already on the move, allegedly designing a drone delivery system called UberExpress that could be operational by 2021, according to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal. Pieology Pizzeria, a fast-casual pizza player based in Southern California, said it plans to pursue drone delivery in Connecticut. Flytrex, a Tel Aviv-based logistics company specializing in consumer goods and food drops by drone, launched in September a drone delivery program at a golf course in North Dakota. It has also expanded its drone service to 13 routes across Reykjavik, Iceland. Next up? The company is participating in a drone pilot program in North Carolina.

Nancy Luna, Nation’s Restaurant News, 3 restaurant Tech Predictions

17 — Soft skills will be the X-factor in the workplace.

“Technical skills have been the holy grail of hiring in years past, but these skills have rapidly declining shelf lives. The rise of A.I. and automation means employees are increasingly tasked with jobs that only humans can do: thinking creatively, using judgment, employing empathy, etc. Adaptability will be the most durable skill in the years to come, as the ability to learn and adjust becomes more important than any one skill. Companies, as well as education systems, will need to shift how they assess and train people accordingly.”

Jeremy Auger, co-founder, D2L, Inc — 31 Tech predictions for 2019

18 — Companies will need Data Ethicists

2019 will be the year that companies hire a “data ethicist,” says Gil Elbaz, CEO of Factual, a location data provider. “As more and more decisions are made using AI, the teams amassed to build, test, and teach that software are growing as well,” he says. “The smarter these systems become, the more important it is that they’re designed with the needs of, and respect for, humanity in mind. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to program a machine to understand a human ethic.” Companies will solve this by hiring a data ethicist. “The technology is ultimately responsible for making a decision, but the steps it took to get there will be informed by data scientists programming with human ethics in mind,” Elbaz says.

Fast Company, 10 CEOs make predictions about how business will change in 2019

19 — eSports continue to surge

eSports have momentum, especially with young demographics, perhaps most visibly in the Epic Games battle-royale phenomenon Fortnite, with the largest payer base and the biggest audience. In the month of August 2018, Epic Games hosted 78.3 million Fortnite players. In the first week of that same month, viewers on the social streaming platform Twitch watched an aggregate 28.5 million hours of Fortnite play. But as more broadcasters spend to fit eSports into their programming, they may learn that eSports — and the video game platforms on which the industry is built — are more complex than they appear.

Deloitte TMT Predictions

20 — Smart Homes are attacked

Some security experts are predicting an increase in IoT attacks in 2019 as smart home devices become more prevalent. Potential causes for concern include the lackluster default security settings on some IoT devices, and the process of updating smart home gadgets — which is a habit some consumers might not practice as often as they should. The best defense is making sure IoT gadgets are properly secured with strong passwords and other security measures, says McAfee’s Raj Samani

Raj Samani, McAfee, Betanews — 2019 Security Predictions

21 — Black Mirror Social Credit algos move outside of China

These algorithms use facial recognition and other advanced biometrics to identify a person and retrieve data about that person from social media and other digital profiles for the purpose of approval or denial of access to consumer products or social services. In our increasingly networked world, the combination of biometrics and blended social data streams can turn a brief observation into a judgment of whether a person is a good or bad risk or worthy of public social sanction. Some countries are reportedly already using social credit algorithms to assess loyalty to the state.

IEEE Computer Society, Top 10 Technology Trends for 2019

22 — It’s GenZ Time

In 2019, Generation Z will outnumber Millennials, that generation you’ve loved to hate for the past decade. “Generation Z is now heading into the workforce in meaningful numbers and for the first time in modern history five generations will be working side-by-side,” says Michael Dell, CEO and chairman of Dell Technologies. Gen Z — which Pew Research Center defines as those born from 1997 onward — will be about one-third of the global population and one-fifth of its workers. What is this new generation’s work ethic? “My experience is that they lean in and lean hard,” says best-selling author Brené Brown. About half of her staff is Gen Z. “They are all very different people, but as a group I experience them as curious, hopeful, always learning, painfully attuned to the suffering in the world, and anxious to do something about it.”

LinkedIn — 50 Big Ideas for the Year Ahead

23 — Dynamic Pricing Everywhere

Dynamic pricing isn’t just for airlines anymore. Other industries, such as auto and real estate, will also rely on the model so that they can better manage available inventory and reduce production costs. It could also have implications for the customer journey, as it allows users to get better deals depending on when they purchase and how much stock is available at the time.

Chris Cunningham, 10 Predictions for the Tech Industry in 2019

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24 — Immersive reality will transform new sectors.

Virtual, augmented and mixed realities will join to create new experiences for consumers and will creep even further into areas like retail, manufacturing and healthcare. While virtual and augmented reality have been a ‘thing’for some time now, new developments are creating huge leaps in the performance, affordability and mobility of these technologies. As a result, we will continue to see fast-growing development for both these solutions as they move towards their market potential. For VR, what will be different in 2019 is that this demand will come from new sectors. For example, while gaming and entertainment will continue to fuel sales, industries like manufacturing, healthcare and retail will increasingly use immersive technologies to help with training and education. AR is in a different phase of its adoption journey and, as a newer-to-market technology, we will likely see strongest growth in the entertainment sector as consumers get to grips with more feature-rich AR technologies.

Nick Knuppfer, AMD — Fleishman Hillard, Tech Trends 2019, The Fads, the Fears, The Future

25 — More #MeToo

The #MeToo Movement continues to transform the face (and faces) of both old and new media. And, new faces will invest new industry dollars in new (and frequently very different) content choices, bringing us new (and frequently different) stories and transforming our media and entertainment experiences. Revelations aren’t over. Abuse was simply far too pervasive. Old players are gone. New, frequently younger, tech-driven media savvy faces get a seat at the decision-making table. They change the game of “what” and “how” we experience content. Ultimately, #MeToo both cleanses the overall new media industry, and fills our plates with very different media and entertainment choices.

Creatv Newsletter, Top 10 Mediatech Predictions for 2019

26 — Voice Shopping in Vehicles

Voice shopping in vehicles may arrive. I predict that we’ll be able to use our voices to shop during our commutes, thanks to the seamless integration of voice interfaces in cars. We could see billboards prominently using voice shopping calls to action. Amazon released its Alexa Auto Software Development Kit in August, which allows you to summon Alexa for navigation, controlling entertainment options, building a grocery list, etc. Very soon, I think we can expect voice shopping in vehicles because it’s really as simple as retailers adding an Alexa skill for voice shopping.

Ashwin Ramasamy, PipeCandy, Forbes, Ten Tech based Prediction for the Retail Industry in 2019

27 — Electric Scootermania!

Your First Electric Vehicle will be a Scooter — Already a fact of life in edge communities like Santa Monica (home of Bird, a leader in alternative transport), Tel Aviv, and Portland, alternative electric transportation is coming to you. Who knew electrified short-range transportation would be the killer app of electric motors? Well… Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway did. But no-one listened. Within the next 12 months, most cities will have networks of short-range electric vehicles (scooters, ebikes, unicycles, hoverboards, etc.) that you can pick up and drop off anywhere. Mainly for the purpose of moving within neighbourhoods (vs neighbourhood to neighbourhood), users are going to get addicted to that high-torque acceleration you previously could only experience in a Tesla. Expect to see grinning idiots everywhere you look.

Tribal Inc What a time to be alive

28 — Medicine goes B2C

“Thanks in large part to digital technology, rising health care costs, and increased competition, patients have become empowered consumers. As a result, they will be expecting more from health care. Much like the retail industry, patients want easy, seamless, and transparent consumer-like experiences. We will see more and more patients become discerning shoppers, comparing prices for physicians and health plans and expecting accurate upfront costs for services, just as they would with other products. They will increasingly look for ways to receive care outside of traditional doctor’s office visits by exploring digital health care options such as telemedicine and chatbot technology. Health care organizations are going to feel the pressure, and put even more emphasis on patient engagement, transparency into health care costs, quality, and value-based care. Consumers won’t stand for anything less.”

Matt Hawkins, CEO Waystar, Inc. — 31 Tech Predictions for 2019

29 — In Public Facial Recognition becomes normal.

Silicon Valley’s approach to facial recognition, using powerful computers and large datasets of faces to train highly accurate software, is only beginning to percolate into the security market. That will speed up in 2019. The combination of web-tracking and physical biometrics will mean that spaces in which human beings are not tracked will shrink. In America, for example, Major League Baseball will start allowing fans to validate their tickets and enter stadiums via a scan of their face, rather than a paper stub. Singapore’s newest megamall will use the technology to track shoppers and recommend deals to them. Tokyo will spend the year installing facial-recognition systems in preparation for the Olympics in 2020, when it will use the technology to make sure that only authorised persons enter secure areas.

