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11 technologies developers should explore now

Paul Heltzel | April 25, 2017
From machine learning to digital twins, opportunities abound in emerging (and converging) tech trends.


And the winner is … convergence

While AI is probably the most frequently cited breakthrough technology of the year, the most important trend of 2017 may be the merging of emerging, disruptive technologies.

Maarten Ectors of Canonical name-checked a dozen disparate technologies that, when joined, are much more than the sum of their parts: “the cloud, mobile, IoT, artificial intelligence, blockchain, augmented reality, voice interfaces, software-defined radio, Industry 4.0 [automation and data exchange in manufacturing], robotics, edge computing, and autonomous driving.”

Rocket Software’s Spedding says the siloed technologies are converging partly because of a need for businesses to dig themselves out of their own data—for example, analyzing website traffic.

“Add to that the increasing proliferation of new data sources, such as IoT,” he says, “and we see challenges just to keep up with the volume of information available to support business decision-making.”

Spedding sees opportunities for a convergence of cognitive technology, bots, and machine language in making sense of it all. A new generation of digital natives will speed the adoption of these melding technologies, he says, because they expect ease of use, interfaces inspired by gaming, and everyday exposure to augmented and virtual reality.


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