Social Network and Blockchain. Control in User’s hands.

blockchain

The Blockchain is a technology in continuous evolution, which never ceases to amaze for its endless applications.

What made it known to the general public was the birth and global spread of cryptocurrencies. Unfortunately, due to the lack of confidence in the reliability of this economic system, the Blockchain has not had an easy life in its affirmation process as a technology of the future.

But things are slowly changing.

Not long ago, Carrefour supermarkets implemented a Blockchain structure in its production chain to guarantee the quality of its products. A simple and intelligent way to bring the Blockchain closer to people's daily lives, stimulating their interest and increasing confidence in the system.

Today, another trend is taking shape, aiming to involve people more and more in this technology: the use of the Blockchain within social networks. The distributed database is used both to guarantee the security of users' data and to enable secure in-app virtual payments without banking intermediaries.

The most emblematic case of this trend, which caused a stir in public opinion, was the announcement by Mark Zuckerberg of the creation of a Facebook cryptocurrency, called Libra, to allow users to pay and exchange money.

The announcement immediately created fibrillation between the institutions, banking, and state, concerned about the stability of the international financial system and the protection of user privacy.

The risk of seeing the traditional banking system collapse from the ground up, or the danger of a reduction in tax revenues to which governments could meet, has immediately undermined the "legality" of Libra. Moreover, Facebook and its partners, having the opportunity to learn about users' purchasing behavior for profiling purposes, risk to endanger freedom and individual privacy.

The path to get to the launch of the cryptocurrency, announced for mid-2020, was therefore more difficult than expected, partly because some of the sponsors of the initiative, such as Paypal, Mastercard, and Visa (which had to guarantee the reliability of the project) had left the association, motivating the decision with a lack of certainty about its real application possibilities.

Yet it is not so much the idea of a "cryptoclaimed" social network that is badly viewed, but the size of the operation itself.

In fact, there are already tools that work in the same way.

An excellent example of this is All.me: an application based on the meToken cryptocurrency, launched in 2016 and counting more than 500 thousand users today.

How does a social network with blockchain solution work?

All.me is a single platform that includes some of the most interesting features of the Digital, namely, the creation of social networks, the possibility to earn from its own content, the sale and purchase of peer-to-peer and the exchange of digital currency. All these features are integrated into a single app.

Each component is linked to the others and integrated within the system to make everything safe and reliable. All.me is divided into five modules:

  • Social network (meNetwork) - Platform for sharing information between users.
  • Marketplace (meMarket) - C2C and B2C sales platform.
  • Payment Service (mePay) - The native cryptocurrency-based payment system.
  • Wallet Service (meWallet) - Area for the control of transactions and their balance.
  • Cryptocurrency (meToken) - The native cryptocurrency of the system.

One of the most important features of the platform is the full control of data by customers. They are encouraged to create quality content, receiving in exchange meToken that can be used to buy products on the Market.

The Blockchain for the decentralization of responsibility and ownership of tools, as happens in All.me, is the future of many fields, especially social media.

With these premises, a central organization will no longer be necessary to play the role of a controller who, with the users' data, ends up earning by profiling members.

This transformation offers a huge advantage to the people who decide to participate, as they end up actively contributing to the development of the product and controlling its value.

On social media, where many users feel exploited by organizations, this is a strength that can make a difference today and in the future.

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!

2019 was a year full of satisfactions for Neosperience

Quotazione 2019

In this article, we will try to synthesize 12 intense but rewarding months.

2019 was a year full of satisfactions for NeosperienceOur best expectations have finally taken shape, transporting us into a new universe of growth and infinite possibilities. 

First and foremost, we also want to remember our journey towards listing on Aim Italia, which, once achieved, has allowed us to give visibility and prestige to what this company represents, also from a human point of view; "Empathy in Technology" is the claim that guides us every day, reminding us that our mission is unique in the market.

Obviously, this substantial development has changed the way we do business.

If before we were responsible only to ourselves, today we must give value to all the shareholders who support us and believe in our project. It’s not a simple task, and we face it with high awareness and confidence in what we do.

After the listing, we decided it was time to grow.

