Top Tech Trends in 2018

By Patrick Ngai, CPA, Audit Manager

About two years ago, I took on a bigger role within the ASL tech group.  On a weekly basis, I scour the internet and look for news and articles that highlight the various subsectors of the technology world.  As we are approaching the end of 2018, I would like to share with you five (plus one bonus) articles that I found the most intriguing. 

First, we have to start with cryptocurrencies.  During the first half of 2018, you could not turn a corner and not hear about blockchain this and crypto that.  But did you know there was an attempt at a digital currency in the 90s? A decade before crypto, one digital currency conquered the world — then failed spectacularly: https://thehustle.co/beenz-pre-bitcoin-digital-currency

As technology advances, the line between reality and science fiction becomes thinner and thinner.  Artificial intelligence is no longer just a Steven Spielberg movie about a robot boy trying to find his mother; it is here and for better or for worse, it is changing the world – This PSA About Fake News From Barack Obama Is Not As It Appears To Be:
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/davidmack/obama-fake-news-jordan-peele-psa-video-buzzfeed 

Then sometimes, you will see a crossover between sectors.  As Internet of things (I.o.T.) becomes the buzzword for home goods and appliances such as doorbells, fridges, light switches and even webcam for your pets, it also opens the door (both literally and figuratively) for hackers and raises security risks – IoT malware grew significantly during the first half of 2018: https://www.techradar.com/news/iot-malware-grew-significantly-during-the-first-half-of-2018

It is undeniable that global climate is becoming more extreme.  Severe typhoons and rain falls in Asia is matched by prolonged periods of drought in South Africa where the country is literally running out of water.  We must find ways to lower our carbon footprint and as technology advances so does the cost for renewable energy – As costs fall, global renewable energy installations hit new milestones: https://www.axios.com/as-costs-fall-global-renewable-energy-installations-hit-new-milestone-ec3fe02a-f1c9-4e48-a80a-2eab0814c770.html

And finally, I need to bring up the latest bombshell in the life science community about gene editing.  Just few days ago, a Chinese scientist announced that he secretly performed gene editing on a twin using CRISPR – Rogue Scientist Defends Gene-Edited Babies—and Reveals a Second Pregnancy: https://gizmodo.com/rogue-scientist-defends-gene-edited-babies-and-reveals-1830712528

What Is CRISPR? and What Can It Really Do?: https://vitals.lifehacker.com/what-is-crispr-and-what-can-it-really-do-1826000682

Hope you enjoyed reading this list as much as I enjoyed preparing it. With that, I wish you all a happy holiday season.