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What are the top 10 tech trends of 2017?

By Holly Morgan | Oct. 20, 2016
Data science, advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence will be centre stage technologies shaping business in 2017 and beyond.

Data science, advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence will be centre stage technologies shaping business in 2017 and beyond.

That's according to analyst firm, Gartner, which predicts that enterprise will see "intelligence everywhere" as new software-based systems, which are programmed to learn and adapt, permeate businesses within the next three to five years.

As outlined by Gartner vice president and fellow, David Cearley, these intelligent trends will intertwine to form a ‘digital mesh’, blurring physical and digital workspaces.

AI and Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced machine learning (ML) are intelligent machines that can understand, learn and operate autonomously.

“Applied AI and ML give rise to a spectrum of intelligent implementations, including physical devices such as robots, autonomous vehicles and apps and services such as virtual personal assistants and smart advisors," Cearley said.

"These implementations will be delivered as a new class of obviously intelligent apps and things as well as provide embedded intelligence for a wide range of mesh devices and existing software and service solutions."

Intelligent Apps

"Over the next 10 years, virtually every app, application and service will incorporate some level of AI," Cearley added.

Eventually, Cearley believes this will lead to the transformation of the workplace as intelligent apps can perform human functions such as prioritising emails and highlighting important content and interactions.

"This will form a long-term trend that will continually evolve and expand the application of AI and machine learning for apps and services,” he added.

"As a result, intelligent apps will enable more specialised tasks to be completed such as sales and customer service."

Virtual and Augmented Reality

By 2021, Cearley said the landscape of immersive consumer and business content and applications will evolve dramatically, according to Cearley.

"VR and AR capabilities will merge to form a more seamless system of devices capable of orchestrating a flow of information that comes to the user as hyper personalised and relevant apps and services," he explained.

"Integration across multiple mobile, wearable, Internet of Things (IoT) and sensor-rich environments will extend immersive applications beyond isolated and single-person experiences.

"Rooms and spaces will become active with things, and their connection through the mesh will appear and work in conjunction with immersive virtual worlds."

Digital Twin

Gartner described a digital twin as a software model of a physical thing or system that relies on sensor data to understand it state, respond to changes, improve operations and add value.

Digital twins are comprised of metadata, event data and analytics.

In the next three to five years, Cearley said enterprise will use digital twins to proactively repair and plan for equipment service, manufacturing processes and improve operations to run factories.


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