For this reason, we have opened our first office outside the country, in Seattle, USA, and we have decided to join forces with Somos, Mikamai, Jack Magma, LinkMe, and Value China, to build together a promising future based on collaboration among all our expertise.

From the working point of view, satisfactions were not lacking.

We found new companions of adventures, such as Borgo Egnazia, with whom and for which we gave shape to our cutting-edge Solutions. With great joy, we have also continued to work with our historic clients, who every day demonstrate their confidence in our quality level.

About our Solutions, how can we forget the launch of the two most innovative ones: Image Memorability, to give scientific validity to the memorability of images, and People Analytics, for in-store flows control. They have revolutionized the current panorama of technological proposals for business.

We would also like to mention the awards we have earned during the year, such as the victory in the international competition for the regeneration of the Villa Reale di Monza, and to be counted by Gartner as one of the six best software vendors for 2020 in the Customer Analytics market.

Finally, we would like to thank all of our employees, those who stayed with us and those who decided to join our project. Without your support and commitment, this would have been impossible.

What will the Neosperience 2020 reserve for us?

Many things are already planned and we will soon update you on the next news. What we already know and can communicate to you, is our confidence in the future that awaits us. During the upcoming year, we will continue to believe in our abilities and possibilities to grow in an empathic way, respecting people.

 

Neosperience Tourism Cloud, China and digital tourism in Italy

Chinese Tourists

Tourism is a decisive voice for the health of Italian Economy. According to the estimates, expenditure for the year 2019 will be approximately 112.4 billion euros, up between 6% and 13% compared to 2018.

The greatest increase was in the Asian market, especially the Chinese one, with more than 20% attendance and one and a half billion euros spending. 

The creation of the Silk Road (OBOR) and the visit of President Xi Jinping's in Italy have certainly helped the Bel Paese to improve its reputation in the Far East.

What are the average Chinese tourist characteristics?

Tourists from China have some well-defined characteristics. First of all, they are very demanding, both in terms of services and contents. They are high-spending, young (60% between 20 and 45 years), with a male majority (60%), love the cities of art and willingly buy luxury products, especially clothing.

However, what unites every Chinese visitor is the tendency to use digital tools during the booking phase and when purchasing on the Italian territory.

The use of cash in China, in fact, is rapidly decreasing, while the use of mobile payment instruments such as Alipay and WeChat Pay is on the rise. Just to make a comparison, these two instruments have a billion and four hundred thousand monthly active users in total, while Apple Pay, globally, counts 127 million.

It seems clear that, if you want to attract Chinese visitors and stimulate their spending, the implementation of payment methods with these tools must become essential.

As for reservations, the subject is very similar; being strictly mobile people, Chinese users proceed to search for information through online platforms or applications, such as the above-mentioned WeChat.

In the future, a double-digit growth in visitors from China is expected. Today the Italian hospitality facilities must adapt to a market that is profoundly different from the Italian one.

To support this process, Neosperience has decided to develop the Neosperience Tourism Cloud, a platform for customizing and digitizing the tourist experience.

How does the Neosperience Tourism Cloud work?

It is divided in three distinct but complementary components. The first one, specific for customer acquisition, consists of a psychographics traits construction of the audience, through personal data recovery. The goal? To understand their deepest desires and suggest an ideal journey.

How are these data recovered?

Through the other two components: the NeosVoc platform (a tool for the Voice of Customer that uses intelligent, real-time questionnaires to manage, assist and advise tourists throughout their journey), and the Customer Data Platform Unbreakable Community, always enhanced by AI tools, to integrate all the data coming from different softwares and reconstruct the client's history, in order to predict his future behavior.

What does the tourist gain?

A unique and personalized experience designed on his needs and desires. Today, the customer needs to feel "central", and no longer just a guest, but a citizen of the world; from this point of view, it is important to offer real experiences.

And the tour operator?

Greater customer satisfaction automatically leads to better economic results. Online loyalty and word of mouth are the keys to succeed in the digital market. The possibility, thanks to digital tools, to reach market segments that are very distant both in terms of interest and geographic positioning should not be underestimated.

Neosperience for the Chinese market.

