Artificial intelligence, augmented reality and the Internet of Things will soon move from being industry buzzwords to household names, according to The Next Web.

The tech news site gazed into its crystal ball to try and identify the developments it expects to take centre stage over the coming months. Many of the profiled technologies already exist (and are in reasonably wide use), but are expected to make the leap to mass adoption very soon.

AI, Augmented Reality and IoT

First in the list was artificial intelligence; with the technology set to experience rapid growth as it strictly narrows its focus. Previously, developers have concentrated on trying to create AI that would act in as similar a way to the human brain as possible. The famous Turing Test suggests that a device can be seen as ‘intelligent’ if a human cannot distinguish whether the responses come from a machine or another person.

However, this scope was too broad, causing problems that meant developments within AI came a lot slower than many had expected – or, indeed, hoped. Now, forecasters expect AI to move away from trying to replicate human intelligence and instead focus on specific tasks. Real-world examples of this are already established, with AI behind Facebook algorithms and self-driving vehicles.

To this end, AI will succeed in 2018, The Next Web claims, provided it ceases trying to function as an autonomous computer able to process all information, and instead focuses on specific tasks.

Next was the growth of augmented reality, as witnessed in the Pokemon Go craze that began back in 2016. Though the game’s popularity has long since waned, it showed a huge global audience just what was possible with the technology. As developments continue and AR becomes more commonplace, its usage will only rise. The Next Web notes: “Augmented reality has a more practical usage for everyday users than VR because of the ability to layer information over the real world.”

Finally, forecasters expect big things from the Internet of Things (IoT). As smart homes and their associated devices become more widely used, it will become commonplace for the lay person to connect everyday objects to the internet. As ever, this wide adoption will also drive further developments within the industry, which has the potential to significantly improve everything from health and social care to traffic management and even the frequency of bin collections.