Gartner is out with its new set of technology predictions for 2019 and it identifies ten areas that will likely draw the most attention. Some of these are unsurprising and others are only emerging now, but all of them are fascinating.
First, there is automation and autonomy, one of the unsurprising trends. Self-driving cars are still a focal point of efforts in this area and attracting a lot of investment. Advancements in this direction will naturally be combined with developments in AI and the Internet of Things, Forbes’ Steve Andriole notes in an overview of the trends. Yet, however attractive this topic is for discussion and forecasts, we have yet to see an autonomous car on the road although it is unclear where things will be in five years. Factoring in regulation, which will be very touch, rest assured about that, they may just remain where they are right. Safety is a huge concern.
Augmented analytics is one of the less obvious trends listed by Gartner. The firm only mentioned this concept for the first time last year in a report aptly titled Augmented Analytics is the Future of Data and Analytics. Basically, augmented analytics means using machine learning and natural language processing to automate the process of gaining insight from data. Again, the various tech solutions bundled under the name AI will feature big here.
In fact, Gartner says that by 2022 some 40% of the process of developing new applications will involve AI alongside human developers. Inf act, AI will, hardly surprisingly, have a wide, far-reaching impact on all sorts of other technology, basically enabling the creation and application of various new solutions.
One kind of these would be digital twins. A very Black Mirror-esque term denoting digital replicas of entities, including humans, digital twins can be used to create simulation models of the entities copied for various purposes. They can be used to predict future developments and events as well as behaviors.
Speaking of digital replicas, Gartner also sees augmented/mixed reality gaining traction next year. The company calls it immersive experience and believes as much as 70% of companies that make products or offer services that can benefit from the enhanced experience are already playing with the technology.
The empowered edge is another trend Gartner expects to see next year. It refers to the migration of computing from centralized facilities to the edge of the network, which would substantially increase computing power, Andriole says. In fact, he adds, computing power could be extended indefinitely by utilizing edge devices.
Smart cities, buildings, and companies are another trend that will see further development next year as will blockchain: Gartner expects the technology to reach a market size of $3.1 trillion by 2030 as it enters the mainstream.
Finally, Gartner identifies quantum computing as an important trend for next year. Calling quantum computing an emerging trend, however, would be an overstatement. Nascent would probably be a better word since it will quite a while before we could derive some actual benefit from it. But the idea of a computer using superposition instead of binary code is definitely fascinating and will draw more attention going forward.