top tech trends 2019

The Top Technology Trends for 2019

Every year, Dragon IS’s Managing Director, Lionel Naidoo, rounds up the top technology trends that he feels are set to shape the year ahead.

This year, the world’s most influential technology experts have forecast their predictions, and most are centred around data and AI. As the proliferation of voice-controlled gadgets and the “internet of things” (IoT) that connect everyday household items, cars, and fitness wearables continue, the amount of digital data we produce will also increase. These will be helped along by the evolution of AI and the introduction of new technologies like 5G. So what should we look out for in 2019…

Fake News and ‘Deepfakes’

Could 2019 be the year fake news causes a geopolitical incident? Powerful technologies and tools that blur the boundaries between what is real and what is fake will become increasingly accessible to anyone with a decent laptop or smartphone, posing a growing threat in 2019.

“Deepfakes” – realistic computer-generated images and digital videos that overlay another person’s face onto a body or that can change what people actually say – will create significant challenges for news organisations when it comes to verification. Linked to this are the new world of AI-created digital avatars and virtual TV presenters – as unveiled by China’s Xinhua News Agency in November 2018 – which could even change the way news is delivered to the viewing public.

Using AI to fight AI Cyber Attacks

AI and IoT will continue to create new possibilities and opportunities for businesses in 2019, throwing up new challenges around cybersecurity. If AI falls into the hands of cybercriminals or state-sponsored hackers, it is possible we could see a full-scale AI driven cyber attack this year. Ironically, as hackers become more sophisticated in their strategies, we will move towards using AI to fight any AI based attacks. Microsoft, Google, and Amazon are just a few of the big tech companies now employing machine-learning algorithms to stop hackers in their tracks.

Healthier Living and Personalised Medicine

Fitness wearables and smartphones are likely to play a more prominent role in our health and fitness in the coming year as the growing volume of health data unleashes a new era of AI personalised medicine.

AI-powered computers will also play a more prominent role in the NHS, with five new AI medical centres set to open in the UK this year. These new clinics will use specialist software to digitise scans and biopsies as well as AI tools to help analyse scans and speed up the diagnosing of diseases.

The Rise of Ethical Tech Companies

The Cambridge Analytica scandal, new ICO fines and GDPR actions have stirred a backlash against business models built on unethical behaviour and the harvesting of data in 2018. Does that mean 2019 could finally herald the rise of more ethical technologies?

The signs are promising, with a growing number of new startups employing innovative and ethical business models. For instance, the fully app-based bank Monzo became the fastest growing new current account in the UK in 2018 (specifically amongst the under 30s), thanks to an ethical approach to online banking and world-class customer service.

Expect to see the rise of more startups with innovative business models like Monzo as firms find new ways to build ethics into their business model and balance their need to make profits with the user’s need for control of their data.

Superfast 5G Mobile Arrives on the Scene

The next generation of mobile broadband mobile data is set to make an appearance in 2019, but don’t expect 5G to make a significant impact – yet!

5G technology not only promises to be more stable, with faster mobile download and browsing speeds, but it will also change the way we interact with technology on a day-to-day basis. With the higher speed and capacity promised by 5G, networks will be able to cope better with higher demand and multiple uses all at once, meaning every device could become smart and connected.

Unfortunately, to experience 5G, you’ll need to buy a brand new phone (the first 5G iPhone is scheduled for release in 2020), and carriers are still working on rolling out the new infrastructure, with thoroughly widespread 5G coverage not expected in the UK until 2022 or later. We may have to wait a few more years before we see the first ‘smart’ cities!

The Facial Recognition Security Boom

Seamless facial recognition technology will take off in 2019, and it will have a significant impact on security.

The newest mobile devices already all come with facial recognition installed as the unlock feature. Smart cameras in the home will become more popular as people see them as a way to not only interact but a way to control their security. Moreover, surveillance security cameras with embedded AI in airports, shopping malls and on the high street could help police identify faces and quickly detect criminal activity in real time.