By Larry Buzecky
AEM Vice President, Business Intelligence & Strategy

The technology landscape is rapidly, tectonically shifting, so what trends will kick into high gear in 2016 from my perspective?  Probably no surprises for you on this list, and doubtless you’ll feel I’ve missed or wrongly singled out some major boats, but here are my New Year thoughts.

To put it briefly:

  • Make sure your corporate IT security policies are up-to-date
  • Look to benefit from gains in “intelligent” software like Siri through more opening of source code
  • Watch for increasing regulatory burdens on your end-users who utilize drones 

Forewarned is forearmed, as they say, so read on!

Hacktivism on steroids and new levels of cybercrime professionalism

Hacktivists – programmers who hack targets to make a social or political point – should be ramping up their activities around the Presidential election. Expect candidates’ websites to be defaced, lists to be stolen, private communications to be pilfered and shared, and related social media channels to be consistently compromised as the world turns to see who will get slotted into the world’s hottest seat. And expect the level of professionalism of spoof candidate contribution sites to be much, much higher and harder to detect.

White hat services gain steam, bug bounties rise

Fat bug bounties are now being offered to hackers by companies if they can provide a verifiable methodology for how they hacked the system for which a bug bounty was offered. Rather than waiting to react to security breaches, companies are actively seeking out security flaws in order to pre-empt an attack. Expect larger and larger bounties to be offered while companies turn to expensive, customized help.

Source code walls come a-rumblin’ and a-tumblin’ down

Google dropped a huge bombshell in November 2015 when they announced they were going to open up the code within their artificial intelligence engine. They’re making this move in order to crowdsource innovation, accelerating deep learning development.  Expect more companies to pile onto prying open their code vaults in order to take advantage of our on-line, never, ever disconnected universe of developers.

Artificial Intelligence and deep learning on mobile: smarter, wider, deeper

So if Google is upping the stakes in AI development, I can’t help but expect there to be huge gains in deep learning software with more competition dropping into this space, adding even more acceleration. At one point Siri stood alone as the public face of the consumable side of this technology. But as we know, others have entered the arena: Google offers Now for mobile, Amazon invaded your home with Alexa, and Microsoft jumped in with Cortana (bundled into Windows 10). But have you heard of Hound, courtesy of SoundHound? They say they can support voice-enabled apps better than the competition. We should hear more baying from Hound next year.

Drone spankings

Oh, those misbehaving drones. They’re tagging billboards. They’re dropping onto the White House lawn. They’re wandering into restricted airspaces. They’re firing guns.  Easy to read the tea leaves here: regulations severely restricting the use of drones will start flowing through myriad legal channels in 2016.

Trying to pierce the future’s mists is always fun, but the real fun is in watching the utterly unanticipated tech redirects and discoveries burst into life. My best advice here? Keep flexible. And have a great 2016!