Every year at this time I take a look back at the top tech news stories of the year just past. Of course my list is incomplete, but here are a few I considered worth noting.
On the computer hardware front some people might call 2017 “The Year of Alexa.” It has actually been several years that Amazon has been working on the “Echo” and throughout this year of 2017 has rolled out other products using this technology. This line of products has suddenly moved us all a lot closer to the “Star Trek” computer interface, one having no keyboard, no mouse, and no screen. You simply talk to the computer and voice-controlled intelligent personal assistant named Alexa talks back. About 20 million Echo devices have been sold to date.
On the software front it is hard to argue against AI or Artificial Intelligence being the big tech story of the year, such as in the aforementioned Amazon Echo. That is until we put things in perspective and compare the US$50 million that companies are estimated to invest in AI by 2020 with the estimated US$200 billion (with a B!) that will be invested in big data analytics so that companies can track what we do online in order for them to expose us to ever more effective advertising.