2015 has been an exciting year in technology, but sadly, it is coming to an end. Not to worry though because 2015 has set up 2016 to be an amazing year for tech in business too. Here are the top five things to look forward to in 2016: 1. True Artificial Intelligence Will Be Created It has been said, that we humans cannot program real AI because computers don’t function the same as human brains. Because of this, computers will never be able to reason logic like humans, but instead only follow a set of predefined rules. This may finally change now that Google has proved that its quantum computer, D-Wave, can actually process quantum problems. If it can function on a quantum level, Google will be able to develop a simulated neuron network the same way our brains work. In essence, humans will create real artificial intelligence!
2. The Babelfish Will Become A Reality Facebook decided to open-source their server hardware designs for artificial intelligence processing. This means, that more companies will be able to have easy access, to systems, to create AI on. Combining this with the rise of wearable computers, we will soon have ourselves a real life Babelfish. Microsoft has gotten close with Skype. Skype will translate certain conversations in real time. It is limited though, and still has trouble with heavy slang. It’s also not mobile. Soon, Siri and Google Now enabled devices, like the iWatch and the Moto 360, will be able to pick up conversations and translate them in real time. Best of all, these systems will be able to translate teenagers too! Parents will finally be able to understand what their kids are saying. 3. Cyber Security Crackdown The past few years have been littered with news stories of hackers breaking into networks and stealing information. The biggest were perhaps the Target break-in and the Sony hack. Criminal hackers have been able to leap and bound over security professionals because the tools in use were designed back in the 90’s. Sure, apps have been updated, but functionally wise, they still work the way they did more than a decade ago. Security firms have started to dabble in machine learning to create new security tools. These new tools will help cyber security professionals thwart hacking attempts by recognizing them as they happen. Malware and Ransomware won’t be detected by virus signatures, but instead by the way they act. The old fashioned virus signatures of yesterday will become a thing of the past. The only question is which security firm will be first to market. 4. The Turing Test Will Be Cracked 2016 will be the year that AI is able to mimic a person. The Turing test has been the benchmark for decades to determine whether or not a computer can mimic a person, or if the PC is capable of true AI. The Turing Test has its opponents, and surely it is dated, but it remains a benchmark nonetheless. It was almost cracked a year ago but still remains unbroken. New advances in AI are coming. Neural networks are the new hot thing. Multiple companies are experimenting with them and have made a lot of progress getting computers to create and understand human logic on the fly. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Turing Test was defeated in the first quarter, or early second quarter at the latest, of next year. 5. The Year of the Driverless Car Tesla released a patch for their model S in 2015 that allows the car to drive down a highway completely autonomously. Tesla is so close to making a vehicle navigate urban areas too. This has to have other vehicle manufacturers scared. Sure, some cars can park themselves or stop in emergencies, but they can’t navigate a 100 mile stretch of road. They are not going to sit on their laurels and let Tesla have all the glory. The 2017 line-up of vehicles, which we will see in late 2016, will feature more driverless capabilities, including driving down the highway. By Christmas of next year, car bloggers nationwide will be having driverless drag races down the road and they will be the safest drag races in history. Thank you Elon for making this possible with your OpenAI stack!