Top Tech Trends 2017


Watching gripping TV series like Game of Thrones reveals just how far we’ve come. While their era froze in cold stone castles and dropped like flies from disease, our own lives have become warmer, healthier and more cossetted. We’re living longer but may shortly find we have a lot less to do.

So far we’ve got self-driving cars, 3-D printing, solar power and augmented reality. It’s not just factory workers and cleaners but doctors, teachers, accountants and lawyers who are being threatened with the intrusion of artificial intelligence. A chatbot lawyer service called DoNotPay recently successfully contested 160,000 parking tickets in London and New York. It was built by a 19 year old.

Time consuming travel with its high cost and security risks gets replaced by augmented reality where people of all ages can share design ideas, explore adventure tourism, DIY and education. We’ll be watching our holidays on 3D goggles from the comfort of the Lazy-boy. We will travel less yet communicate more. We may stay home but we’re consuming readily through a keyboard.

Meanwhile as we Google search and disappear down rabbit holes, everybody is after your all-telling data. We’ve become a commodity for click-bait as businesses buy insights into our behaviour. Metadata allows organisations to identify our specific habits and companies make informed business decisions on the feedback.

Artificial intelligence will soon transform every aspect of life and it’s been predicted robots could threaten up to half of New Zealand jobs over the next 20 years

More companies will be thinking about how to use artificial intelligence for everything from customer service to investment advice and more corporates will want to perform analytics with the data and metadata they already have. The hunt for information to provide a competitive advantage is on.Cyber security must also then become more prognostic as cybercrime becomes even more sophisticated.

Enter blockchain, a digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly.

Human-like robots offer hospitality and companionship while performing household chores while on a less friendly playing field fly invasive and all-seeing drones. They may carry pizzas or grenades.

Every appliance manufacturer is investigating ‘the internet of things’  where household appliances, vehicles, machines, boats and airplanes can be connected to the internet, creating huge amounts of data to help improve customer experiences.

Other industries affected include payments, retail, e-commerce, design and travel.

Being able to test and experiment with these new emerging technologies is going to become critical and the impact will be seen through new customer engagements and new operational models.

Already movie stars have become computerised, their voices and faces captured, scripted and given animated roles in a movie set they’ve never touched.

Voice recognition software is transformational and shortly Siri, Apple’s voice command software will be superseded as voice commands take over home technology.  Our lights, room temperature, video and even the oven will be controlled by voice commands.

It may be difficult to guess what jobs will exist in eight to10 years, though one prediction is 80 per cent of IT jobs would soon be automated. Labourers, service sector workers, and machinery operators or drivers are among those at the highest risk of being replaced by automation.