Technology is becoming more and more involved in our lives. In our era that the speed of sharing and dissemination of information is increasing, the history of humanity encounters constantly with different innovations by means of technology. Therefore, 2018 has been a year we faced many surprising innovations. Before turn of the year, we would like to remember such innovations and remind you the same. Let us look together at some important technological innovations in 2018:
Significant Developments in Artificial Intelligence Technology
Artificial intelligence may be briefly defined as transferring the characteristics of human intelligence, such as detecting and solving problems, and learning resolutions and remembering such resolutions when necessary, to human-made machines via information technologies. While the use of these artificial intelligence technologies for the benefit of humanity makes certain groups excited, as we cannot yet predict the limits of artificial intelligence, it should be mentioned that there are also some other groups that are anxious and pessimistic about this technology.
One of the most popular developments on the artificial technology in this year is an artificial intelligence news anchor introduced at the World Internet Conference in China in November 2018. The most important difference of this robot compared to the previous ones is its indistinguishable similarity with the human beings with its appearance, gestures and mimics. The production of the robot was completed with the cooperation of Sogou, one of the big technology companies, and the Chinese news agency named Shinhua. The appearance and the sound of the robot were inspired by Zhang Zhao, one of the speakers of Shinhua.
Well, do you think a portrait made by artificial intelligence might be considered as a "work" and if so what would be the value of this portrait? Before we continue, let's spare a moment to think: a painting called "Edmond Belamy's Portrait" made by an artificial intelligence program developed by Obvious, an art collective based in Paris, was sold at Chritie's auction house in New York City amounting to approximately 2.4 million Turkish Liras by significantly surpassing the estimated amount. Database of the artificial intelligence algorithm has about 15 thousand portraits made between the 14th and 20th centuries.
Foldable Smart Phones
Whereas even the release of phones with polyphonic tunes and without antennas was considered as a great innovation 8-10 years ago, we should not omit the mobile technologies going through substantial developments in a very short period of time. One of the new technologies developed in 2018 and expected to be released soon is foldable smartphones. The prototype of foldable smartphones was introduced by Samsung in November 2018 meanwhile several leading mobile technology corporations such as Huawei, Lenovo and LG announced their projects on same.
These smartphones, called Infinity Flex Display by Samsung, have two screens as one foldable and the other traditional. Infinity Flex Display with Android operating system which is officially assisted by Google, takes the idea of running two applications simultaneously forward by running up to three applications at the same time. These phones introduced as prototypes are expected to be officially released in 2019.
Boston Dynamics Continued to Produce Popular Robots
While talking about technology, it is not possible to disregard Boston Dynamics and its robots. Anyone interested in technology would know that Boston Dynamics based in United States is one of the most popular in the field of robotics. The company is often mentioned with it's videos shared on the official YouTube channel. By introducing new and distinctive robots in each video they upload, Boston Dynamics displays make people ask themselves each time "Can robots do this as well?"
Boston Dynamics has different robots each of dedicated to different uses. One of the most recently introduced and very popular robots is the four-legged Spot Mini. Spot Mini was designed as the younger brother of another Boston Dynamics robot called Spot. You may remember the Spot as the robot dancing with its' fun figures accompanied by Uptown Funk☺ Spot which is capable of being used in both indoor and outdoor areas and is designed to stand in balance even under difficult ground conditions and Spot Mini which stands out with its ability to grasp objects are the ones which drawn the most attention in robot technologies.
Atlas, another Boston Dynamics' robot has two legs and is physically more similar with human appearance unlike Spot Brothers. In the recent video of Boston Dynamics's Youtube channel, the development level of the Atlas' balance mechanism is clearly seen despite the challenging ground conditions. Following all the robot technologies, especially Boston Dynamics sharing the newest developments with public every day will also be very exciting next year.
The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Entered into Force
In parallel with the acceleration of developments in the field of technology and information transfer, personal data protection and security has become more and more difficult. In order to ensure the confidentiality of the personal data of the citizens of the member countries, the European Union has changed its directive in force for more than 20 years and GDPR, one of the biggest reforms in this field, entered into force on 25 May 2018. The Directive adopted in 1995 regarding the protection of the individuals in relation to personal data processing and the free movement of such data was repealed with the entry into force of GDPR. It is stated that the main reason for such a significant change in the legislation is that the relevant directive has failed to meet the requirements of the digital age.
