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The past decade has seen what’s been potentially the most rapid and consequential technological development in human history, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing anytime soon. The lines between digital space and the real world are increasingly becoming more tangled, and the growth of the internet of things looks to develop at a steady clip. But that’s not the only technology we should keep an eye on. Here are some technologies that could define the year 2019.

Competing Artificial Intelligence
With virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri taking the spotlight over the past few years, all eyes are on artificial intelligence, but the technology has applications in practically every modern industry. One of the most fascinating advantages of artificial intelligence is that it can learn over time, but it’s beholden to the same processes of evolution that define the natural world, and the best way for A.I. to learn is in a competitive environment. Developers are learning that one of the best ways to rapidly grow A.I. is to pit them against one another. This philosophy is known as generative adversarial networks, and it tasks two different artificial intelligence systems with outwitting one another. This could involve identifying everything from videos to voices to pictures, and aggressive moves in the field by companies like Alibaba and Amazon could result in significant improvements to artificial intelligence in the coming year.

Three Dimensional Printing
3D printing has finally reached the point of affordability, and it’s being used in fields as wide-ranging as home construction and manufacturing. But until recently, 3D printers have largely functioned by molding materials out of plastic. 2019 will potentially see metal 3D printing taking center stage. The ability to cheaply and effectively print metal objects is a game changer, and it could see major applications in both major manufacturing industries and at home. The result could see drastic drops in price for a wide range of different products, a lower barrier to entry for smaller companies, and new approaches to traditional business models.

Blockchain may have become famous through cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, but it’s poised to play a major role in the world of security. The tight authentication methods inherent in blockchain and the difficulty breaking its encrypted codes allow for more secure record keeping. While we’re already seeing blockchain used to secure online commerce experiences and corporate servers, blockchain could rapidly become the recognized standard for internet security.