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Technology in 2017 brought us many advancements, including voice recognition in the form of digital assistants like Google Home and Amazon Echo, augmented shopping, and the first driverless car pick-up program in the states. We are a curious species, though, and we have continued those advancements into 2018. You’ll want to keep the following technology trends on your radar for the remainder of 2018 and into 2019.

AI continues to progress

Artificial intelligence is being incorporated into as many programs as possible, and it’s becoming more humanized. In 2017, Sophia the robot was introduced to the United Nations and was granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia. AI continues to develop and has become more creative, making music, writing, and even making cookies. While these advancements are impressive, it’s also becoming more difficult to discern what is real. AI is at the stage where it’s entirely possible for convincing, fake, footage to be created.

Centralization of smart appliances and apps

Many “smart” appliances, such as smartphones, smart TVs, tablets, and more have been introduced in the past decade. This year, we will see a continued integration of these appliances and apps to appease consumers desire for centralization and convenience of managing everything with the least amount of devices as possible. Smart speakers were released last year and started the process of centralization, and we can expect to see more as we progress.

5G construction

We already knew 5G would be implemented, but it will be released sooner than was originally predicted. 5G technology is 10 times faster than the current 4G technology, and will be able to accommodate and enable the use of virtual reality and augmented reality more seamlessly. Rather than waiting until late 2020, we can expect to see the introduction of 5G smartphones by 2019.

Consumer data

Many companies have already recognized the power of consumer data and we can expect to see the continued development of this in 2018 and on. Since many individuals are now using smart speakers and utilizing digital devices for most of their daily tasks, companies will soon be able to access and use personal data to develop a better understanding of what the individual wants, their interactions, and so on. This allows for the development of more personalized ads and engagement, as well as better predictive algorithms.

Automation of jobs

The prospect of jobs being replaced by robots and machines has been in the back of our minds for quite a few years now. This year, we may begin to see some white-collar jobs being replaced by AI. This isn’t to say that all jobs are going to automatically be replaced by machines, but we can expect to see the beginning of the transformation. From this, we can also expect more jobs to be created.