Domination of Cryptocurrencies:
Cryptocurrencies have dominated the news over the past year with the impressive performance on the stock market. Many cryptocurrency transactions like Bitcoin, Verge and Etherium for instance make use of blockchain technology which removes the need for banks to act as middlemen for all financial transactions. This technology also enables smaller transaction fees and offers more anonymity in transactions.
With all these benefits and the rising stock price of cryptos like Bitcoin, there are many people currently investing in all types of cryptocurrencies. This trend is likely to continue in the year 2018 as well. In fact, cryptocurrencies are becoming such a popular form on currency that many leading businesses like Expedia.com and Microsoft Corporation are accepting them as payment for their products and services.
Cybersecurity breach of Equifax:
One the other biggest security breaches of this year was the hacking catastrophy of Equifax’s system. The incident lead to a leak of the sensitive information of around 145.5 million of Equifax’s customers, including that of 8000 Canadian citizens. Obviously, the people who trusted Equifax with their personal information were furious that the company had allowed their website to be so vulnerable that hackers were able to get access to their files so easily.
As a result of the hacking, the stocks of Equifax had crashed. In response to the incident, the company had hired a professional cybersecurity firm called Mandiant to investigate and analyse the entire case. The company then promised to release the results of the investigation to their customers and offer their continual support to those affected by the security breach.
The new age of digital assistants:
There have been plenty of digital assistants that were available in the year 2017, designed to help their owners with various things like provide them their daily task reminders, play their favorite music or even search the internet. The best AI-assistants seen in the market were Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant.
However, the Amazon and Google AI assistants dominated the market with the Google Home line selling seven million units and Amazon’s Echo device (Alexa) seeing over twenty million units being sold. One of the main reasons why Google Home is the leader in this industry is because of its integration with Google’s search engine, which enables it to have much better intelligence than other digital voice assistants.
Artificial Intelligence industry on the rise:
With the artificial intelligence industry growing at a very rapid pace, leaders in science and technology like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking are skeptical about letting the AI industry to continue to grow and develop. Musk also deems that artificial intelligence, if not properly monitored and regulated, could be a possible threat to human existence.
Currently, there have been many major advances in the field of AI, from self-driving vehicles to AI-powered machinery that are currently being used by the manufacturing industry. According to Musk, if the development of AI technology continues to go unregulated, the safety of humans could potentially be at risk. In fact, Musk had recently signed an open letter addressed to the United Nations to ban the use of artificial intelligence technology in weapons development.
The verdict is out – Net neutrality is about to end:
Just recently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had agreed to remove the tough net neutrality rules that prevented internet providers from manipulating the content that their consumers could view over the internet. There many technology firms and consumer advocacy organizations that are currently trying to challenge this decision and obtain a stay order on the ruling.
The implications of the FCC’s new rule is upsetting for all internet users as once the new rule comes into effect, internet service providers (ISP’s) will have full control over what their users can access online and will have the power to even block certain websites of their competitors. The current ruling allows users the freedom to access any type of information from any website on the internet. When FCC’s new ruling comes into effect, then that freedom will end.