IT Freedom Blog

4 of the Biggest Tech Topics of 2017

by Jessica Baker on

Happy 2018!

Everyone is back at work, school is back in session, and it’s looking like 2018 is going to be an exciting year in the tech world. But before we dive completely into the new year we wanted to take a look back at some of the biggest tech topics of 2017, especially the topics that look like they are going to carry over into 2018.

biggest tech topics of 2017
So here they are, the top four tech trends/topics of 2017 to keep an eye on in 2018 (at least in our opinion)!

Net Neutrality

For a large part of 2017 Net Neutrality was a common household term, it even had it’s own Twitter hashtag and emoji. But why? Well, in April of 2017 the FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, proposed to repeal 2015 rules that classified broadband as a common carrier under the Communications Act of 1934 and the Telecommunications Act of 1996. This 2015 rule was put in place to help ensure an open internet on which internet service providers cannot give preference to one type of internet traffic over another. Without this classification ISP’s could theoretically slow down the content of companies that they do not prefer (think: Comcast slowing down Netflix and prioritizing Hulu, which Comcast owns a large share of. Or worse, doing the same thing to the “Next Big Thing” internet company, which never gets a fair shot because their traffic can’t get to consumers on an equal basis with their larger competitors.) On December 14, 2017 Pai’s proposal to overturn the 2015 rules was passed.
While we probably won’t see anything immediately affecting consumers, and many providers have claimed that their consumers won’t see a change, it was definitely a hot topic of 2017 and will no doubt continue to be into 2018.

Also read our post on how much you’re willing to pay for your privacy.

Deep Learning

2017 was really the year of advancements in AI, speech recognition, and IoT devices. And a lot of these advancements are because of deep learning software accelerating the design of these new technologies. So what is deep learning software? It’s software designed to mimic how the brain thinks, processes and categorizes information, meaning it can quickly and efficiently recognize patterns in large groups of data.

Google used this to decrease the voice recognition error rate in their newest phone in 2017.

For more information on how deep learning can be used in the tech industry, and many others like healthcare and even city infrastructure planning, check out this fortune article on IBM’s claim of a breakthrough in deep learning.

Augmented Reality

After the summer of Pokémon GO in 2016, it’s safe to say we were all ready for what would come next. And to be totally honest, AR was kind of a let down in 2017. Sure we got some pretty good AR headsets, and we definitely heard about it all the time, but nothing was quite ready for us to get our hands on. That’s because for AR, 2017 was really a year of research and development. Apple didn’t reveal it’s ARKit until June, and Google’s announcement came shortly after that.

In order for the public to interface an utilize AR apps and software, it has to be developed first, and that was really the biggest AR achievement in 2017. According to this PwC Report “AR Investment is outpacing VR investment”. This will definitely be another 2017 trend to keep an eye on in 2018.

Cryptocurrency

While 2017 was kind of a big year for Cryptocurrency there are still quite a few people who don’t totally know what it is, so i’ll start with the definition from Techopedia.

“Cryptocurrency is a type of digital currency that uses cryptography for security and anti-counterfeiting measures. Public and private keys are often used to transfer cryptocurrency between individuals.”

As of September 2017 over 1,000 different types of cryptocurrency exist. 2017 was absolutely the year that cryptocurrency took off, and if your office is anything like ours, it was often a topic of daily conversation. In November the value for a single Bitcoin (the original cryptocurrency) reached $10,000 - it’s been fluctuating a bit recently (and you can find the current value here), but this was a big milestone for cryptocurrency. This was also the year that cryptocurrencies made their way towards being seen as part of the major financial system. Because of this we also saw an increase in specific policies and decisions being made in direct regard to these digital currencies, like how China shut down cryptocurrency exchange. Considering all of these factors, this will be another interesting topic to watch in 2018.

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