Technology is the world of opportunities. It’s a behemoth, but it’s also what is creating today’s economy and the jobs and careers that define it. That’s why we’re sharing our top 10 tech predictions tech blog sites: in order to stay relevant, learn how technology can help you better organize your life, work smarter, be more creative and get ahead of trends.
For the past decade, there have been a host of technological wonders devices, apps and services that have fundamentally changed our lives.
1. Smart speakers are here to stay, but no one will use them all day long. We’re likely to see a spectrum of voice-activated devices in 2018, including smart speakers from Amazon (s amzn), Google (s goog) and Apple (s AAPL) which are all expected to release updates this year. As phone usage continues to decline among younger generations for whom voice control is not as natural, we can expect these devices will play an increasing role in our daily routine.
2. We’ll probably see more people use smart speakers to interact with virtual assistants. More than two-thirds of consumers will use voice assistants at least once a month in 2018, according to a report from eMarketer. In fact, 43 percent will do so every week. That means more people will be using Alexa or Google Now to make purchases (27 percent), set reminders (21 percent) and get directions (20 percent). As we adopt new technologies, we will always have our feet against the brakes but we’ll have the benefit of technology’s speed and convenience as we learn how to use it.
3. We’re going to start using our phones less. As we shift away from the cellphone as the primary phone and more toward voice control as our main digital tool, we’ll begin to carry around less devices in 2018 and rely even more on our voice-activated devices. Between 2017’s holiday sales and this year’s predictions, eMarketer has predicted a 19.9 percent decline in the number of people who will buy new phones this year.
4. We’ll go virtual despite ourselves. Virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality are expected to be among the top tech trends in 2018 as well, according to UBM Tech Insights. In 2017, we saw the release of two VR headsets for smartphones the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive and as a result, more than 5 million units were shipped. In 2018, we’ll see even more devices go virtual, including Google’s (s goog) recently announced Daydream platform and Apple’s (s AAPL) plans to release an augmented reality headset later this year.
5. AI will become everyday automation. Machine learning will be used in every field of activity in 2018 by everyone in every country around the globe. We’ll see it used for cybersecurity at a smaller scale as well as wide-scale automation across industries like finance, retail and manufacturing through chatbots and similar routes. Technology will be helping more and more us to do what we already do, but in more efficient ways. That’s a win-win for us humans, and for the economy.
6. Tech will upend the traditional workplace in 2018. In an effort to enhance worker productivity, technology is quietly changing the roles of white-collar workers through automation and technology infusion in the workplace. As baby boomers retire, some companies are investing heavily in human capital among younger employees to ensure they have the right tech skills as potential replacements or to fill gaps where technology can’t yet fully replace people.
7. Video streaming will become the norm. In 2017, more than 2 billion hours of video were watched on Facebook (s fb) Live, and photos and videos are expected to continue to take up an increasing amount of time as people look for longer-form content on the web making video a natural choice for people to consume online. As technology continues to evolve, YouTube is moving into live streaming with a service that enables creators to broadcast up to six hours of live video daily from their computers. We’ll see other services following suit this year as more companies strive for quality content that will keep viewers coming back for more.
8. Virtual reality will move beyond gaming in 2018. Virtual reality headsets will likely be a part of our daily life in the new year. As more companies invest in VR, we can expect to see more third-party (non-gaming) applications and content like videos, virtual tours, 360° photos and more. We’ll even see products like Google’s Daydream standalone headsets that don’t require a smartphone for a fully immersive experience that will make it easier for people to use VR at home without taking up precious screen space on their phone.
9. Artificial intelligence is coming for our jobs. A host of companies in 2018 will make more use of artificial intelligence, but this time, we’ll be seeing it applied more to white-collar work than it has been in the past. One notable example is the move by Genpact (s gen) to apply AI technology to screen insurance claims and reduce inaccuracies. While we’ve already seen AI used for customer service, we’re now likely to see it also applied to process work like accounting and insurance or credit card claims processing.
10. Personalized medicine will finally become a reality. As genetic sequencing becomes less expensive, technology advances will bring us closer to personalized medicine in 2018. We’ll continue to see the FDA approve more therapies such as drugs to treat specific subtypes of cancers, and we’ll start to see more people take advantage of the technology to get their DNA sequenced. With a better understanding of the human genome, we’ll develop new medicines that provide targeted diagnoses and treatments for diseases.