Hal Hodson, technology correspondent, The Economist, The World in 2019

30 — Amazon will move into Hospitality

“In the past year, Amazon has entered new spaces like grocery and health care, has hinted at venturing into banking, and is even selling live Christmas trees — so what’s next? If you look at consumer share-of-wallet as an indicator, one other area that’s ripe for Amazon expansion is hospitality. They’ve just started dipping their toes into local services like house cleaning and handymen. I see great potential value for Amazon to venture into travel and restaurants and leverage its enormous customer base to capture a share of the hospitality spend in 2019.”

Amit Sharma, founder and CEO of Narvar — 31 Tech Predictions for 2019

31 — Digital Selection of Services becomes scrupulous

“Digital is facing a big spring cleaning: a time when we decide whether something still has value and relevance to our lives,” explained Mark Curtis, Fjord’s co-founder and chief client officer. “Digital is now so widely adopted that its novelty has worn off. In their attempt to declutter, people are being more selective about which products and services they incorporate into their daily lives, choosing to disconnect, unsubscribe or opt-out if the value exchange is not mutual. Never before has the responsibility of design been more important.”

Fjord Trends, Accenture

32 — Tech goes to Sleep

Tech has already infiltrated your waking hours. Now, it’s coming for your sleep. From smart mattresses to smart pillows, the products that are being released into the sleep market aim to improve sleep by tracking some of the most enigmatic hours of our days. In 2019, we will see that the trojan horse into this industry is wearable technology. FitBit announced in August 2018 that it had plans to launch a sleep tracking program known as SleepScore. The technology will use heart-rate tracking sensors on newer FitBits to give users nightly sleep scores and comprehensive views on how they’ve been sleeping. The sensors can measure oxygen levels in the blood and detect events that might be disrupting breathing during sleep.

CBInsights, CBInsights Tech Trends 2019

33 — Digital brand relevance first.

“Winners in 2019 will be those organizations that provide a sense of value and relevance not only to individuals, but also to the world,” said Brian Whipple, CEO of Accenture Interactive. “Value creation will not come from simply growing bigger, but by being better. Consistent with our mission to create, build and run the best customer experiences for our clients, we believe this year’s trends support our guiding principle that the best experiences are those that make people’s lives better, more productive, and more meaningful.” This mindset shift has major implications — and creates massive opportunities — for organizations and for customer experience. It’s time to take stock and rethink products, services, and experiences that people actually want and value.

Brian Whipple, CEO of Accenture Interactive — Dexigner

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34 — Amazon could still buy Target

Earlier this year, Munster made a prediction that the e-commerce giant would buy the brick-and-mortar chain by year’s end — something he said would fit with Amazon’s slow adoption of physical stores. “In fact, our belief that online retail will eventually represent 55% of US retail sales is one that will take place over a very long term — at a glacial pace, and Amazon is playing the long game in brick and mortar retail,” Munster wrote.

Gene Munster, Loup Ventures founder, Yahoo, Amazon buying Target

35 — Knowledge Mechanics will become a new job

Two new jobs will grow. First — “trainers” or “data annotator” have been a small thing for a few years. They will become a big thing. Secondly, you will start to hear about “knowledge mechanics.” These are people who don’t do a process but understand how to fix it when a machine screws it up. Think of a washing machine. We don’t wash clothes by hand anymore, and most of us don’t know how a washing machine works. But we have people who design and fix washing machines. These knowledge mechanics will design and fix applied AI processes in a similar way.

Rob May, CEO, Talla, Inside AI

36 — Emerging Technology Buzzword Convergence

We’re about to witness the biggest shift in tech in a generation. The buzzword-loaded, hyped areas of AI, machine learning, blockchain and AR are all impressive in their own right but were previously siloed. Convergence between these technologies will unlock an incredible amount of value for business as they become integrated into standard processes, leading to unprecedented productivity gains.

Marc Fischer, Dogtown Media LLC, Forbes, Top Tech Trends in 2019 — what you need to watch

37 — Blockchain takes a step up in Financial Services

The two biggest areas we’re seeing interest from enterprises in applying blockchain are finance and supply chain. We’re already seeing strong progress there in the form of Hyperledger, Ethereum Enterprise Alliance, and Corda. It can be expected that in 2019, corporations will invest additional time and resources in determining how to optimize portions of their businesses through the decentralization and transparency that blockchain offers.” -

Luka Horvat, Toptal and Blockchain Engineer , Forbes, Blockchain and Crypto Predictions for 2019

