Gartner’s latest Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies forecast (paywall) identified 35 different tech trends that could shape the technology landscape over the next five to 10 years.
“Business and technology leaders will continue to face rapidly accelerating technology innovation that will profoundly impact the way they engage with their workforce, collaborate with their partners, and create products and services for their customers,” notes Mike J. Walker, research VP at Gartner.
“CIOs and technology leaders should always be scanning the market along with assessing and piloting emerging technologies to identify new business opportunities with high impact potential and strategic relevance for their business,” he adds.
Delving a little deeper into their findings, the research firm also highlighted five distinct trends that have the potential to “blur the line between human and machine.”
The first of the five tech trends is democratised AI.
With AI-touting technologies anticipated to be ubiquitous within the next 10 years, Gartner says that it will be more widely available to the masses, driven by the likes of cloud computing, open source platforms and the maker community the firm adds.
“Technologies representing democratised AI populate three out of five sections on the Hype Cycle, and some of them, such as deep neural nets and virtual assistants, will reach mainstream adoption in the next two to five years,” says Walker.
Next is digitalised ecosystems, with Gartner noting that emerging technologies require revolutionised platforms.
There is going to be a distinct shift from compartmentalised infrastructures to ecosystem-enabling platforms, says the firm. This being a natural necessity created by technologies like Blockchain, IoT, knowledge graphs and data security.
“Blockchain and IoT platforms have crossed the peak by now, and we believe that they will reach maturity in the next five to 10 years, with digital twins and knowledge graphs on their heels,” adds Walker.
One of the more sci-fi tech trends is DIY biohacking, with Gartner saying the “transhuman” era will take flight over the next decade.
With biohacking taking four forms, technology augmentation, nutrigenomics, experimental biology and grinder biohacking, the most important question for Gartner is how far hackers are willing to push the boundaries, along with the ethical issues that it will create.
As such, there could very well be Deus Ex-esque implications brought about by biohacking.
A little less radical but still interesting are deeply immersive experiences says Gartner.
This kind of emerging technology will place an emphasis on the creation of spaces, whether in the home or at work, that are more human-focused.
Technologies pushing in this regard are the connected home, 4D printing, self-healing systems and smart dust.
“Emerging technologies representing transparently immersive experiences are mostly on their way to the peak or — in the case of silicon anode batteries — just crossed it. The smart workspace has moved along quite a bit and is about to peak in the near future,” explains Walker.
The final emerging tech trend identified by Gartner is ubiquitous infrastructure, and its rising prominence is similar to that of democratised AI.
In particular the limits of traditional infrastructure is being supplanted by the power of cloud computing and the desire to have an always-on environment.
Enabling this trend is 5G, neural networks and quantum computing adds Gartner.
Unlike the other tech trends, the firm notes that ubiquitous infrastructure has a far shorter expected time to come to fruition, with the next two to five years earmarked.
What then about the African and South African landscape/ Will these tech trends find footing on our continent?
This will be part of several presentations and discussions held next month’s EMEA Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, the firm teases.
Additional analysis is promised for the Cape Town-hosted event 17th to 19th September.