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One of the promises I made myself for 2018 is to pen my thoughts at least once a month about various things that impact the technology industry. Here is my first one for 2018.

With 2017 behind us, technology industry leaders look into 2018 after the annual tech conference, CES. As described by Daniel Newman from Forbes, “This year, companies shared advancements in everything from consumer technology hardware to content to enterprise tech delivery systems to autonomous cars—and so much more.” Here are some of the advancements we can expect to shape this year’s landscape.

amit gupta phoneWhen Blockchain Meets IoT

As a result of the bots boom, technology now runs our households. From turning on the lights or monitoring deliveries to keeping a grocery list, household devices can do it all thanks to IoT. I am using about 12 such app (screen shot from my phone). These surely make my life easier where I can control most of my electronics from palm of my hand. The Internet of Things (IoT) created a lot of buzz last year as electronics and software became engrained in our everyday devices, and while for many the pros outweighed the cons, security became an ever-pressing concern. If we grant devices access to our personal and financial information – it needs to be safely stored outside the reach of tampering or hacking, which hasn’t been the case.

Enter blockchain, the latest tech buzzword. As described by Fortune, “Blockchain, one of the underlying technologies for the hot cryptocurrency bitcoin, can make IoT devices even more useful. It creates a digital record across hundreds or thousands of computers, vastly reducing the risk of hacking.” Blockchain, due to its decentralized nature, offers a transparent, largely impenetrable record of transactions for users. As companies look to expand the mass adoption of IoT expect them to look to blockchain as a means to offer a more secure Internet of Things this year. Remember blockchain doesn’t only have implications for IoT, expect it to expand well beyond digital devices and cryptocurrency.

The Artificial Intelligence Impact

Sophia shocked the world last year as the first robot to gain citizenship. She also started the conversation about where AI is heading and what the implications are. On a personal scale, Digital Trends predicts that this year Artificial Intelligence will be further integrated into our routines via phones and digital assistants. Location-aware platforms, automated automobiles, and robots are no longer considered goals for the future.

While we still land in the early phases, industry focus shift towards development as well as how it’s going to impact every industry not just our personal lives. Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, made headlines this January saying that Artificial Intelligence is more profound than advancements like electricity and fire. He went to say that “humans first learned to harness fire by understanding its dangers, adding that AI can similarly benefit us once its role and effect on society has been established.”  Many wonder how a technology that sets to cut jobs in many industries is expected to help amidst a serious job shortage. Others argue that AI won’t just eliminate jobs, but create them. Only time will tell what this unmatched tech means for the next year but for now lets ride this roller-coaster of cryptocurrency and control our electronics at the palm of our hands.