Are you feeling overwhelmed by all the new technology buzzwords that have suddenly appeared in the last couple of years? I understand. Sometimes, it seems as if new words are being invented every day. Keeping track of all these different ideas and terms can seem like a nightmare.
Nevertheless, as technology has become such an important part of our lives, staying up to date with these new terms is now essential.
Here are 7 technology buzzwords that you’re sure to have read or heard about in 2018.
In simple terms, the Internet of Things (or IoT) is the notion of digitally connecting a device to the internet. Sometimes, two devices can be connected to each other, such as a thermostat being connected to a car.
An example of this in practice would be the calendar on your smartphone informing you that you have a meeting at 8am. The calender then syncs with your coffee machine in the kitchen, which proceeds to brew your coffee at 6:30am, freeing up time for you to do other things.
2. Machine Learning
One of the technology buzzwords of 2018, Machine learning is a form of artificial intelligence that provides systems with the ability to learn and improve performance without needing to be programmed by a human.
Some real-world examples of machine learning include Siri and Cortana, which use voice recognition to imitate human interaction. Netflix also uses Machine Learning to recommend films to its users.
A chatbot is a piece of software designed to imitate human conversation online. Chatbots automate online customer support and help respond to simple inquiries. However, their use goes far beyond helping customers online.
They can also be used to collect user data, book a table in a restaurant and even recommend products to customers while they are shopping online.
There are currently two main types of chatbot: ones that are programmed to recognise fixed words and expressions and suggest solutions, and those that include artificial intelligence. These types of chatbot are more sophisticated and understand more complex phrases.
Blockchain has been one of the hottest topics and technology buzzwords of 2018. It has also attracted billions of dollars of investment from some of the biggest companies in the world.
Blockchain is a public ledger of transactions, which are recorded anonymously. These transactions are linked together chronologically in ‘blocks’, hence the name blockchain.
Blockchain is also distributed, meaning that these transactions are controlled by thousands of computers around the world. These computers are connected to a larger network.
When someone makes a transaction, the network needs to come to an agreement over whether this transaction is valid. The network then links this transaction to the transaction that came before it.
Furthermore, the healthcare, education, food and retail sectors are all starting to employ blockchain technology.
5. Data Mining
Data Mining is the process of analysing large batches of data to look for patterns. Using this data, companies can develop more effective marketing strategies, solve problems and create new opportunities.
The healthcare, manufacturing, financial and cybernetics industries all use data mining.
Netflix has also used it to gain a greater understanding of what its customers want and to create new content based on this data.
6. Deep Learning
According to Investopedia.com, Deep Learning ‘is a form of artificial intelligence that imitates the workings of the human brain to analyse data and make decisions’.
It is a form of machine learning, which involves training AI to predict outputs given a certain set of inputs.
Some everyday examples of Deep Learning include restoring colour to black and white pictures and videos and self-driving cars. Deep Learning can also be used to predict the price of airline tickets. This is done by simply entering the origin and destination airports, the departure date and the airline.
Deep Learning is also used in Neural Machine Translation, a method of machine translation that involves the machine teaching itself to translate text, based on existing statistical models.
7. Augmented Reality (AR)
Augmented Reality or AR is the concept of adding computer-generated elements to the real-world environment.
Unlike Virtual Reality, which puts users into a completely different virtual world, Augmented Reality, on the other hand, adds information to the real world.
Seeing how a piece of furniture you like would look in your living room using a smartphone or tablet would be an example of Augmented Reality.
Technology buzzwords from 2018