To meet the Chinese audience, we decided to welcome Value China in our family: an innovative startup and entrepreneurial reality, which has set itself the goal of facilitating the entry of Italian companies into the Chinese market and vice versa.

At the moment, the focus of its activities is on tourism. An example of what Value China can make with the right tools was the presentation, occurred during the 2nd edition of the International Congress for Cooperation between Chinese Local Governments and Italian Local Governments in the Chinese city of Chengdu, of a new mini-app that allows Chinese tourists in Italy to book and pay taxis via Alipay and WeChat Pay, thanks to the collaboration with the AppTaxy service.

The news was presented by Dr. Carlo Capria, President of the Council of Ministers - Department for the Promotion and Coordination of Economic Policy - and by Dr. Maria Moreni, President of the Italy China Link association.

Today, the growth of tourism in Italy passes through the digital and the Chinese market.

Neosperience has secured, through the Neosperience Tourism Cloud and Value China, a predominant role in the future of this field, to stimulate demand and services offer, beside products that are consistent with the latest technological innovations.

Photo by Amanda Dalbjörn on Unsplash

 

AI and Photography; beauty lies in the programmers’ eyes

Can AI and Photography work together?

A few weeks ago, in our article “Music and Artificial Intelligence”, we talked about how technology is modifying the music industry.

We stressed the non-dangerousness of this phenomenon, provided that the application of Artificial Intelligence is carried out with responsibility of all the actors involved.

This speech can also be translated into the relationship between AI and Photography, with the required differences.

There are two cases, opposite in terms of aesthetic and ethical quality, to be taken as an example of the role played by technology in the photography field: the "Dreams of New York" project and the development, in the Machine Learning world, of the GANs technique.

The first one is an artistic project created by Tanner Woodbury and Nikolos Killian, two American designers. While wandering in the streets of New York at the slow pace of Google Street View, they noticed the beauty of some sights of the city.

And that’s why they decided to carry out a photographic project, taking up and turning those “amateur” shots into black and white. They made an exhibition, with an artbook that quickly went sold-out.

The technological tool suddenly became an involuntary art photographer. The role of the American copyright legislation was crucial for the success of the project because, if it is a machine that takes the picture, then the intellectual property belongs to everyone.

On the other hand, GANs’ case was a whole other story.

The acronym stands for Generative Adversarial Networks and indicates a Machine Learning technology invented only in 2014.

Its processes are very simple; there are two neural networks, a generative one and a discriminative opponent. The first one has the task to take data and modify them.

The latter analyzes the results produced by its twin to check if the are within the truthfulness parameters set by the programmer are respected. 

Let's take a practical example: GANs has to analyze a database of thousands of people's faces. The generative neural network has the task to create the image of a completely new face, while the opposing neural network has to find out whether the image created by its companion is real or not. Each image is a battle between the two networks; one wins and the other one loses. The system obviously learns from the outcome of the process.

After a few years of testing, today there are GANs that are able to "imagine" and create faces that are so credible as to be unrecognizable both to the opposing network and to the human eye.

As for Deep Fake, the risk is to see these tools falling into the wrong hands, and perhaps damaging the community by creating non-existent people. Moreover, Copyright allows everyone to use the images of the GANs for their own purposes, precisely because they are created by machines, not by people.

A more philosophical question persists.

Photography is the instrument, maybe the most centered, to tell the story of humanity and reality. If you use it to generate something that does not exist, then a contradiction is created.

Broadly speaking, it is the same critical issue that emerged with the spread of Photoshop, but made more acute by the central role of the machine in the falsification process.

In this case, as well as in similar situations, the problem is not due to technology, but to those who hide behind it. In fact, the GANs had originally been conceived by its creator, Ian Goodfellow, to make large amounts of data available to small researchers and specialized centers, to make AI training more sustainable.

For example, the GANs can create, using a limited database of images, new original elements with which artificial intelligence can be trained, eliminating the cost of retrieving photographs.

Ergo: a tool for the democratization of technology and creativity.

GANs was then used in an extremely creative way, conceptually overcoming its natural purpose. For example, in unique artistic projects such as the "artificial" design of a painting that was sold at an auction for 432 thousand euros.

