The year is nearing its end. Someone starts to sum up, and someone – makes predictions for the next 12 months. Recently, the largest technology and economic experts told what technologies and trends will influence the world in 2019.

New feelings

All information about the world around us we get with the help of five basic types of feelings – touch, taste, hearing, smell and sight. Data, whether it is information about the smell of flowers or a scientific text from a book, is read by the senses, and then processed by the appropriate department of the brain.

David Eagleman, a professor at Stanford University and the author of the best-selling book “The Brain: Your Personal History,” believes that we are very close to the possibility of expanding the range of basic feelings with something new. Eagleman argues that using technology to stream data directly into the brain, thus forming something like a new feeling. This may sound like a fantasy, but, according to the professor, very little is left before the practical implementation of this idea. Probably, we will see the first experiments with this amazing technology next year.

Small satellites

Earth-orbiting satellites play an incredibly important role in the development of digital infrastructure and scientific research. But the launch of each such satellite costs a tidy sum. Thanks to the efforts of Ilona Mask and other space enthusiasts in recent years, the cost of launches has significantly decreased. But you can make satellites even cheaper by reducing their size.

Currently, there is already a CubeSat standard – standardized satellite cubes with dimensions of 10 x 10 x 11.35 cm. Such miniature satellites can be used for photographing, atmospheric observations, navigation and other orbital “routine”. Tim Harford, one of the most respected economists in the world and a regular contributor to the column “The Economist Under the Cover” in the Financial Times predicts that in 2019 we will witness an unprecedented number of launches of such miniature space satellites.

High speed transport

Perhaps one of the most ambitious transport projects of our time is the Hyperloop vacuum train. Billionaire and founder of the Virgin group Richard Branson believes that quite a bit is left before the implementation of this project. Of course, in 2019 the first commercial route is unlikely to be laid. But the project, for sure, will come to the finish line.

Blockchain will come to the world of art

The global market for works of art is growing every year, but the number and quality of fakes is also growing. The blockchain technology has already proven its effectiveness in the banking sector, but now it can come to art. Former British Culture Minister Ed Weizi believes that using the blockchain can make this market more transparent and secure. According to Veyzi, now approximately 5% of all the capacities of the blockchain technology are involved in the field of art. In 2019, this proportion can significantly increase.

Fake invasion

The face of the young actor who played Han Solo in the new Star Wars movie was replaced by the original Harrison Ford

This year we first saw Deepfake – a method of synthesizing human images based on artificial intelligence. The neural network is used to create very realistic fake videos. Users are having fun with might and main by swapping the faces of politicians and actors. But as the algorithm learns, the results of its work become more and more realistic.

Yasmin Green, director of research at Alphabet, believes that in 2019 a mark will be reached at which fake videos will become almost indistinguishable from real ones. This can have quite unpredictable consequences. For example, various political forces can use this tool to distribute fake videos that compromise their competitors. Mankind will have to learn how to somehow distinguish such fakes.