2018 in Review: The Year of Transition is Over

2018 in Review: The Year of Transition is Over
đź‘‹ Hi, I am Mark. I am a strategic futurist and innovation keynote speaker. I advise governments and enterprises on emerging technologies such as AI or the metaverse. My subscribers receive a free weekly newsletter on cutting-edge technology.

Last year, I called 2018 the Year of Transition because technological developments are accelerating, but they had not yet reached the state of full maturity. Indeed, artificial intelligence did leap forward, with Uber developing a new machine learning technique and AI beating humans in the game Dota 2. As I correctly predicted, the ICO hype came to a near standstill. Among others due to the crypto bear market and additional scrutiny from regulators such as the SEC. We saw a new approach to data ownership with the launch of Solid PODs by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Finally, we saw that quantum computing is developed a lot faster than many had expected.

With the year almost over now, and this being my last article of 2018, let’s look back at some of my most popular articles of last year. A quick recap if you missed something in the past 12 months. To prepare you for the Year of Truth that is upon us:


Of course, I extensively wrote about blockchain this year as a lot has happened. We saw the development of blockchain for enterprises, and I shared seven use of enterprise blockchain solutions. In addition, I believe that the number one application of blockchain for enterprises will be in the supply chain and blockchain will become the gold standard for supply chains. However, organisations should note that blockchain is not a solution for every problem, which I discussed last week.

However, private enterprise blockchains were not the only developments. I shared with you where blockchain startups can open a bank account, which appeared to be a lot more challenging than we thought. On the other hand, blockchain appeared to be in line with the GDPR, which went into effect in May 2018.

Artificial Intelligence

The developments of AI were hard to follow this year, as everything went so fast. What it means for your organisation, therefore, was even harder to follow. Nevertheless, I attempted to provide you with some insights by explaining 30 ways how AI will change your business. In addition, I explained that you should treat AI like Lego; develop simple algorithms that are very good at one thing and make your business smarter by combining different algorithms.

Unfortunately, artificial intelligence is not all positive. AI is neutral, just like any technology. It can be used for good or for bad. In 2018, we saw the appearance of deep fakes, which can lead to serious problems if further developed in 2019. As I argued, the combination of fake news and artificial intelligence is a dangerous combination.

The Convergence of Technologies

For 2019, I predict a gestalt shift when multiple technologies converge. Organisations that will adopt and implement a combination of technologies such as AI and Blockchain will develop a data organisation. The Organisation of Tomorrow is the title of my new book that will be published in Q1 of 2019, and you can read the abstract here. However, when robots and AI become part of the organisations, it does require governments and organisations to adapt.

2018 was an exciting year, and we are only getting started. Next year will be the Year of Truth. Not only from a blockchain perspective that offers industry partners a single version of the truth but also in terms of IoT security where we will see more data breaches. In addition, we will see an intensified arms race among governments and commercial organisations around quantum computing and artificial intelligence. All in all, it will be a very exciting year as we prepare for a data-centric 3rd decade.

Thank you for your interest in my articles. I hope they have been useful for you and your organisation. If you wish to hire me as a speaker, don’t hesitate to contact me. I wish you happy holidays and all the best for 2019!

Image: Vikks/Shutterstock

Dr Mark van Rijmenam

Dr Mark van Rijmenam

Dr. Mark van Rijmenam is a strategic futurist known as The Digital Speaker. He stands at the forefront of the digital age and lives and breathes cutting-edge technologies to inspire Fortune 500 companies and governments worldwide. As an optimistic dystopian, he has a deep understanding of AI, blockchain, the metaverse, and other emerging technologies, and he blends academic rigour with technological innovation.

His pioneering efforts include the world’s first TEDx Talk in VR in 2020. In 2023, he further pushed boundaries when he delivered a TEDx talk in Athens with his digital twin , delving into the complex interplay of AI and our perception of reality. In 2024, he launched a digital twin of himself offering interactive, on-demand conversations via text, audio or video in 29 languages, thereby bridging the gap between the digital and physical worlds – another world’s first.

As a distinguished 5-time author and corporate educator, Dr Van Rijmenam is celebrated for his candid, independent, and balanced insights. He is also the founder of Futurwise , which focuses on elevating global digital awareness for a responsible and thriving digital future.