At the same time, some artists such as the English Anna Ridler, have used GANs in their works and performances; to be mentioned, the short film Fall of the House of Usher, in which design becomes plastic art conceived and composed by the machine.

If we wanted to define the different uses of the GANs, we should distinguish between two intents: creative and "astute". The mentality and objectives of those behind the computer, rather than behind the camera, decide the truthfulness and the ethics of the results. Photography is a science, and today, in the era of numbers, it is more evident than ever.

Photo by Rayan Almuslem on Unsplash

The dark side of tech’s ethics

Mano che regge una lampada circolare

Our judgment, like a pendulum, continuously swings between optimism and pessimism. This inclination is self-evident when we discuss the technological developments, occurred in the last decades, that have modified our way of living. 

In 1964, Umberto Eco published Apocalypse Postponed, an essay that was meant to put in order the different judgments expressed on mass society. Eco tried to find a correct and rational middle ground between those who were enthusiastic about cultural innovations and those who loathed them. As an old catchphrase says, "in medio stat virtus".

 

The current situation

The same arguments could be shifted to our troubled years, where two opposite parties are fighting over different topics such as social networks, privacy, personal relationships, online hate, irresponsibility, and so on. Those who have faith in the birth of a just world and those who predict the end of our existence. As the pendulum above, we feel different emotions about the future of technology.

Recently, media have spread some news about the racist, discriminating and insensitive behavior of Artificial Intelligence's applications. This is usually a matter of social network management, recruitment procedures, predictive policing. 

Well, there is no wonder; technology is not neutral.

Technology is created by humans for humans and carries within it all the prejudices and personal histories of those who develop it. It clearly appears in applications where technology has a voice and relates directly to its creators.

 

Microsoft's Tay bot

In 2016, Microsoft released on Twitter its most advanced bot: Tay, to improve its conversational skills in the social network. In less than 24 hours, Tay started using an offensive and racist language, forcing Microsoft to shut it down. 

The causes of this media disaster were soon discovered: during that short time, the Artificial Intelligence, which wasn't given an understanding and limitation of misbehavior, learned from Twitter users to use inappropriate language.

 

Youtube's moderation system 

Another example to be mentioned for its pervasive presence in our lives is the social networks' moderation system. As we all know, in 90% of cases, an Artificial Intelligence that is trained to recognize inappropriate contents will control users' posts. Well, it is not uncommon that users have been the target of discriminatory censorship performed by the moderation system.

It is interesting to mention the episode involving YouTube, which has penalized, economically and publicly, the LGBTQ themed contents of numerous creators. In this case, the system was not able to distinguish between sexually explicit themes and videos that show the authors' sexual and gender orientations.

Many cases could be mentioned as examples, and many others that have not received media visibility and, thus, remain unclosed. 

 

OpenAI and university courses

However, in recent years, many subjects have understood the importance of this topic. OpenAI , a non-profit company that sees Elon Musk and Bill Gates among its investors, has set itself the goal of creating a free and secure Artificial Intelligence, to improve the life of all humanity, without discrimination.

Many universities, on the other hand, began to develop, within their training offers, examinations and specializations concerning ethics in Artificial Intelligence. Harvard, Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology among others. All the most important pools of talent in the technology field have finally understood the importance of teaching their students this kind of technology, which is not neutral and must be conceived according to our conscience.

Ultimately, there is only one keystone. Machines don't care about our future; our wellness depends solely on people who develop them.

 

Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash

Three Insights From The State of Digital Transformation 2018 – 2019

state of digital transformation

A few weeks ago Altimeter has released its annual report “The State of Digital Transformation”, investigating the evolution of digital innovation in the enterprise ecosystem. Technologies reinvent and reshape markets and business behaviors, and it is crucial to monitor the key trends and insights that can guide you across the modern digital transformation.

This year, the results show an overall maturation: companies are modernizing and working together through this essential and unavoidable transformation. Even more, companies seem to comprehend the importance of expanding and reorganizing their business in a way that responds and corresponds to customers’ expectations and market competitiveness.

However, they still have to cope with a few resistances and missteps, as you could expect. Incorporating such a significant transformation into the organizational culture and people mindset requires efforts that are not-trivial, in terms of investments and guidance.

