A New Tehnological Year To Come

Happy New Year for 2015! Here we are, after the first year of our existence.

As the first article of the year, I would actually like to sum up the trends we were talking about in 2014 and prepare to look into the future of language technologies, cyber security and mobile for 2015.

After having analyzed all the important subjects discussed, one can definitely say that 2014 was the year when the question of artificial intelligence, its existence, importance and regulation needs has been raised for true. It has been discussed by Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and James Barrat who insisted on the crucial need to regulate the emergence and use of smart algorithms and also Kevin Kelli who associated artificial intelligence with progress and a tool helping humanity to go forward and focus on most value added tasks.

Another important trend of the year that created a lot of buzz was cyber security. It gained even more visibility with the Sony hack at the very end of 2014, but its discussion started earlier with the famous European law on the “Right-to-be-forgotten” and the question of privacy. It went as a red line through all themes and let us discuss the integration of security as a premium feature into the new technology services. As, at AnRCloud we strongly believe that security and privacy protection should go hand-in-hand with the progress, it was with joy and enthusiasm that we considered that integration.

Another reason for excitement was the boom that language technologies and natural language processing saw in 2014. Even though the process started much earlier, for example with eBay working on its machine translation engine in 2013, it went even further with eBay and other companies investing in translation technologies. Immediacy of the translation services has been proposed as a new feature by Google and Microsoft and we went into depth discussing the way language technologies are used in close symbioses for a greater and faster result. We also reviewed creative solution combining human and machine intelligence for better translation quality and greeted the innovation.

As already mentioned, translation was not the only language technology that saw its bloom last year. Speech recognition, voice recognition and natural language understanding – all these techniques found their new use cases with the improved calculation capacity and greater processing capabilities. Now the speech recognition is an integral part of the different domains like gaming, banking and health. They are also integrated into each and every smartphone as personal assistants – Siri, Dragon Mobile Assistant, Google Now or Cortana. Other – more or less serious uses of language technologies have been discussed when considering what IBM did with its Watson for Business Analytics and… cooking and Wit.ai integrating open source speech recognition into smart home appliances.

It was definitely a great year and lots of things happened. It has also opened the road for more trends to come and language and security technologies to find new ways of use and get a stronger position.

We expect 2015 to be the year even more speech recognition and natural language understanding. The expected technology trends are Internet of Things and Smart Home, as well as Connected Cars. As reported by Nuance – one of the greatest player in the field – “voice will continue to simplify user interface”[1]. Nuance is also talking about health applications and quantified-self technologies. We do definitely agree that these will also require human-machine interaction (why not via speech technologies), but also the security and data protection, as well as big data analytics. Machine translation should also stay on the top of the wave with the closer integration of statistic and rule-based techniques and further big data analytics integration. Semantic technologies will continue to gain importance as well and analytics will be integrated into most services we are currently using.

On our side, AnRCloud will be happy to cover, analyze and explain these technology trends and we look with a great enthusiasm into 2015 and what it brings to the technology world.

 


[1] Greg Pane “Top 5 tech predictions for CES 2015”, January 2, 2015, available online http://whatsnext.nuance.com/connected-living/top-5-tech-predictions-for-ces-2015/, accessed on January 3, 2015