Greetings, As innovation does not wait for anyone, this period is seen as the calm before the storm for tech companies. CES, the huge annual gadget and consumer tech conference, begins next week in Las Vegas.
Looking back, 2016 feels to me like an unresolved saga. The biggest companies in the industry squared off against each other, forced each other to innovate, but failed to push each other out of the ring. Facebook cruised for much of the year and then got blamed for threatening all civil life as part of the fake news controversy. Apple inched backward, not so much from a competitive shove as from saturation in its biggest market, smartphones, and the absence of its next big thing. Amazon sparkled with the power of its web services arm and the sizzle of its Echo speaker. But its gains were evolutionary, not revolutionary. Google looked after its costs, a somewhat unnatural act. Samsung wobbled mightily after its latest, greatest smartphone was recalled, but hasn’t yet fallen down. The biggest private companies, Uber, Airbnb, Snap(chat), and Pinterest, all matured—and stayed private.
What’s next? That’s easy, based on the industry buzz that was building up all year, 2017 will undoubtedly be the year of Artificial Intelligence.
It is when every industry will ask how the latest old trend in computing threatens to upend the existing order as they know it. If you haven’t read it, yet, I highly recommend this long feature published a couple of weeks ago on the all.tech site about The Rise of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data. It will help you understand how researchers are teaching computers to “learn,” though read carefully and you’ll understand that computer learning amounts to becoming far better at guessing highly probable answers.
Moving on into 2017, there is a gasp of something fresh coming up, something that has only just began to be implemented. just the idea of thinking computers is enough to make you look forward at the year ahead with optimisim