Looking at the report, we have gained three crucial insights, that describe the state of digital transformation in business.

The Customer Experience is still high-priority

This is the era of customer-centricity, a time when people’s preferences and concerns are much more critical than any other assumption. It is a time of tweets and social sharing, of personalization and co-creation. A time of humans and emotions. Ultimately, a time when empathy and technology must work together.

Over the last few years, customer experience has become the top priority for companies. Fixing and regulating it to meet customer’s needs and expectations is a long-term work that requires a combination of efforts and investments.

In 2018, companies continued to focus on customers, connecting all the touchpoints and empowering an infrastructure tailored to their preferences: 57% of companies report it as their top priority in the long-term roadmap (the next five to ten years) and 54% in the short-term (the next three years). This confirms that the customer perspective will still be a key element when deciding where and when to allocate budgets.

How does this willingness translate into action? Most companies are doing so by investigating customer journeys (59%). This adds to the perception of an increasing level of maturity among businesses, that seem to leverage on the customer understanding when designing the digital transformation roadmap. Only a small part of organizations (7%) hasn’t even studied the new customer journey, revealing a significant gap between mature businesses and the green ones.

Meanwhile, companies are also prioritizing - 49% in the long term and 45% in the short term - the empowerment of an efficient IT infrastructure, to go with and support the CX innovation. This confirms the idea that the customer experience is an omnichannel, general concept, that can’t be detached from the presence of an agile and flexible architecture of technologies, to deliver the exact offering and innovate more efficiently.

Increasing budgets and decreasing controls

When it comes to disruptive technologies, the budget is essential. There can’t be any transformation without investments, and the budgets must evolve in line with the technology upgrades and cross-functional initiatives required.

This year, the percentage of companies that report larger investments has incremented significantly: budgets between $15 and $30 millions boosted 210%, and budgets more or equal to $50 millions presented a dramatic raise of 640%. Even though the latter includes only a few companies (11%), it is a clue of an enterprise-wide movement.

Yet, there is a big concern about whether or not these budgets are relevant to gain an effective transformation. A significant percentage of companies seems to be using the budget without the guidance of a specific roadmap or a clear understanding of customers’ real needs and behavior.

The hardest challenge is the lack of data or a measurable ROI to understand the impact of the digital innovation. If change agents can’t easily show the real value of digital transformation and justify the investments with visible data and results, consequently they struggle to get the material resources they need to thrive.

The perception of digital transformation is, in fact, mostly as a cost center, rather than an investment in growth and performances. This is an example of the difficulties that digital transformers have to handle every day, an expression of the resistance to change that still survives.

Promoting a culture of innovation

One of the most encouraging data is that almost half of the companies have invested in building a culture of innovation, as mandated from the executive level (mostly through an in-house innovation team/lab with dedicated enterprise resources).

On the other side, 48% of companies reported that creating a culture of empowerment and innovation is one of their top priority in digitally transforming the employee experience. Since the digital transformation is an enterprise-wide change, it is essential that this mindset is shared and promoted across all the organization.

It is also promising that this effort is advocated by executives who possess a broad organizational purview. For the second year in a row, CTO/CIOs are reported as formal owners or sponsors of transformation initiatives, followed by CEOs and boards.

These few insights are just a small part of the relevant data and aspects that can be found in “The State of Digital Transformation” by Altimeter.

 

Photo by Joshua Sortino on Unsplash

 

Discover how you can innovate your business strategy to deliver personalized experiences and turn prospects into loyal customers. Download the free report Digital Innovation in Retail & Fashion.

Three Emerging Aspects From the Brand Relevance Index 2018

nik-shuliahin-423834-unsplash

Think about the brands that make a difference in your everyday life. The ones that make your life easier, better. Offering you exactly what you need, at the exact moment that you need it.

These brands have the power to influence your decisions, inspiring you day by day. These are the companies that Prophet calls “relentlessly relevant”.

In this article we give an overview about U.S. market, with the purpose to find some relevant aspects that can help marketers understand what people value the most. This perspective gives brands a different approach in order to unlock growth.

THE BRAND RELEVANCE INDEX

The Brand Relevance Index was launched four years ago and is performed country by country, with the aim to distinguish the differences that exist within people and markets from various part of the world.