38 — More Brands will move to becoming Life-as-a-Service

More consumer brands are following the lead of Netflix, Spotify, Harry’s and others in trying to encourage customers to see them as ‘a service to subscribe to’ as well as a product to buy. There is a distinction between the purely digital services and the physical brands creating a virtual service but both types are trying to introduce more touchpoints and create a stronger relationship with the buyer. Over the past six months we have seen this model extend into previously unexpected categories. Xbox has introduced an ‘All Access’ subscription programme. A single monthly payment gives users an Xbox console, Xbox Live, and access to streaming games. Nespresso has introduced a similar model for its coffee machines and pods — by paying a minimal amount for the machine and commiting to membership and a subscription for coffee pods, customers are moving from buying a machine to buying a lifestyle. Uber and Lyft are both testing or introducing subscription models in the US, encouraging people to pay a monthly amount for a number of short rides, or even to protect them from paying surge pricing. LaaS should be deployed carefully, depending on factors like the value proposition and frequency of purchase, to build service into the offering. Brands selling physical products should try to keep the experience special — use one-offs, birthday deliveries, and layers of membership to personalise the offering. It may be better to partner with an existing service, or find a complimentary service than establish your own programme, depending on the role the brand is trying to play in its customers’ lives.

Dan Calladine, Head of Media Futures for Carat Global, 10 Trends for 2019

39 — The beginning of the end of exams (AI in schools)

In 2019, artificial intelligence will start continuously assessing students, making exams increasingly unnecessary. Normally we hear about AI in the context of driverless cars or Amazon warehouses, but AI in schools is already a reality. Adaptive learning platforms, such as Century Tech, use algorithmic decision-making to deliver lesson content based on a student’s ability and interests. Teachers use ‘AI teaching assistant’ tools to optimise seating plans for behaviour and learning. Even Ofsted, the education regulator, is trialling AI algorithms to predict which schools are likely to fail inspections. Recent advances make continuous assessment by AI not only possible, but practical on a large scale — even for subjects without binary “right” or “wrong” answers. Advances in natural language processing mean that AI can analyse the content, structure and style of prose in an essay. Instead of examiners spending hours marking one essay at the end of the year, all essays throughout the year could be marked quickly and independently by AI. Already, 60,000 schools in China (a quarter of the country’s total) are part of an ongoing government-sponsored trial in which essays have been quietly marked by an AI algorithm.

Toby Baker, Innovation Lab’s Education Team, NESTA

40 — Blockchain technology finds its second killer application.

After all the hype and ICO-mania in 2017, the flurry of startups attempting to solve every startup with a distributed ledger and the collapse of currencies in 2018, one startup emerges in 2019 with the next killer use case; Bitcoin being the first. I suspect the second killer application will not be currency based, but a consumer product.

Tom Tungoz, Redpoint VC, 5 Predictions for 2019

41 — China’s connectivity kickstarts new digital business models

China’s telecommunications systems will be second to none in 2019 and beyond — and it already has the world’s largest digital user base. These two factors will combine to drive business model innovation in an eclectic array of fields. Deloitte Global predicts that China will have world-leading telecommunications networks in 2019 and most likely in the medium term. Its communications infrastructure will provide a foundation for the gestation and maturation of at least three significant new industries, each of which could generate tens of billions of dollars in revenue annually by 2023. Deloitte Global further predicts that, in 2019, China will have the world’s largest fiber-to-the premise (FTTP) deployment by a significant margin. At the start of 2019, China is likely to have over 330 million full-fiber connections, representing about 70 percent of the world’s total. FTTP enables gigabit-speed links to premises today, and typically operators offer a range of packages at multiple speeds; in the medium term, by 2024, multi-gigabit speeds should be possible.

Deloitte TMT Predictions

42 — The Rise of Augmented Analytics

Through 2020, the number of citizen data scientists will grow five times faster than professional data scientists. Citizen data scientists use AI powered augmented analytics tools that automate the data science function automatically identifying data sets, developing hypothesis and identifying patterns in the data. Businesses will look to citizen data scientists as a way to enable and scale data science capabilities. Gartner predicts by 2020, more than 40% of data science tasks will be automated, resulting in increased productivity and broader use by citizen data scientists. Between citizen data scientists and augmented analytics, data insights will be more broadly available across the business, including analysts, decision makers and operational workers.

Gartner, Smarter with Gartner

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43 — Robots reimagine talent management

In 2019, talent leaders will start to execute two interrelated strategies centered on a robotics quotient (RQ) and a good-to-great hiring and development strategy. RQ will become a core learning and measurement fundamental for employees who direct or work alongside digital workers. Employees will need to design and manage a more robust and complex portfolio of RPA-driven processes; design and harness AI as leaders seek to drive massive efficiencies in complex and costly operations; and use automation to free human capital and the associated costs from the mundane and repetitive tasks.

