What A Time To Be Alive: 5 Breakthrough Technologies in 2017

2017 has seen the emergence of these new breakthrough technologies that are deemed to stay. While some are in full flow now, others are set to be fully developed within the next decade or longer. Regardless of their current state, they’re ones to keep an eye out for!

Botnets and the Internet of Things

As companies focus more and more on adding connectivity to home gadgets, the new threats that have risen are thought to only get worse.

Botnets aren’t new, having been around from as early as 2000. Back then, hackers used to break into computers over the Internet and used the combined computing power of botnets to start and launch denial-of-service attacks. Those attacks swamped websites with traffic and crashed them.

However, the issue is a bit worse now with the introduction of the IoT. With the new wave of cheap webcams, video recorders and other such gadgets that have no security measures in place, it’s a new playing fields for hackers. It’s becoming increasingly easy for hackers to build immense botnets that have the power to crash much more than just a website at a time. Smart devices are easily hacked as seen in the case of the infamous Dyn hack. A botnet comprising of 100,000 hacked gadgets brought down the Internet infrastructure providers. A domino effect was seen, affecting the likes of Twitter and Netflix when they temporarily disappeared off the internet.

That attack was created through Miraj, a publicly available malware that automates co-opting computers. With the lack of security measures in place it’s highly likely that future similar attacks are inevitable.

Reinforcement Learning

Like something out of a science-fiction film, computers are now able to learn things by experimenting, things that it would be almost impossible for a developer to program them to do.

Picture this, a driverless car, trying to merge with incoming traffic that is going opposite ways. How does it do that? Well by practicing over and over again, until it learns how to. Reinforcement learning is the exact thing that allowed AlphaGo to master the impossibly complex board game Go and is set to soon be able to allow this sort of intelligence into more than games or self-driving cars. This tech can get robots to figure out optimal configuration for data centers and allows them to grasp objects never seen before.

Reversing Paralysis

Medical science has made incredible strides in recent years with lab animals and some people controlling robotic arms with their thoughts. That’s why we think this following tech is worth a mention as part of our breakthrough technologies list. However, the field is taking an even further step, trying to reverse paralysis. Through connecting brain-reading technology to electrical stimulators they’re trying to create a “neural bypass” to allow people to control and move their limbs with their thoughts.

The first time anyone moved a computer cursor with the help of one of these implants was 1998. Since then technological evolution has been slow in this field, however it’s starting to become more and more probable for paralysis to be eradicated soon. The uses don’t stop there however, the Case team is looking at treating blindness as well as memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s.

Self-driving trucks

Self-driving cars are a thing of the present and very soon self-driving trucks will also be a thing. Currently a number of companies are testing these vehicles and although there are still many kinks to work out, it’s said that self-driving trucks will be cheaper and safer in the future.

Face Payments

Paying with your face? What? You read that right. In China face-detecting system now authorize payments, allow access to certain facilities and even track down known criminals. In the last few years, computers have reached a whole new level when it comes to face-recognition. Face++ technology is currently being used in several apps and allows money transfers through Alipay (mobile payment app using only your face as credentials). Furthermore, Didi (China’s version of Uber) allows passengers to confirm whether they’re being driven by the legitimate driver with the use of this Face++ software.

Although facial recognition has been around for years, this new system uses deep learning to focus closely on facial features that are most reliable in identifying a person. When will other countries follow?

What a time to be a live right? Have we missed out any other breakthrough technologies that you think are worth a mention? Let us know in the comments.

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