GDPR, which regulates in detail many issues such as profiling, cloud computing and data processors, sets forth serious administrative sanctions in case of infringements. Even though GDPR has entered into force this year with its' wide range of application, it has become one of the most important legal regulations of all companies which involve in personal data processing activities or which somehow deal with personal data.
Bitcoin (BTC) Decreased in Value
BTC, which is a payment instrument offers free of charge and unmediated money transfers via its' Blockchain infrastructure and a crypto money currency managed through a decentralized system, was presumably one of the hottest topics in Turkey in 2018. Some considered BTC as a great opportunity, whereas for some BTC has remained something to be avoided because of its risks. The states also have not been in mutual understanding on BTC. Some countries explicitly banned crypto money meanwhile the others worked on projects such as creating official crypto currencies.
In spite of all of this movement, in 2018 in general, there has been a big decrease in the value of BTC in general. While this value sometimes fluctuated up and down, in the beginning of 2018, the value of 1 BTC was 20 thousand dollars, but in the end of 2018 this value decreased to 4 thousand dollars.
One of the main reasons for this decrease in BTC is the fact that the legal reliability of the crypto money markets has not yet been provided through national and international legislations. While some countries such as Canada are taking the first steps to determine their legal status through the regulations, some countries are expressing their will to ban the crypto coins on the grounds that they are used for illegal activities such as drugs and arms trade. As can be foreseen, the environment of uncertainty makes investors anxious.
Another factor is the serious manipulations in the crypto stock exchanges. These manipulations make investors nervous in the market where the information spreads very rapidly. Since there is no crime regulated in relation to crypto money currency such as information-based and process-based manipulation infringements in the Capital Market Law, there is no legislation that could give comfort on this. This can be perceived as a sign that the unstable fluctuations will continue for a while.
Falcon Heavy and Insight Were Launched
This year, the activities of mankind in space to explore the life have been performed without slowing down. We can say that the remarkable name of 2018 in the field of space technologies is the United States based spacecraft and rocket manufacturer company SpaceX's founder and CEO Elon Musk. The rocket Falcon Heavy, which was manufactured by the company, not only successfully launched into space, but also carried the Tesla sports car of Elon Musk into space.
On the other hand, NASA took its researches on Mars to a different level with the spacecraft Insight. After a long journey, Insight settled to Mars in late November 2018 and successfully installed the seismometer on Mars on 19 December 2018 to detect seismic waves. In this way, a seismometer was placed on another planet for the first time in human history. In the upcoming days, the seismometer will be able to transfer data to Earth and will place the temperature probe on the surface of Mars, which examines layer temperatures of Mars. After these examinations, we will find out many new things about Mars.
Netflix Conquered the World
How much do you think the share of digital platforms in the world's total internet consumption? We can guarantee that you will be surprised when you read below.
Sandvine, a Canadian based company carrying on a business in sales and marketing of bandwidth management systems, released its report on the internet in use around the world in 2018. According to the information in the report, the internet consumption arising from videos constitutes 57.7% of the world's internet consumption. This rate is followed by different categories respectively; 17% with web use, 7.8% with games and 5.1% with social media. Netflix with its 26.6% out of total video use left other platforms such as Youtube and Amazon Prime behind and takes the lead in the video category. At the same time, Netflix, which has a 15% share of the total internet consumption, has made history by being the application having the largest share of internet consumption in the world. It is really amazing that video-on-demand services that recently entered into our lives have become this much important. (Source: https://www.sandvine.com/press-releases/sandvine-releases-2018-global-internet-phenomena-report)
5G Technology Experienced Live in Turkey
The next generation communication network 5G, which is expected to replace 4G in the upcoming years, will bring many new technologies to our lives. 5G technologies which are expected to provide data signaling rates approximatively 10 times more than 4G technology, are not only related to high speed internet access but also expected to bring innovation to internet of things, virtual reality experiences, autonomous vehicles and many more.
5G technology was experienced for the first time in Turkey in November 2018 by means of the live experience zones installed as a part of an organization made in cooperation with Turkcell and Samsung Electronics. Within the scope of the organization, the guests experienced many 5G technologies such as 5G games via Cloud, uninterrupted broadcast with Ultra HD and 360-degree uninterrupted live broadcast. It is not yet known when this technology will be released to the public.
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