The crucial point of this ranking is that it is made by surveying more than 40.000 people to list hundreds of brands on many aspects and attributes. According to Scott Davis, “customers are the real only experts” and the choice to start from their perspective to investigate the brand relevance is determinant.

The BRI is based on 4 principles:

  • The inclination to think, make investments and create with a customer-oriented vision;
  • The capacity to meet customers needs, offering products where and when they require them;
  • The ability to provide emotional experiences and ideas that inspire customers day by day;
  • The inclination to continuously reinventing themselves, finding new and creative ways to anticipate unexpressed needs and desires.

The results are mostly congruent to the expectations: tech giants are still dominating the top of the list and, besides few big movers and some surprising entrances, the most famous brands are meeting the expectations.

While a third of the top 21 brands is owned by three companies - Google, Disney, and Sony - none of them stands in the top 5. Instead, Apple is still the most relevant brand, for the fourth year in a row, while KitchenAid and Nike moved into the top 10, replacing Disney and Pixar.

Prophet presents four key findings, common to all top brands: all the companies on the top of the list are constantly reinventing themselves, in order to build a specific, strong community around them. Furthermore, they still are focused on customers and their needs and desires, while trying to inspire them and chasing a higher purpose.

GIANTS AND NEWCOMERS

Tech giants are on the top of the list: 8 of the top 10 are inherently digital and experiential, most born in the last 20 years. How can traditional, brick and mortar companies keep up with the wave of newcomers?

Looking at KitchenAid, a company started in 1919 that has just moved into the top ten, it shows the way to winning customers’ mind and heart: reinventing and renewing is the key to stick out of the ordinary and to emerge from the obsolescence.

Top brands have the commitment to stand ahead customers’ needs and to surprise them, continually reshaping experiences and expectations, in order to offer ever-greater involvement.It’s not just a prerogative of the newcomers.

Older brands, such as Dyson, Chevrolet or Ford, have recently broken into the top 50, confirming that there still is a room for historical brands, if they can keep the pace, transforming themselves while remaining true to their roots and consistent with the brand heritage.

Furthermore, the youngest customer base has a preference for these companies too. While these customers have always been known for being social media obsessed, this stereotype is no longer true - it has never been, probably. In fact, besides all the posting, tweeting and snapping, social media brands aren’t the most relevant to their lives.

On the top of their list there is Netflix, confirmed as the best entertaining media. Due to its ability to offer suggestions tailored to individual preferences, and to increase the content base with new, peculiar projects, it keeps reaching the highest “make me happy” score. Definitely one of the best recently born brands.

SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS

It’s evident that among millennials, all the social media platforms are losing ground; especially Facebook, the biggest mover of the year (-102 positions). However, this drop is seen in every age and gender demographic as well, confirming that this decline is not ascribed to the youngest base.

The decreased usage of Facebook is imputable to the lack of trust and interest. The “fake news” attribution, and the numerous big data breaches have brought down the brand reputation, making people doubt about its value.

Partly, this drop may represent a natural shifting to other parts of the social ecosystem, as people are always looking for the best place to express themselves. Instagram is still running the photo-framed social interactions, WhatsApp is the most used messaging system, and YouTube is the natural place for video sharing.

Nevertheless, all these social media platforms don’t seem to be considered as “relevant” to people: no one of them is ranking on the top 50, except for Pinterest.

INSPIRATIONAL BRANDS

Among social media, only Pinterest is winning customers attention, ranking third in the overall list, and first among “makes me feel inspired”.

Delivering great experiences and promoting relevant ideas, is one of the most important aspects of relevance, that results in the opportunity for brands to create a deeper connection with their customers. People want brands to express a unique model of thought, that is consistent with the brand image, and which customers can relate to or get inspiration from.

Likewise, Android is perceived as “The People’s Platform”, making its openness and ease to use a major of the brand characteristics. Its usage is worldwide - actually 86% of mobile devices - and people have the perception that it is accessible and futuristic, and gives them the power to contribute to its development.

Both these aspects - letting people get inspiration from each other and from the brand, along with showing a purpose to chase - result in the opportunity to build a strong community that shares a common view and meets common values.

