Dean Chester is a practicing cybersecurity expert and author of numerous articles
The current year is replete with technological innovations that are capable of plotting a vector for the development of the entire industry for 2020 and subsequent years. The AI-operated robotic hand Dactyl that solves Rubik’s cube with one hand, the BERT, an advanced voice assistant, that launched a rocket into natural language understanding, smart watches with electrocardiogram sensors embedded – all these 2019 innovations allow us to suggest that the era of digital dystopia is just around the corner. With the tech industry becoming more advanced, cyber threats are expected to be complex and far-reaching. Fortunately, the cyber defence industry is not rest on its laurels, even now there are lots of methods to protect yourself from threats (you can read about it on Cooltechzone).
Now it is high time to ask: what big tech trends and innovations are going to affect the way we live in 2020? What changes should we be ready for?
The 5th generation mobile network is expected to provide us with super-fast download and upload speed as well as deliver a much higher degree of flexibility and scalability. Although the technology was launched in 2019, and a whole host of 5G phones have already been announced from such industry giants as Xiaomi, OnePlus, Samsung, and more, the technology is still very limited in terms of locations and mobile networks. A piece of good news is that we can expect more of this in the future. 2020 seems to be a year when 5G networks will come out full force, with improved coverage and more affordable plans. 5G connections are forecast to reach 1.2B by 2025.
Apart from lightning-fast Internet speed that makes it possible to stream video and music at high quality, it will enable the development of miscellaneous innovations such as Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, IoT, Augmented Reality. Moreover, it will establish the basis for autonomous vehicles and smart cities. More on this below.
Leading cyber-security vendors predict that sponsored cyber-attacks will escalate against governments, big businesses, critical infrastructure as far as international tensions increase. What it involves is a real Cyber Cold War funded and enabled by large countries looking to extend their spheres of influence, as we could see it in the secret cyber strike against Iran.
Moreover, the creation and propagation of fake news will be escalated as well. But the following year the fake news will be created with the help of Artificial Intelligence which is able to imitate the voice, intonation, speed of utterance in an expert manner, craft high-quality fake videos that even another AI-algorithm will hardly recognize the forgery.
Phishing attacks will also become more effective and sophisticated, convincing mobile users to click on malicious links. In these terms, it is crucial to know how to protect your devices from cyber-attacks and malware. One of the most actionable ways is to use a VPN which creates an encrypted tunnel with the strongest cipher.
Throughout 2019 such headlines as “Waymo’s robotaxi pilot surpassed 6,200 riders in its first month in California” appeared in many famous IT-related resources. Indeed, the idea of autonomous driving is not a utopia anymore, and the question is not “if” but “when”.
Elon Musk’s Tesla is one of the leaders in that industry. Undoubtedly, they achieved great progress in developing self-driving vehicles but they are still far from developing a completely autonomous car by 2020, as had been promised. So far, all manufacturers are no further than at the third level of autonomy (SAE defined the five levels of automobile autonomy), which means that all safety functions are automated, but it is the driver who is responsible for taking over in an emergency. It still requires the driver to be focused on the driving process despite the car doing all the tasks. In order to break new ground and to achieve the fifth level of autonomy, 5G connection with ubiquitous coverage is obligatory. The speed of 4G LTE is not enough for sensors to respond to an emergency case in a matter of milliseconds.
Therefore, it would be premature to assert that completely autonomous cars will be on the market by 2020, but to achieve a transition from the third level of automobile autonomy to the forth one is quite realistic. Well, this technology still has room for growth.
According to Gartner, 48% of global CIOs will deploy AI by 2020. Besides, most companies have made their data science a priority and are investing in it heavily. Due to AI impact, companies are expected to produce tens of times more goods and services - a consumer boom is inevitable. Items and devices will become more smart, uniting into ecosystems of the Internet of Things. More and more processes and transactions will be carried out without human intervention, especially with routine mechanical tasks such as collecting data from various sources. Robots will take over this work. A task that a person used to spend hours, days and even months on can be completed by Artificial Intelligence in a few seconds.
Despite AI will continue to become a part of our everyday lives, a lot of businesses will still see the deployment and development of their own AI-based infrastructure as a very expensive thing, so they’d better use AI as a service rather than expand their stuff, hire skilled specialists, and appropriate funds for applying AI to their processes. For example, we can expect that in 2020 every business owner can reach out to Google, Amazon, Microsoft and any other provider in order to implement AI in their business processes, so the provider will supply the algorithms, the infrastructure, the platform, the applications and businessmen will simply pay as a service. This is the massive trend that is going to be bigger in 2020 and is likely to change the whole business structure.
Those who recognize that AI is not just about smart devices but about service will have to meet new customers’ demands, unlock new sources of income, and, what is more, thrive in this world of connected things.
The blockchain tech is a digital ledger that is used for recording transactions but confidential and secure thanks to its decentralized, self-regulated, and encrypted nature. Although the popularity of blockchain tends to wax and wane and the interest is lower now, some innovations go under the radar starting coming out en masse throughout 2020. What are the innovations we may expect from the blockchain technology?
Facebook Libra. This is the surprise from Facebook, the social media giant. The concept of brand new revolutionized cryptocurrency emerged in 2019 but it is expected to get launched in 2020. Such market leaders as PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, Uber, eBay, and others are among the investors. Libra is an open-source blockchain that is aimed at revolutionizing the whole world’s economy by producing a crypto coin available to everybody. Despite there are still a lot of regulatory issues that have to be resolved at the moment, Facebook is not going to delay the date of the release. That is means that the following year will be full of surprises for blockchain enthusiasts.
Blockchain will be more involved in the gaming industry. Gaming is a huge part of the blockchain economy since the technology is a perfect basis for game developers as it allows them to create peer-to-peer games. Blockchain has already been noticed in the gambling industry. With it, users can play a lot of casino games in a decentralized manner at any time and from any place. Besides, once blockchain will experience more adoption, they will be able to play in a completely anonymous way, so more developers are likely to use this technology in 2020.
The tech will be used by governments. The blockchain concept is of interest to government agencies that have to keep, monitor, and administer big data. Most agencies have separate databases within a city’s infrastructure, so they have to request data from other agencies and departments. By using the blockchain tech, they can share data as it circulates across infinite nodes. This makes data management more efficient.
Progress does not stand still and with so many changes, it can be really hard to grasp the sheer scale of technology innovations. The trends mentioned above highlights some of the noteworthy innovations but the list if far from being exhaustive.