It happened to the airplane, the telephone and the internet: All were once new, daring ideas that one day became as common as breakfast. Today, there’s no shortage of newer technologies that are on the verge of going mainstream themselves in 2020. Here are some of them:
AI outsourcing grows
As enterprises are discovering, Artificial Intelligence (AI) isn’t just for improving internal operations. AI also enhances the customer experience because it streamlines business processes. In 2020 businesses will realize even more benefits from AI.
The catch is that, while people become more comfortable with AI as a “co-worker”, in-house AI-based systems are still extremely expensive. That’s why many AI deployments will be carried through AI as-a-service providers. This way, companies can capitalize on the power of AI without breaking their corporate bank accounts.
Get ready for 5G
It’s hard to believe, but we’ve arrived at the 5th generation of mobile Internet connectivity. With 5G, downloads and uploads will be even faster and more reliable. We first experienced 5G this year, but high costs have limited its adoption, and geographical limitations have prevented widespread 5G usage. But in 2020 5G will become cheaper and more widely available.
Even those currently with the fastest connections will marvel at 5G’s speed and quality. Watching movies and listening to music will be an even greater experience. More so, this new level of bandwidth will allow machines and robots to access more data, allowing the entire realm of IoT (Internet of Things) to advance.
Self-driving automobiles hit the road
Autonomous cars are inching their way to going from prototype to a part of everyday life. There’s no denying that many of us will soon (two years, five years, ten years?) be driven to work while we read a book or stare at the landscape.
But your passenger car is just one category to consider. Trucks and ships are moving toward autonomous operation as well. Of course, as this technology matures, there will new legislation to adapt to safety issues, commerce, and social norms. In 2020 we should see more debate about how we will co-exist with driverless vehicles.
Medicine gets personal
While technology improves all aspects of our lives, it serves no greater purpose than enhancing our healthcare system. And among all the amazing health tech advancements, we can now predict and treat health issues before people even realize anything is wrong.
This trend has already begun, but in 2020 it will only go more mainstream. Treatment will become even more personalized, with doctors being able to precisely prescribe treatments based on data derived from AI. Data has given medical professionals a deeper grasp of how specific body types react to specific diseases and treatment plans. Predictive healthcare will undoubtedly improve treatments to deliver better outcomes for all of us.
The vision of computers
In the age of the Internet and AI, we all tend to take for granted the technology we use each day. But when you think about it, it’s incredible that your computer has “vision” – it can recognize places, objects, and people from images collected by its built-in camera and sensors.
This capability will flourish even more in 2020. Computer vision will allow autonomous cars to avoid danger. Computer vision on assembly lines will recognize defective products. Computer vision will allow security cameras to alert us of danger without humans actually looking at the images. The list goes on and on.
Blockchain proves itself
When you bring up Blockchain in a conversation, you’re likely to get two reactions. The tech-savvy audience understands what you mean, but the non-tech savvy audience has no idea what you’re talking about. I believe that next year we’ll have more of the former and less of the latter.
To simplify Blockchain for those not in the know: Blockchain is a digital ledger that records transactions. But what makes Blockchain so innovative? It’s encrypted and decentralized: No single person, organization, or institution controls it. As with any emerging technology, many have felt Blockchain was simply a trend, the next big thing that would just fade away like other overhyped technologies. But when corporate giants such as FedEx, IBM, and Walmart are investing millions in something new, like they are in Blockchain, you have to think there’s something substantial there. In 2020 many believe these investments will prove to be smart, which will lead to Blockchain adoption by many other organizations of all sizes.
2020 is right around the corner. The organizations that prepare for that turn will be the ones who succeed next year, and well into the future.