Forrester, Transformation goes pragmatic, 2019 Predictions

44 — Digital Banking takes off

Between 2017 and 2018 there was a 24% increase in digital transactions, with more than two-thirds of millennials in the US using their smartphone as a wallet. This is creating an environment where traditional financial institutions are implementing innovative digital banking solutions, while start-ups grow at a rapid rate due to the demand from venture capitalists to invest in fintech.

GP Bullhound, Technology Predictions 2019

45 — AI gets humanised

“If we sit in an autonomous car, we must ensure that we trust the AI system which is driving the car. When AI applications are about to mature, the trust of AI becomes more and more urgent. Similarly authenticating and managing people’s AI avatars will be key to create trust in acting with other’s AI avatars before they are willing to create transactions with them.”

Dr. Adam Zheng, ObEN, Forbes, Get Ready 2019 Predictions about AI that will make your head spin

46 — Crimeware-as-a-service

“Terrorist-related groups will attack population centers with crimeware-as-a-service. While terrorist-related groups have been tormenting organizations and individuals for years, we anticipate more potentially destructive attacks in 2019. Instead of breaking systems with ransomware, adversaries will leverage new tools to conduct harmful assaults on targeted subjects and organizations. From attacks on data integrity that essentially kill computers to the point of mandatory hardware replacements, to leveraging new technology for physical assaults such as the recent drone attack in Venezuela, attack surfaces are growing and enemies will take advantage. To combat this, organizations must take inventory of their attack landscape to identify and mitigate potential threats before they are exploited.

Malcolm Harkins, Chief Security and Trust Officer, Cylance, 60 Cybersecurity Predications for 2019

47 — Video surpasses Voice

Video chat messages will become more popular than voicemail. Nobody liked voicemail in 2018, but video messages will surpass voice in the very near future (if it hasn’t already). Big companies like Amazon and Facebook are selling hardware to more easily facilitate video communications and they aren’t doing it for their health. They see the interest combined with market viability and have jumped in feet first.

Annebot, A Futurist’s Predictions for 2019

48 — There will be Iron Men

In 2019, exoskeletons will shed their sci-fi image and become popular across a number of industries. More manufacturers will follow Ford’s example by introducing and integrating exoskeletons in their production processes. New technologies such as artificial intelligence will also help address previously difficult design challenges such as functionality, weight, and mobility. Interest from both entrepreneurs and venture capitalists seeking to profit from this budding trend will prove to be an important catalyst in the technology’s growth as more start-ups are created and investments pour in. In addition, there will be a growing market for exoskeletal suits designed to support injured or weak muscles and joints — particularly as the large Baby Boomer generation continues to age. The clearing of regulatory hurdles will likewise accelerate adoption. For instance, the FDA approved the Japanese-created Hybrid Assisted Limb exoskeleton in early 2018. And as the popularity of exoskeletons grows for physical rehabilitation purposes, new cybernetic treatment centers will be developed in parallel where specialists can safely use exoskeletons on patients.

ATKearney Global Business Policy Council, A Year Ahead Predictions for 2019

49 — The ‘mobile workforce’ will dominate the new economy.

The Industrial Revolution was initiated through new technology — the steam engine — but its impact was felt widely across where people lived and worked, with whole new communities and social effects resulting. Cities, offices, suburbs, factories arose and, in time, the current technological revolution will have just as great an effect, making everyone as mobile as they wish to be. New economies will grow away from cities and new social structures will evolve, enabled by this mobile, flexible and adaptive way of working. Requesting flexible working has become a legal right in some countries, and even where it isn’t, it’s becoming an essential for modern work and the only way to compete for the best people in an increasingly febrile “war for talent”.

Paul Miller, Digital Workplace, My 10 Digital Workplace Predictions for 2019

50 — Tesla Model Y Launch Will Cement Mass Market Electric Vehicles

The Tesla Model Y is set to stun. The company’s forthcoming electric sports utility vehicle is set to offer a cheaper price to buyers looking to get into the market, a reduced-price alternative to the Model X in the same way the Model 3 is a cheaper version of the Model S sedan. Its launch, expected around March next year, comes at a big time for the electric car industry. There are more battery-powered vehicles on the road than ever before and growth is exponential, paving the way for Elon Musk’s firm to assert itself as an automaker for a broad audience. By rounding out the offerings for electric SUVs, Tesla could end up bringing about the tipping point for electric cars.

Mike Brown, Inverse, 2019 Tech Predictions

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