The rise of machine learning, automation and the Internet of Things
Web Foundry's Technical Director, Przemek Sargeant, gives a round-up of his predicted trends in Information Technology.
Recently there has been a lot of coverage in the media of machine learning and AI. The last few years have seen significant progress in these fields, with machine learning being used extensively in our everyday lives.
For example, it is used in self-driving cars, medical imaging, online fraud detection, search and recommendation engines, voice recognition, computer vision and many many more applications.
It is particularly good at tasks that require analysis of large data sets and modeling of very complex systems, such as financial markets. This trend will continue with machine learning being adopted for an increasingly large number of tasks.
A natural progression from machine learning is automation. Automation allows for reduction of workload when performing repetitive tasks. With huge improvements in machine learning and AI, the automation can be applied to more and more complicated tasks.
It is expected that automation will replace a lot of the admin jobs performed by humans. These jobs already use complex IT platforms which generate a huge amount of structured data that is perfectly suited for machine learning.
Another area that has seen significant growth is IOT. IOT refers to devices that are directly connected to the network and internet cloud services.
With the progress made in miniaturisation, performance and power consumption efficiency, it has become extremely easy and cheap to develop small “intelligent” devices that aid and automate many aspects of our physical lives.
With this automation there are also opportunities for improvements in many aspects such as energy consumption (from lighting and heating), water consumption and security.
However there are still many aspects relating to the devices’ own security that need to be resolved. A large number of these are still being manufactured with inherent security flaws that make them easy for hackers to exploit.
There has been a lot of hype around VR in recent years and the technology has improved significantly. However it remains very niche and expensive. It is unlikely VR will break into the mainstream as the smartphone did, unless there is a very significant and unique use case that can only be achieved using a VR headset.
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