4 technology trends that will transform our world in 2018

Predicting the future requires hubris, and it should therefore be met with more than a terabyte of skepticism. In past years, I’ve made some calls that have proved prescient like predicting way back in 2011 that social media would determine the U.S. presidential election. Meanwhile, some took decades longer than I had foreseen such as my 1992 prediction that this new thing called the Internet would lead Hollywood studios to merge with telecommunications companies.

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Wikipedia bots act more like humans than expected

Benevolent bots

‘Benevolent bots’ or software robots designed to improve articles on Wikipedia sometimes have online ‘fights’ over content that can continue for years, say scientists who warn that artificial intelligence systems may behave more like humans than expected.

Editing bots on Wikipedia undo vandalism, enforce bans, check spelling, create links and import content automatically, whereas other bots (which are non-editing) can mine data, identify data or identify copyright infringements.

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Why fraudulent ad networks are thriving

ad networks
When an advertising network is turned off and traffic plummets (top) while conversions stay steady (bottom), investigators have pinpointed fraudulent ad traffic. Source: Augustine Fou

A brand manager at a medical device company was examining a chart of daily traffic to his website. On the chart he saw that one day in August, web traffic plunged, and locked in at a new normal about half of its previous level. For someone responsible for a website’s traffic, the scale and swiftness of the drop should have made him gasp, but the manager nodded knowingly.

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56.1% of Paid Online Ads are Never Seen

google-adwords-management

An incredible 56.1% of ads on the internet are not seen by humans, according to new research released today by Google.
“With the advancement of new technologies we now know that many display ads that are served never actually have the opportunity to be seen by a user,” said Google group product manager Sanaz Ahari in a blog post.

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2 Billion Jobs to Disappear by 2030

Futurist-Thomas-Frey-at-TEDxReset-Istanbul-2012-201

A picture of me speaking at yesterday’s TEDxReset in Istanbul.

Futurist Thomas Frey: Yesterday I was honored to be one of the featured speakers at the TEDxReset Conference in Istanbul, Turkey where I predicted that over 2 billion jobs will disappear by 2030. Since my 18-minute talk was about the rapidly shifting nature of colleges and higher education, I didn’t have time to explain how and why so many jobs would be going away. Because of all of the questions I received afterwards, I will do that here.

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The Jollbot Robot

The Jollbot Robot

 Jollbot – Jumps like a grasshopper, stings like a bee

Jumping over hurdles and rolling through better surfaces is daunting. Similarly, maneuvering over on the lunar and extraterrestrial surfaces is equally challenging for the bots and machines alike. Making robots with ability to move about efficiently in all terrains is expensive and cumbersome, therefore Jollbot is a great introduction here. Created by Rhodri Armour, a PhD student from the University of Bath, the Jollbot is a robot that can jump like a grasshopper and roll like a ball. (w/Video)

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