I joined SABC 3’s Expresso Show to unpack four major tech terms you need to know about in 2018 – from blockchain to virtual reality!

We’re on the cusp of a fascinating year in technology, with several trends threatening to upend how we spend our day-to-day and, further, how the world at large works. Our Editor Bryan Smith joined SABC’s 3 Expresso Show to unpack four hot tech terms everyone should know about!

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence denotes software – or a mixture of software or hardware – that can be used to ‘think’ in similar fashion to the human mind.

Where most software programs rely on user input to achieve some kind of function, artificial intelligence can be used to proactively identify shapes and objects in images, synthesize text to speech, or even make certain decision.s

Internet of Things

One can consider the internet the medium through which our smart devices and computers can communicate and exchange information. However, this hasn’t really extended to everyday appliances which are reliant on user input to work.

The term ‘internet of things’ describes appliances or other electronic devices which are internet-enabled and can communicate and receive instruction over the web.

Blockchain

Put simply, the blockchain is a mechanism to scale trust.

Where in the past we’ve relied on institutions or middlemen to exchange value, the blockchain is a peer-to-peer network comprised of computers all around the world. Each computer holds one copy of a publicly distributed ledger, and new transactions are broadcasted and listed on this ledger for all to see.

Transactions are secured and verified by cryptography, through a mathematical proof called hash. This provides each transaction with a unique identity that, when coupled with preceding and proceeding transactions, secures the ledger’s mutability similarly to a fly being encased in layers of amber.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality describes gaming or other environments where one might don a headset and interact entirely with a digital world; relying on graphics and physical principles to influence and change one’s environment.

Augmented reality describes scenarios where virtual elements are ‘overlayed’ upon the real world, and users can interact with their environment normally with enhanced information or perspective.

Have your say!

Which of the above tech terms do you think will most greatly influence the year ahead of us? Be sure to let me know on Twitter: @bryansmithSA!