Written by Hadean Team

9 min read

5 Technology Predictions For 2020: The Hadean Team Have Their Say

  • Financial Technology
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Gaming

2020 is the start of a new year and a new decade and is expected to be full of a wide variety of new innovations and technologies. We asked our team what they expected to see over the next 12 months.

Artificial Intelligence Trucks Get Approved and Trucker Protests Ensue

The advent of autonomous vehicles has long been fawned over in sci-fi novels and movies alike and over the last few years, it’s been hard not to think that we are moving towards fully autonomous vehicles through connected highways and cities.

However, the movement of autonomous vehicles has, until recently, been squarely focussed on cars with little care or consideration to the commercial opportunities – despite the fact that some think these will hit the road sooner.

Well, one of our Technical Product Managers, Hubert Jarosz, believes that AI trucks will finally be approved and expects a sweep of protests and rebellions from drivers.

It’s clear to see there’s been a swarm of activity in this market.

Plus.ai, has recently claimed its autonomous lorry completed the first commercial coast-to-coast journey across America in three days and Embark’s autonomous truck made a 2,400 mile trip last year. Automotive giant Daimler has established its own ‘Autonomous Technology Group’ to build highly automated trucks onto the roads within a decade whilst Silicon Valley darling, Tesla announced its movement into the sector with the Semi back in late-2017.

tesla-semi

Self-driving vehicles, not so long ago, seemed like a futuristic vision but they’re now on our roads and already impacting our lives. Given the trucking industry is worth $740bn a year, with labour making up a third of these costs – the opportunity for autonomous vehicles to make a significant upheaval is clear. 

Some are sceptical with many seeing the significant amount of media attention as nothing more than ‘spin’ and ‘gushing’ from the media, citing the technological, as well as legal, limitations. This all being said, it’s a fascinating area and one that will see much continued public and media attention going into the new decade.

Further Breakthroughs In Quantum Computers

Another area that seemed, until recently, destined for the shelves of science fiction – quantum computing (QC). One of our backend developers, Jeremiah Vocaturo, believes 2020 is the year that we’ll see further breakthroughs and developments.

google-sycamore

In 2019, QC hit the headlines on multiple occasions, attaining new levels of market traction and awareness, hitting its peak when Google published its landmark paper claiming quantum supremacy. The paper, published in October, demonstrated that Sycamore, Google’s quantum computer, carried out a specific calculation that is beyond the practical capabilities of regular, ‘classical’ machines.

The quantum supremacy claim was later disputed by IBM however, regardless of the semantics, it’s important to know just how much of an opportunity QC offers. For example, many are expecting QC to help with some of humanity’s fundamental issues including climate change, health care, and issues we are not even aware we have.

Quantum computing differs significantly from traditional computing and the 2020s is lining up to be the decade the true capabilities are discovered. Although this year the technology may still remain focussed on abstract, scientific applications, it’s clear that a shift is occurring with Google, Microsoft, and IBM all researching into the field – AWS even officially launched its quantum computing services, Bracket.

If you want to read further into this, read the full paper: Leveraging Secondary Storage to Simulate Deep 54-qubit Sycamore Circuits.

Xbox Turns The Tide Of The Console War

This prediction comes from one of our Digital Marketing Managers, Chris Malby-Tynan, who – although a Playstation fan since its inception – believes that the new Xbox will come out on top in the next generation of consoles.

It’s fair to say that the Playstation 5 (PS5) has been far more prevalent in the minds of consumers than the new Xbox. When looking at Google Search Trends for this topic, Sony’s console comes out on top by a landslide every month over the past 12 months excluding December 2019 – the month the new Xbox was announced. Even when trying to mitigate for the new console name by including complementary search terms, the data still placed the PS5 high above its rival.

google-search-data-ps5-v-xbox

This all being said, Chris isn’t convinced and believes the Xbox will win in the first year of the next generation of console wars. Although both are not expected to arrive in stores until late-2020, the Xbox is gearing itself up as an easy stepping stone for PC gamers to move into consoles – the console has even made a physical change from being traditionally horizontal to vertical (more akin to PC towers).

xbox-series-x

Not just this, but Microsoft’s console is better prepared for cloud streaming. The work they’ve been doing on Microsoft xCloud means a more lucrative, longer life cycle for the Xbox as the hardware obsolescence becomes an invalid concern – this is despite the fact that both console behemoths have been working together on various complementary technologies outside of the Playstation / Xbox console war.

Finally, Microsoft is preparing its console line to be a family foundation. The Series X is only the start of Microsoft’s next generation line up and and the technology giant has plans to go far beyond it.

It’s a bold claim for the Xbox to peak Sony’s Playstation and the data is against this prediction. Analysts predict the PS5 to outsell the Xbox Series X at launch and Sony has a legacy of outselling its rival across nearly all previous generations.

The Advent Of Transmedia IP Born In Gaming

Michael Gunadi, our VP of Sales & Marketing, claims this will be the year that video games will finally become a common birthing point for new, transmedia intellectual property (IP).

assassins-creed

It’s widely accepted that transmedia IP from the cinematic universe is easily understood to transpose into other areas, including video games. Countless games have been made off-the-back off movies because they easily lend themselves to that genre – some more successfully than others. In fact, the traditional methodology of book to film to video game is now being turned on its head, and not for the worse.

It’s easy to sack off the attempts to transpose video games into transmedia IP, just look at past attempts including Super Mario, Street Fighter, Far Cry, Tekken, and Mortal Kombat. That being said, more and more games are moving out from video games and film studios are taking the opportunity to further tell the story from the original game designers.

Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed is a clear example of the shift towards transmedia IP. The movie Assassin’s Creed movie released in 2016 with a sequel planned for 2021. Over 30 books (novelisations) have been released since the first game back in 2007 and the brand now includes various complementary lines including a line of sportswear.

The video game industry has gone through a serious paradigm shift since being seen as an outlet for dorky kids in basements. As it’s become more mainstream, so too has the demand for the worlds to be translated into film and brands which can be bought into.

The Uprise Of Truly Believable Deepfakes

2020 will be year that deepfakes truly rise to the top, causing international controversy so predicts Christel Dee – one of Hadean’s Digital Marketing Managers. 

Until now, deepfakes have been a hot topic but with less threat than what is initially perceived – with distinct limitations in the technology meaning, with a little bit of effort, one can depict that a video is fake or not without the help of any aids or tools.

But now, it seems, deepfakes could be on the precipice of achieving a potentially humiliating, and damaging, level of accuracy. 

The technology used to detect deepfakes may not be able to prevent these damaging videos and in turn – those that are most vulnerable or susceptible to this may be affected. Whilst we may laugh at the sight of a video of Elon Musk’s face on a baby entering our feed – it highlights the problem that thousands of deepfake videos are seeping into our social media feeds every day. Even the Pentagon has started work into preventing deepfakes from causing international incidents.

 

2020, and the decade that follows, holds a lot of promise and it'll be fascinating to see which of these predictions hold water and come true. We're truly excited to see what's coming up and would love to hear your thoughts about what you think we're going to see this year and beyond.