Director's View: 2017 - Reboot, redefine

Technology has been on as much a rollercoaster of transformation and change as politics and economies across the globe, and 2017 is not going to change that, says Johan de Villiers, Managing Director, First Technology.

It is traditional at this time of year to look back at the events of the past year and assess their impact, while looking ahead to the potential of the new year and the changes it could bring. For many, the farewell to 2016 has not been fond, but at least 2017 looks set to introduce technology that will completely transform the way business is done.

Two of the biggest trends for 2017 are machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). Gartner has placed applied AI and advanced machine learning, alongside intelligent apps and intelligent things, as one of the leading strategic technology trends of 2017. Deep learning and neural network processing have inordinate potential to create incredibly advanced systems and, of course, even more intelligent solutions. Google has already stepped aboard the machine learning train with their recent release of machine learning APIs, and algorithms used by Netflix have been collared to help NASA find planets that can support life.