From artificial intelligence to blockchain, 11 leading scientists from Alibaba Group and its affiliate research labs, including researchers with the Alibaba DAMO Academy—the Chinese tech giant’s first major research program focused on developing next-generation technologies—look at which trends will make the biggest impact in the coming year.
“Multiple [research] teams will announce that they’ve achieved “quantum supremacy,” the engineering of a quantum processor that cannot be simulated by classical computers. Much work is to be done, however, to reach the next milestone of solving a practically meaningful problem that can’t be solved classically.”
– Shi Yaoyun, director of the Alibaba Cloud Quantum Laboratory
“In 2018, the spotlight will be on blockchain technology… Applications of blockchain will leapfrog from proofs of concepts (PoC) to real-world implementations, especially in the areas of financial services and supply chain management. More and more traditional industries will start embracing the technology and re-engineer their business models.
– Geoff Jiang, vice president and head of Ant Technology Labs
“[The A.I. chips market] is an increasingly heated battleground. A.I. chips that are faster than current central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs) and are more energy efficient will prevail for both edge and cloud [computing]. Only a handful few of A.I. chip manufacturers will survive and finally win the battle.”
– Alan Qi, vice president and chief data scientist at Ant Financial