The few takeaways presented in this article are just a small part of the relevant aspects that can be observed looking at the report by Prophet. The starting point to study the relationship between brands and customers, that it is the most important element when shaping brand personality in order to become relevant, meaningful and essential to customers’ lives.

Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

Download our brand new report, Digital Innovation in Retail & Fashion, and discover why you must know and understand your customers before even thinking about selling, and how you can use personalization to deliver relevant experiences that drive loyalty and increase value.

Schermata 2018-09-17 alle 15.40.21

The Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends For 2019

Gartner has just released its insight for the ten key trends you can’t afford to ignore in the next year. These Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology trends are expected to impact and transform industries through 2023.

The core concepts presented are all about shift and change and disruption, as technology is becoming an inextricable part of our world.

Three themes dominated the speech:

  • Intelligence. Increasingly the engine that drives future capabilities. An intelligence-ai driven future;
  • second is digital, in an increasingly blended fashion;
  • then mesh, as the importance of ecosystems.

In 2019 we will look at these three things coming together in an increasingly integrated fashion.

1: Autonomous things
Whether it’s cars, robots or agriculture, autonomous things use AI to perform tasks traditionally done by humans. By 2021 10% of new vehicles will have autonomous driving capabilities.

2: Augmented analytics
Data scientists have increasing amounts of data to prepare and analyze. Organizations can miss key insights from hypotheses the data scientists can't explore. That’s why “By 2020, more than 40% of data science tasks will be automated.”

3: AI-driven development
Developers will embed AI into applications and use AI to create AI-powered tools for the development process.

4: Digital twins
A digital twin is a digital representation that mirrors a real-life object, process, or system. The focus today is on digital twins in the IoT, which can improve enterprise decision making by providing information on maintenance and reliability, Expect this to grow in 2019.

5: Empowered edge
Expect information processing and content collection and delivery placed closer to the sources of the information, with the idea that keeping traffic local will reduce latency. “Technology and thinking will shift to a point where the experience will connect people with hundreds of edge devices.”

6: Immersive technologies
Conversational platforms, which change how users interact with the world, and technologies such as augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) and virtual reality (VR), which change how users perceive the world, will lead to new immersive experiences.

7: Blockchain
The blockchain is a type of distributed ledger, an expanding chronologically ordered list of signed, permanent transactional records shared by all participants in a network. Expect blockchain to take off in many industries in 2019.

8: Smart Spaces
Connected to the digital twins concept, a smart space is a physical or digital environment in which humans and technology-enabled systems interact forming an open, connected, coordinated and intelligent ecosystem.

9: Digital ethics and privacy
Customers will have a growing awareness of the value of their personal information and will be increasingly concerned with how it’s being used

10: Quantum computing
Still not ready for prime time, quantum computing will evolve, as an exponentially scalable and highly parallel computing model.

Last but not least, seven digital disruptions you might not see coming in 2019, as they are infused in your day-to-day experience,
and their expected impact:

1

Gartner Symposium – Strategic Predictions For 2019 and Beyond

The future is filled with disruption. But pending disruptions are taking on new forms. This is the tipping point for Gartner's keynote about top strategic predictions for 2019 and beyond, live from Barcelona.

In essence, here is a selection for you of the most relevant insights from Gartner Symposium/ITxpo.

  • AI evolves into augmented intelligence and is affecting human lives as the presence of technical skills is slowly increasing within organizations.
  • People-oriented cultures resist the dehumanization of the individual, and as a result, culture and privacy become more and more connected.
  • Processes become products, and markets consolidate as customers continue to adopt new technologies.
  • As a result, all organizations have explore AI steadily, and both develop and supplement AI skills with AI automation technologies provided by expert vendors in the different fields (i.e. digital customer experience.
  • Acting more and more with a systemic vision, organization have to learn how to introduce products based on internal processes and data by leveraging the cloud and ecosystems of digital giants.

 

ethereum-blockchain

Blockchain is certainly one of the most hyped words of the last couple of years. Everybody is talking about blockchain - often confusing it with the Bitcoin - and how this technology may change our world, and the way we do business, in the next future.

