Top 8 tech buzzwords of 2019

Every year has its own fair share of buzzwords. Some of them are just hype, while others define the market and yet others turn out to be rank game changers.

Sunil Rajguru
New Update
tech buzzword

Every year has its own fair share of buzzwords. Some of them are just hype, while others define the market and yet others turn out to be rank game changers. Some of the hyped-up terms fade out the next year while others become even more embedded in our lives. So here's looking at the top tech buzzwords of 2019…


1. AI: An umbrella term, Artificial Intelligence means different things to different people. Hollywood still rules the AI mindscape with things like Terminator's Skynet. Most people are shying away from using that term instead preferring replacements like "Augmented Intelligence" while others would rather focus on Machine Learning, Deep Learning and neural networks. Amazon, Alphabet, Alibaba—they all swear by AI and it has slowly and steadily started replacing manual jobs.

Artificial intelligence - AI

This year Minecraft got an AI assistant, Bengaluru announced an AI-based traffic solution for its signals and a museum in Vienna came out with an AI exhibit. Then there's the other dirty word, “algorithms” which is supposed to manipulate our Facebook and Twitter feeds. These, in turn, manipulate our rage and choices, including those during voting. In the US, the 2016 Presidential elections are still being discussed in that regard, even as the 2020 one is round the corner.


2. Data: A term which has been around for ages, but keeps getting redefined every year. There has been an explosion of data in recent times and a few more explosions await us. Very soon we will have tens of billions of IoT (Internet of Things) devices relaying us non-stop data 24X7. That's why we have hundreds of thousands of data centres with more than 500 hyperscale ones.

We truly live in a cloud world—public, private, hybrid and even multi-cloud. There's data analytics, which is getting better and better and the term Big Data, another big thing. Finally, there's data privacy. While GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has been around for ages, India finally laid down the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019.

3. Consumer Internet: First there was a strict demarcation between everything: B2B (Business to Business), B2C (Business to consumer) and B2G (Business to the government). Then most companies worked in silos and concentrated on a few specialities. Now everyone does almost everything, sells to almost everyone and is open to a tie-up with almost everyone.


At the centre of that is the mobile, the “everything device”. First we had startups, then we had unicorns, but these companies are becoming giants in no time. Our world is controlled by Uber, WhatsApp, Swiggy... and every app can be accessed on the mobile and everything can be ordered on it too. What the desktop and laptop couldn't do, the mobile did with ease: Capture rural India even as something like Tik Tok is becoming a rage there.

4. Industry 4.0: Industry 1.0 was the original Industrial Revolution. 2.0 was the one powered by electricity, telegraphs and railroads. 3.0 was the computerization era. Now they are talking of 4.0 and it’s another umbrella term which encompasses a lot of things. There are dark or lights out factories where manufacturing could be done remotely without a single human being on site.

Industry 4.0

There are sensors, personal IoTs, wearable IoTs and now Industrial IoTs (IIoTs). There are already close to 10 billion of them in the world and you will have tens of billions more. You can have smart homes, smart factories, smart schools smart hospitals and entire smart cities. Right now 3D printing is on small scale. Once that goes to industrial scale, it will power 4.0.

5. Cybersecurity: Viruses and worms on your computer are so passé. Now it’s all about a cybersecurity solution either for your home or business. We are entering an era where everything is being digitized, so everything is under threat. Then all the action is shifting to the mobile device and it’s all about protecting the data and applications.

Threats are shifting to the application layer and morphing into different things. Ransomware attacks are on the rise and millions of dollars are being paid out in ransom in order to safeguard businesses and public utilities. Everyone has an Aadhaar card in India (1 billion-plus) and facial recognition is becoming the norm in China (1 billion-plus again). Now billions have to safeguard their personal data.


6. RPA: Robotic Process Automation is taking over many simple tasks that humans are doing. They are creating digital workers or digital robots or bots. Millions of bots are being deployed all over. By some estimates, this could be a global US$10 trillion market.

RPA - Robotic process automation

Bots are assessing application forms, clearing bank cheques, writing press releases and earnings reports. Coming back to Industry 4.0, you could have actual robots in a factory taking orders from digital bots controlled by AI-ML.


7. Blockchain: While cryptocurrencies in general and Bitcoin in particular have caught the public imagination, many other applications are being explored. Banks are working on distributed ledgers and its applications are also being looked into for supply chain logistics and management. Blockchain can have applications in voting, healthcare, digital IDs and even weapons tracking.

8. Multiple Realities: Virtual Reality (VR) is when you wear glasses and get lost in a simulated world which could literally be anything. Augmented Reality (AR) is where the objects around you are enhanced via computer-generated visual or auditory cues.

Virtual Reality - VR

Mixed Reality (MR) is where the real world and virtual world co-exist together with elements of AR. Then there’s the simulation theory where we all could be living in a computer simulation: Simulated Reality (SR). Proponents of SR are billionaire Elon Musk and Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams.