IT analysis: Forecasts for 2019

Chema Dec. 21, 2018

security 2019 forecast machine learning blockchain privacy

In this year that finishes the protagonists have been the increase of the machine learning, the fall of the cryptocurrencies and the scandals for lack and failures in the privacy. 2019? These are our forecasts.

Machine Learning for All

The democratization of machine learning will begin to be a reality in 2019. 

As you know, the challenge today is in the preparation and adaptation of data to train neural networks.

The development of the GPUs, driven mainly by the exponential growth that I suppose in 2017 the mining of cryptocurrencies like Ethereum.

The fall of cryptocurrencies in 2018 has led, in addition to helping nVidia fall in the stock market, that there is an offer in second-hand market of GPUs with large capacity for processing and memory.

A few years ago, Google helped to democratize the state of the art of machine learning and deep learning, with the release of the framework, TensorFlow.

This allows anyone to train an image classification system at home. In fact, you could download even the trained network model and save you time and watts.

Even so, the tensorflow learning curve has a medium complication. For that reason, frameworks such as Keras were born, which uses TensorFlow as a backend and allows programming from Python models in a few lines of code (very few lines of code).

But you can still simplify the thing more. Sometimes it is not easy to find the network model and which parameters are the most appropriate.

But this has been solved with AutoML, developed by Google, which allows you to automatically find the best model for your machine learning problem. Then he created AutoKeras, which offers the same but based on Keras. With AutoKeras now a problem of machine learning is solved with little more than 3 lines of code.

	
	import autokeras as ak

clf = ak.ImageClassifier()
clf.fit(x_train, y_train)
results = clf.predict(x_test)

Following this line of evolution, it is not surprising that during 2019 we see how services and start-ups are born that offer "create your own machine learning" services in 3-clicks. We will see some new acronyms: MLaaS. It will happen? We will see it.

Privacy-first Services

In the middle of 2018 the presence of a guest actor was confirmed, privacy, or rather, lack of it.

Scandals like Facebook's with Cambridge Analytica, the erroneous sending of voice transcripts exchanged with Alexa to another user or the hacking of passwords like the Quora question and answer service, exposes security and privacy errors.

More and more users of Facebook and other "free" Internet services, realize one thing: they are not free, their data are worth money and there are even tools that allow estimating their value.

Many users have started to leave social networks and they have to start worrying more about security and privacy.

A while ago we started talking about the "Enterprise Ready". It consists of bringing apps that are usually used in the cloud, to the servers of the organization or company.

We believe that the trend for this 2019 will be to use cloud mixed with public cloud services (AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, ...) and private cloud. DevOps technology has evolved a lot, and services such as Kubernetes or Ansible will allow to treat this cloud as a single and transparent way.

2018 ended with Amazon making an expensive bet in Spain to sell and position systems with Alexa, from the sale of their own devices such as Echo Dot, to the integration of third parties such as the Sonos speakers, and of course, the promotion of competitions where they liven up to developers to create apps (content) for Alexa.

The point is that there are already many voices that warn of the danger of having amazon "always" listening. If you already have a highly developed client profile, imagine when we asked everything.

In the short time that 2019 takes between us, Apple already boasts privacy and has done this campaign in full CES 2019, "what happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone".

Photography of the ad on the wall near of CES in Las Vegas

Apple's ad on wall near of CES 2019, Las Vegas

For this reason, we believe that services like Mycroft are going to be successful. Its value proposition is to have an Alexa but without Amazon and of course, open source. This means that anyone can install Mycroft at home and the data will be at home (yes, you'll have to worry about the security of them).

In short, we believe that those services that take into account privacy and security in their value proposition, will have a great advantage over the competition that does not have it.

Blockchain: the killer App

It is said that WhatsApp was the definitive app that boosted the sales of the smartphone (especially Android). It is what is known as killer app. People without any contact with technology to go to mobile stores looking for "a mobile with WhatsApp".

In the world of blockchain, it is clear that it has not happened. There is no such app yet.
The closest thing we know and that came to be something was CryptoKitties, which was dedicated to raise and sell under the network Ethereum unique digital cats (¬¬).

In 2018 it became clear that the gold rush for cryptocurrencies passed.
In our opinion, that investment whose value is not understood and only used for speculating does not go very far. Even the fever for tulips made more sense: a tulip can be touched, you can see it and you can smell it.

Now that the speculators are out (for the time being), the first blockchain or DLT apps start to appear.

It is already used in environments such as the University to carry out a record of authorship of publications. It is also used in governance environments and banks have begun to record transactions in private networks between them.

We do not know if 2019 will be the year where that killer app for blockchain appears and consolidates, but it will be the year in which the candidate apps appear to be. We'll be alert.

Our bet: Machine Learning applied to your needs

For some time now we have been testing and developing technology/machine learning algorithms.

I think we are in a position to start applying that know-how in our clients' projects.

Therefore, if you need to automate some task of your business, let us evaluate if a machine-based solution adapted to your needs would be feasible. We will do it happy.

We hope that this 2019 will be profitable and all your hopes will be digitalized. Count on us!

(Este post está disponible en castellano en Medium)

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