Decentralization, transparency and ledger immutability are among the promises this disruptive technology intends to fulfill. At the same time blockchain technology is still in its early stages of development. This is the first in a series of articles dedicated to this fascinating - but in some respects still very obscure - topic.

Among many blockchain networks already live, Ethereum is surely one of the most interesting and promising. From a technological standpoint Ethereum has been praised also by the Chinese Government in a recent assessment of blockchain networks.

Ethereum is a decentralised virtual machine empowered with blockchain technology on which developers and companies will deploy smart contracts and has the potential to become one of the cornerstones of 2.0 web architecture.

One of the major obstacles faced when analysing blockchain networks is that in most cases there aren’t comprehensive reports that take into account all the primary/material aspects required to assess multidisciplinary architectures such as Ethereum (IT, financial and legal analysis among others).

Many different elements shall be taken into account (such as the ecosystem the relevant blockchain network intend to deploy, the composition of the development team and the use of the funds raised in the context of the ICO) in order to have a comprehensive and useful framework to understand such projects.

Furthermore, following the issue of the white paper, many projects rely on blog posts, webinars and interviews to inform their communities about the progress in the roadmap; gathering and reshaping the information in an easy-to-read document is certainly not an easy-to-do task.

If on the one side one of the most common buzzwords among the blockchain / cryptocurrency community is “DYOR” (do your own research) on the other side most of the potentially interested people and companies do not have the time, knowledge and/or resources to do their research on a myriad of projects. In fact, DYOR means to carry out your own due diligence for each project, and if due diligence is not your core business it is likely that this will take a lot of time and effort.

Black Swan DAR is issuing a series of professional reports on blockchain networks that focus on smart contract deployment (such as Ethereum). Due diligence is an investigation and analysis activity carried out by third party independent professionals to evaluate risks and opportunities underlying a transaction.

All the reports are drafted under the same framework, in order to make comparative analysis easier and intuitive. The Ethereum report is divided in 10 different sections related to, inter alia, the ecosystem, the token and its function within the blockchain network, the team, the use of proceeds from the ICO, strategic partners, etc..

The first section of the report is an executive summary, in which the most significant issues and red flags arose out of the due diligence process are gathered. For example, with respect to Ethereum, Black Swan DAR notes that:

(i) Ethereum is an open source multi-layered project which purpose is to create a flexible and distributed platform for decentralized applications (so-called dApps) and smart contracts; the project is open source and is community-driven, with the Ethereum Foundation acting as the leader.

Ethereum combines a generalized peer-to-peer networking platform with a blockchain architecture to deliver a decentralized consensus-based, full-stack platform for developing, offering and using smart contracts and dApps. In order to achieve the flexibility required to deploy smart contracts of any kind Ethereum has a built-in fully fledged quasi-Turing-complete programming language;

(ii) the Ethereum framework includes several different components that, together, are the foundational layer for smart contracts deployment. Among the core components of the framework it is opportune to name, among others, the cryptographic tokens, the address system, the network of validators (miners), the consensus algorithm, the blockchain ledger and the Ethereum virtual machine;

(iii) as Ethereum is a general purpose, programmable, blockchain network, its reference market is the aggregate market for all blockchain applications, including dApps and smart contracts that may be developed over time;

(iv) scalability is perhaps the main issue related to blockchain projects, including Ethereum. The scalability issue was envisaged to be solved in 2017 with the implementation of the PoS (proof of stake) consensus algorithm. Unfortunately, the debate about whether to proceed with PoS and how to build the consensus algorithm is still open, and there is no clear solution planned for the road ahead.

Other sections of interest are surely the section related to the Ethereum ecosystem, in the context of which a thorough analysis of the project is carried out, the section related to the token, in which the function and value of ETH are explained, and the section related to the strategic partners of the projects, useful to understand which players are entering the playing field to support Ethereum.

It might be a breakthrough technology but it is safe to say that, today, the blockchain looks like teenage sex: everyone talks about it, nobody knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it and so claims to do it. These free reports can help you understand what the fuss is all about, and how you can do it safely and productively.

DOWNLOAD THE ETHEREUM REPORT

 

copertina facebook

Photo by Mike Kononov on Unsplash