AI and machine learning:
Elements of machine learning algorithms and general artificial intelligence are finding they’re way into growing numbers of startups, even if the startups aren’t specializing in the development of these technologies. Investors are, in general, expecting at least some level of AI from all tech companies that are after the investor’s money. Machine learning is already amongst the most talked about technologies this year and it will be interesting to see who advances it and who comes up with new ways to utilize it.
Bots are taking the spotlight from mobile apps:
Many of the leading companies in the tech industry believe that there will be a shift in consumer habits that will replace apps as the channel to get stuff done – chatbots and AI assistants will be the new ”secretaries” of your everyday life if the suspected improvements in the technology are accomplished. New interfaces are also seen to become more mainstream this year. Human-computer interaction is predicted to move from on screen interaction to voice, audio and messaging interfaces due to the massive amount of data that is being collected, structured and analyzed by machines at this current state.
The move towards machine learning away from simple app-based user experiences should evolve into a bigger trend towards deep tech. This would mean that instead of relying on off the shelf tech solutions that startups use, would move towards producing patentable technology themselves. Good examples are deep learning, computer vision, virtual reality, cyber security and other approaches of AI. Investors are looking for startups with strong intellectual property and smart founding teams.
Bioinformatics startups are applying more and more AI and machine learning to genetics to provide and bring precision medicine to the markets. Some impressive biotech and genomics startups are taking their products out of the academia and even pharmaceutical companies are starting to develop their own genomic and technological advancements. It’s predicted that in 2017 we’ll be seeing a lot more investments to agri-tech and health-tech companies. Predictive analytics and automation will optimize aspects like diagnosis and treatment in the healthcare business.
Regulation Technology – “ RegTech”
Besides fintech, regtech is seen to be the new hot area for the very lucrative financial services industry. Payment sector and fintech bubbles are expected to somewhat loose their glory but the next area appears to be the not so glamorous regulation technology sector. Regtech companies focus on helping financial institutions contend with the regulatory requirements, including automation of compliance tasks, considering operational risks and improving risk assessment through data usage and intuitive software.
VR and AR
Virtual and augmented reality continue to evoke interest in the markets. VR and AR technologies have experienced a lot of hype the past year and went through commercial progresses, but still lacked in the progress from startups that would take it beyond gaming.