Looking back at 2018 predictions, Bob was somehow 70 percent correct

I can’t put this off any longer, so here are the tech predictions I made a year ago for 2018. We have to see how well or poorly I did before we can move on to my predictions for 2019 and beyond. These old predictions have been edited for length, but not to avoid embarrassment.

I try to never avoid embarrassment.

One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that my predictions get longer and longer (this column, alone, is 4329 words — my second longest, ever) as they have drifted from new products to explaining new strategies. This sometimes works against the prediction since it is often easier to […]

Prediction #6 — AI comes of age, this time asking the questions, too

Paul Saffo says that communication technologies historically take 30 years or more to find their true purpose. Just look at how the Internet today is different than it was back in 1988. I am beginning to think this idea applies also to new computing technologies like artificial intelligence (AI). We’re reading a lot lately about AI and I think 2018 is the year when AI becomes recognized for its much deeper purpose of asking questions, not just finding answers.

Some older readers may remember the AI bubble of the mid-1980s. Sand Hill Road venture capitalists invested (and lost) about $1 billion in AI startups that were generally touted as […]

Digital Me: Will the next Cringely be from Gmail?

 

MaxHeadroom460My last column discussed the intersection between Big Data and Artificial Intelligence and where things might be heading. The question for this column is can I (Bob Cringely) be replaced by a machine?

Look below the fold on any news site except this one and you’ll see ads that look like news stories but aren’t: “One Weird Trick to Grow Extra Toes!,” or “The 53 Hottest Ukrainian Grandmothers!” I’m waiting for “One Weird Trick to Becoming a Hot Ukrainian Grandmother with Extra Toes!” Read the stories and they are total crap, that is unless you have a fetish for Ukrainian Grandmas… or toes. They are all about getting us to click […]

Siri’s big brother from Google

With today’s introduction of Apple’s iPad 3 or iPad HD or whatever the hell they end up calling it, I think we’ll be entering a pretty Siri-ous phase when it comes to mobile Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. Apple has a winner in Siri, its iOS digital assistant app, and knows it, so we’ll soon be seeing all-Siri, all the time in Apple products to come this year including, no doubt, Cupertino’s own big-screen TV. But this is not to say that Google’s Android will be far behind. There are stories popping-up about Google doing its own Siri-like app. But I expect Google to go significantly beyond Siri capability and I base that belief […]

Logan's Run

flowchart

The heyday of Artificial Intelligence (AI) was in the 1970s and 1980s.  Here was the logical evolution of office and industrial automation that would put an expert into every computer and by doing so both replace and augment employees, changing forever the world of work.  Only it turned out not to function that way because we underestimated the effort involved.  It was easy to imagine putting intelligence into a computer but very difficult to do so in practice.  There wasn’t enough processing power available for one thing, nor were there even enough experts, since it seemed to require having one on-hand to keep the machine in […]