The start of the year is a time to look ahead at what’s on the horizon for you and your organization. With so many thought-leaders offering insights on technology trends, where should you start? What changes truly matter this year?
We asked futurist speaker Jesse Hirsh to help break through the clutter and give us the biggest technology trends set to make an impact on you and your organization in 2019:
In 2018, mainstream media took the focus on privacy laws and regulations to a whole new level, thanks in large part to the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica Data scandal (here is the key coverage you need to know). After Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared before the US Congress, a huge surge of public discussions occurred around the ethical standards of the world’s largest tech conglomerates and companies. Privacy went mainstream and Jesse believes we’ll see even more ramifications of this in 2019 as governments work to address the concerns of their constituents.
2. Self-Driving Cars
After a huge amount of media coverage on the self-driving cars industry in 2017, last year saw a relatively smaller media focus on this technology. Some of the challenges faced in this sector became readily apparent: After a fatality in March, Uber pulled its self-driving test vehicles off the road; Waymo – formerly Google’s overly-hyped self-driving car project – launched a self-driving taxi service late in the year to modest fanfare.
The disconnect between corporate innovators and government regulators also became more apparent. In the UK, calls to require manufacturers to sell a fixed percentage of electric cars grew. The U.S. Senate is still debating the AV Start Act, aimed to not only loosen federal regulations around the industry but to also gather more crash data from automakers with the hopes of making the industry safer.
Jesse believes that all this could lead to a grassroots self-driving car movement in 2019. George Hotz’s Comma.ai is primed to be the go-to-software for consumers looking to transform their dumb cars into smart ones. Curious to see how this software Jesse mentions acts in real-life situations? Check out the drive-test review from YouTuber, Virtually Chris:
3. Blockchain Technology
The excitement around Blockchain technology has been unrelenting, but 2018 saw Bitcoin – one of the primary cryptocurrencies using this underlying technology – take a nosedive in its value. Has consumer confidence been shaken? Or is this just a case of investors coming back down to reality?
Jesse believes 2019 could be the “make-or-break” year for this technology. In his 2018 presentations, Jesse showed audiences the potential Blockchain technology holds for their organizations, from the opportunities around data collection and security to “ambient commerce” and analytics. 2019 could be the year we see more organizations adopt the technology to improve their processes.
4. Intelligent Agents
Smart speakers equipped with Intelligent Agents (Alexa, Siri & Google Home) were adopted like never before in 2018 and the trend looks set to continue in 2019. Emarketer predicts that by the end of 2019, more than one-quarter (26.8%) of adults in the US will use one at least once per month. As consumers become increasingly familiar with this technology, the demand for new, useful ways for these products to be implemented in their lives will grow and flourish. For 2019, Jesse sees the potential for this technology to aid consumers not only their purchase decisions but also the act of purchasing itself. With “fake news” becoming an increasingly difficult realm to navigate, he also believes this technology can help audiences cut through the noise to get to true and verified stories from reliable news sources.
Innovation: A buzzword that has been thrown around so much that it’s losing its luster. Many organizations claim to be innovative, but are they truly grasping the essence of this word? Jesse believes constant learning is at the core of innovation. He says as a society, we’re now into times where the effort to be constantly learning needs to be made by each and every one of us. Regardless if it’s personal or professional development, learning new things needs to be at the forefront of our being.
>>This is another core message within all of Jesse’s presentations and an area where he truly excels. He provides audiences with thought-provoking scenarios specific to their particular industry, all while empowering them with a mindset to learn and be the leaders for forward-thinking change within their organization.