Top 2018 Tech Trends and How Web Scraping Fits into the Picture
Trends change from year to year, demanding that marketers and analysts stay nimble and in a state of feverous perpetual education. And, that’s a good thing – sink or swim; grow or perish.
Today, we are focusing on two of the primary trends in the information technology sector this year that will shape and affect the circulation of data on a global scale:
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
These two trends shouldn’t seem unfamiliar to our readers, as they have been all over the news, social media and tech thought leader blogs. However, even those with a thorough understanding of what web data scraping is and what web scraping services are out there, how are these profoundly growing IT trends and data scraping services going to get along with each other?
Let’s start with IoT, and see what the challenges, opportunities or both will be for web data scraping services.
The Internet of Things – How do web scraping services fit in?
Ten years ago answering a phone call with your wristwatch was but only a goal. Nowadays, it’s practically ubiquitous. Or, a parka with Bluetooth connected speakers in the hood?
In 2018, IoT is paced to become so common that in a short period of time we’ll no longer have terms to describe what it even is! According to Business Insider, by 2025 there will be 55 billion IoT devices, whereas last year there were only (yeah, only) 9 billion devices.
Yet, with any rapid transformation, the future becomes increasingly uncertain. This is especially important for data security risks, as while we absolutely will only perform ethical data scraping, there are plenty of nefarious characters out there giving web data scraping a bad rep.
This is not truly unique though, when you think about it, for the data scraping industry. When Volkswagen was exposed for cheating emissions tests, it didn’t make every diesel vehicle manufacturer lose their credibility. Keep that in mind.
The supreme advantage here for analysts, researchers, and commercial entities is that with IoT every piece of digital information in our lives is becoming connected. What this means is that soon data scraping services are going to be able to retrieve enormous amounts of data starting with just a single point of contact.
This is especially helpful for IoT companies. Using a web scraping service, they will be able to seamlessly monitor and evaluate the usefulness of their product without pestering consumers with email surveys or the like.
The aggressively upward IoT trend presents web scraping services and their users with a double-edged sword – on one hand, competition will soon be robust for IoT companies and web scraping providers alike, but as IoT begins to permeate every facet of our lives, there will need to be greater regulatory authorities in place to ensure that besides getting your email hacked, perhaps sneaky entities out there will soon be able to monitor every nook and cranny of an individual’s entire life.
But there’s no cause for alarm just yet, any more so than any other element of IT and the exchange of information in general. If you want to work in, for, or start an IoT company, you’ll soon require a data scraping service just to remain relevant! Just as scraping services like ours need to continually innovate and adapt to stay ahead of the competition.
Let’s move on to our next dauntingly major trend for the year: artificial intelligence
Artificial Intelligence + Data Scraping = Pro or Con?
We, humanity that is, have had the prospect of one day developing AI algorithms that we suspect will do one of two things:
- Make our lives easier
- Replace all of our jobs with robots
Well, that day has already made it here. Academics have especially been studying and projecting over the past few years how AI will either damage or streamline the global market.
Understandably, larger companies are already exploiting the value of AI in data scraping and exploiting the value of data scraping in developing better AI algorithms. This is where the intersection of artificial intelligence and web scraping becomes rather interesting for nerds like us.
It’s a feedback loop – AI powers the efficiency and greater quality of scraped data results while scraping those results leads to the ability for developing even smarter, independently learning AI. The MIT news outlet has written about this wildly powerful relationship in this article.
The article makes a great point – AI can forge ahead in cases where a human would just give up. Keep in mind that the vast majority of data on the internet is plain and simple text. If a human was to scrape data manually, if they came across a text that they didn’t make sense to them, i.e. language barrier, they likely wouldn’t spend time learning a new language to determine whether or not the data was valuable for their purposes.
Not AI. AI doesn’t include the innate human bias, which is part of what makes us human.
However, that is not to say that while bias is born in humans, that AI algorithms cannot learn to be biased if let loose to run rampant while data scraping. There is an undeniable phenomenon of AI learning nasty habits when it comes to choosing which data is relevant or not. Even down to learning biases against sex and ethnicity.
So, to truly exploit the efficiency potential of AI with data scraping and data scraping with AI, the human element still has to be there. Motive and organizational goals are going to become even more scrutinized and reaffirmed to ensure that those in charge of developing AI algorithms, well, have the best intentions and ensure that their bots are behaving.
To close up our discussion on the future relationship between AI and web scraping services, web scraping helps to AI find the data and information requested, learn what is relevant and valid for the AI’s “purpose” if you will, and diminishes the time and costs spent by the organization, and if wielded with ethics and attention, minimizes the bias that comes with along with human nature.
Future friends with techs top trends
At this point in time, saying that the IoT and AI are here to stay is an old and tattered cliche. For like-minded parties that are looking forward to business growth solutions, all signs are pointing towards the crossroads of data scraping efficiency, the rising tide of IoT, and the potential to enhance digital information processing with AI.
Want to voice your agreement, disagreement, have any questions or just want to say hi? That’s what our comments section below is there for. Feel free to test out your biased AI-data-scraping-powered-IoT-device to leave us a comment!