Some time ago we talked about the technological developments to be expected in 2018, specifically in connection with machine learning, blockchain and mixed reality. Now it’s time to review what came of them during 2019.
Facebook released a tool this year named Spark that allows to create and publish different filters, enabling content creators and marketing companies to design campaigns to advertize games, movies or brands using filters.
The downside, as always, is that the use of filters continues to promote unrealistic beauty stereotypes that affect how people perceive themselves. For example, Instagram had to delete a number of filters that showed how people would look like after a plastic surgery, because it could have a negative impact on people who feel vulnerable to the way others see them.
We also had the chance to witness interesting situations, like that time when the face filter a content creator was using failed during a live stream, showing the way she really looked like. And it was one of the trends of 2019 to publish stories using mixed reality.
It’s becoming increasingly accessible to develop and use tools that allow to integrate mixed reality. We’re definitely going to see more of that in products and services marketing campaigns. And who knows? Maybe this year we’ll be lucky enough to see the appearance of the Yard Work Simulator:
Blockchain hasn’t taken off yet. It seemed to be one of the most promising technologies in the development world, but so far, we haven’t seen it implemented in advanced projects or projects in production stage (if I’m wrong about this, please leave a comment -and if I’m right, maybe you could leave two).
In São Paulo, Brazil, they have built a blockchain-powered platform that allows to track the development of public construction projects.
The cloud has been preparing for it as well. Amazon, for example, promotes the early adoption of blockchain among developers and companies (https://aws.amazon.com/blockchain/). Blockchain may be a little raw yet, but it’s advancing at a steady pace.
Machine learning has been the big winner of the year. We could see the efforts companies are doing in this direction at the AWS ReInvent 2019, where huge emphasis was put on the possibilities to use this technology in every type of industry, and where we could also see examples of how it’s being implemented.
At the same time, this technology raises a few concerns. One of them is facial recognition, used to monitor the population. Critics worry that machine learning could be used to arrest individuals at mass demonstrations, for example, or that it could generate false positives. This takes us back to the issue of the ethical use of technologies like this, when protecting information goes against society’s safety. In addition, there’s the case of applications that can put the users’ information in danger, like FaceApp, which showed how you would look like at young or old age or if you changed your gender orientation, at the expense of revealing your data to a company that didn’t offer any credibility whatsoever.
And I Still Haven’t Joined the Gym
I venture that, like me, many of you won’t sign up for the gym in 2020, but that we can expect big advances in the development world. If we can overcome the ethical concerns associated with technology, the possibilities of innovation will be infinite.