Blockchain, a proven technology that has been used extensively in financial services, will enable medical record interoperability throughout the world. These changes will simultaneously reduce costs throughout the healthcare system while making it possible for doctors to deliver a higher level of care to more patients every day.

The winners: patients, healthcare providers, robotics and AI providers

4) Computers will learn to think—and think to learn.

It’s one thing when a computer wins at chess or Go. It’s another thing when computers are able to think and learn like humans on factory floors, offices, and the cars we drive. In 2018, semiconductor chip makers will refine machine learning to enable truly autonomous cars, virtual assistants, and an unending list of automated process.

Already robots can be taught new processes and then, once they have that new knowledge, immediately share it with “co-workers” that share the same network, making it possible for computers to independently optimize logistics, deliver efficiencies, and increase returns.

The winners: semiconductor companies, manufacturers, and robotics providers

5) Augmented and Virtual Reality will redefine what’s we view as “real.”

As new products and capabilities hit the market, the buzz—and investments—in augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality will escalate. AR is already being used in digital transformation for applications to support construction and on-site repair, and VR workstations are being powered by everyday eyeglasses.

As this technology gets more powerful and wends its fingers into more aspects of our lives, it will begin to merge with autonomous vehicles, machine learning, and edge computing technologies. Just as the release of iPhone X has been a watershed moment for broadly viable facial recognition, 2018 will see many AR use cases move from mere speculation to reality, with VR breakthroughs not far behind.

The winners: AR/VR technology providers, automakers, manufacturers, and 3D printing.

6) Voice-assisted AI and voice computing will be fully embraced.

Amazon delayed its launch of its Alexa a full year to be sure the device could respond to the user in less than one second—rather than two. The reason: the company wanted to make a human interface, not a computer. That diligence has paved the way for a new era of voice computing.

2018 will bring voice-assisted AI and voice computing into the mainstream as businesses and consumers begin to capture the power of these technologies. Voice-assisted AI is already used for everything from scheduling office meetings to trading stocks to ordering groceries in real time. How soon will computer keyboards become relics of the past? It’s only a matter of time.

The winners: AI technology providers, and consumers.

Because of the sheer reach of robotics, automation, and AI, the opportunity for investors is huge. The only way companies can survive in this new world is to use these technologies to enable their businesses. Investors who are positioned for this new growth will be tomorrow’s biggest winners.

What’s the key to capturing that potential? Investing in companies across the entire RAAI supply chain—including companies of every size, market cap, geography, and sector like those in the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index.

As we move into 2018, now is the time to jump on board, buckle up, and grab on tight for what is certain to be an unprecedented period of innovation, growth, and prosperity as we enter into the next phase of robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence!

The ROBO Global® Robotics and Automation Index and the ROBO Global® Robotics and Automation UCITS Index (the “Indices”) are the property of ROBO who have contracted with Solactive AG to calculate and maintain the Indices.

Past performance of an index is not a guarantee of future results. It is not intended that anything stated above should be construed as an offer or invitation to buy or sell any investment in any Investment Fund or other investment vehicle referred to in this website, or for potential investors to engage in any investment activity.

This article was published with permission from RoboGlobal.