With technology, it’s important to separate the hype from the reality as for every truly revolutionizing “disruptor,” there are countless imitators riding on a lot of empty promises.
But two segments of the technology market have not only lived up to the hype, but promise to deliver explosive growth in 2019 and beyond.
Here’s what you need to know about these two technologies and the companies that are leading in their development.
The artificial intelligence landscape is a broad one with a lot of different sub-segments, many of which are extremely valuable. But one AI sub-segment that is perhaps the most valuable and has been the most broadly useful for companies big and small is Machine Learning (ML)
Machine learning is exactly what it sounds like: it’s the process of machines learning through analyzing data, identifying patterns, and making decisions with minimal human intervention.
If that sounds like science fiction, well, it kind of is. Or rather it’s where science fiction meets reality. And if you think about the incredible things AI are capable of, that’s what ML enables as it helps machines become more advanced.
2018 was a big year for ML, but 2019 could prove to be pivotal for the segment.
“Next year, we’ll see a new step in maturity in the enterprise ML transformation as companies advance from proof-of-concepts to production capabilities,” said Hilary Mason, GM of machine learning at Cloudera. “Enterprise ML adoption will continue as businesses look to automate pattern detection, prediction and decision making to drive transformational efficiency improvement, competitive differentiation and growth. We’ll see infrastructure and tooling evolve around efforts to streamline the process of building and deploying ML apps at enterprise scale, including the rise of cloud-native platforms to enable elastic auto-scaling and multi-cloud portability for end-to-end machine learning workflows.”
Machine learning is still in its infancy, and the potential for it is massive, though there is yet no consensus on just how big of a market it could actually be.
The global machine learning market has been forecasted to grow to $8.81 billion by 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of 44%, according to a report from MarkestandMarkets Research.
Deep learning, a technique of ML, was worth around $4.8 billion in 2017, and is expected to skyrocket to a value of $261 billion by 2027 with an annual growth rate of 49%, according to Persistence Market Research.
With such jaw dropping figures, it’s not hard to understand the tremendous opportunity with machine learning. Though the sector is still young, there are already clear frontrunners in the machine learning space. My top picks are:
- Chip-maker Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) for its suite of deep learning and machine learning chips that power the entire machine learning industry,
- Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) as machine learning’s fingerprints run through the company’s entire ecosystem,
- Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL, GOOG) as its search engine is literally powered by machine learning-based algorithms that set it apart from other search engines, as well as machine learning’s use in Google Cloud, the company’s smart home devices, and Alphabet’s self-driving unit Waymo,
- Behind Amazon and Google, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is the third in terms of real-world applications for machine learning, and its most prominent application of that is with its iPhone with features like its advanced voice assistant, face ID, camera sensors, and augmented reality capabilities all made possible by machine learning, and
- Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) where machine learning helped the streaming giant create some of the best original content in entertainment right now by looking at what the company’s 100 million subscribers loved to watch.
Cloud computing has been gaining steam for quite some time.
Nearly a decade ago, Silicon Valley was hyping up the cloud and how it would transform the global economy. And this time the hype became reality as it turned out that cloud computing has been just as transformational as the hype promised it would be.
If you’re still not sure what a cloud is, the gist of it is clouds are networks of hyper scale data centers, built with hardware (servers) and open source software that enable the development of scaled, global services delivered via the internet.
We’re currently in the midst of the worst December since the Great Depression, and investors are running scared from stocks. But in an interview this week with Bloomberg, Stanley Druckenmiller noted that while he’s short financial stocks heading into 2019, he believes cloud-computing giants like Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) will outperform even if the rest of the market takes a dive next year.
Other names in the cloud computing space are:
- Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) and Workday (NASDAQ: WDAY) which, along with Salesforce, represent the cutting edge of the cloud application space, where they replace data centers with subscription software services, which has generated massive profits in the last few years.
- Paypal (NASDAQ: PYPL) and Square (NASDAQ: SQ) which have conquered the digital payments space through transaction processing and other cloud-based business services, like banking and accounting.
- Then there’s the cloud-based digital security giants like, Palo Alto Networks (NASDAQ: PANW), Splunk (NASDAQ: SPLK), and Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT).