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Hottest tech jobs, biggest tech companies and the future of food: Research round-up

Facts and figures from the past month in technology news.
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By Mark Samuels on
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1 of 12 Our World in Data

The challenge of feeding the world

Let's start with our special report on the future of food. The world's human population currently stands at around 7.6 billion and is projected to reach 11.2 billion by 2100. We will need a food production and distribution system that can accommodate another 3.6 billion people -- ideally while consuming as little additional land and leaving as small an environmental footprint as possible.

For more see: Smart farming: How IoT, robotics, and AI are tackling one of the biggest problems of the century

Photo by: Our World in Data

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2 of 12 Data: Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research / Image: ZDNet

Technology can help boost crop yields

Yet there is hope. Goldman Sachs research suggests a technology-driven crop yield improvement of 70 percent is achievable by 2050 via a combination of precision planting, fertiliser application, irrigation spraying, and autonomous driving applications, with adoption starting in developed markets.

For more see: Smart farming: How IoT, robotics, and AI are tackling one of the biggest problems of the century

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3 of 12 eMarketer

Smart speakers by brand penetration

As many as 74.2 million people will use a smart speaker in the US in 2019, up 15 percent from 2018, according to researcher eMarketer. Amazon's smart speaker market share will drop below the two-thirds mark in 2019. eMarketer is projecting Echo will have 63.3 percent of the smart speaker market, while Google Home will be 31 percent. Apple HomePod and Sonos will drive the "other" category to 12 percent.

For more see: Amazon Alexa, why aren't more people doing voice commerce?

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4 of 12 IDC

Europe is also in love with smart speakers

Europeans are also embracing smart speakers from Google, Amazon and Apple, despite concerns about the technology's potential to invade privacy in the home. According to analyst IDC, smart speaker sales exploded in Europe in the third quarter of 2018, growing 116.7 percent compared to 2017 -- even before Google and Amazon expand the availability of Echo and Home speakers to Italy and Spain. 

For more see: Amazon Echo, Google Home: How Europe fell in love with smart speakers

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5 of 12 IDC

Wearables outlook 2022: Smartwatches will still rule, Apple will still dominate

The market for wearable devices will continue to grow over the next three years and will continue to be dominated by smartwatches, with the Apple Watch continuing to be the biggest player. Global shipments of wearable devices are forecast to reach 125.3 million units this year, up 8.5 percent from 2017, according to calculations by tech analyst IDC.

For more see: Wearables outlook 2022: Smartwatches will still rule, Apple will still dominate

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6 of 12 Spiceworks

Microsoft Teams is killing it in the business chat market

Microsoft's move six months ago to offer a free version of Teams to rival Slack has led to skyrocketing adoption, according to a survey by Spiceworks. The Spiceworks survey of 900 businesses in Europe and the US has found that Teams is now the second most widely used chat app, following Microsoft's Skype for Business.

For more see: Microsoft Teams is killing it in the business chat market

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7 of 12 Future of Jobs Report 2018 - World Economics Forum

Growing skills for 2022

According to the World Economics Forum's The Future of Jobs 2018 report, machines will overtake humans in terms of performing more tasks in the workplace by 2025 -- but there could still be 58 million net new jobs created in the next five years. The report notes that the growing skills for 2022 will include analytical thinking, creativity, critical thinking, complex problem solving, and systems analysis.

For more see: AI will transform product management

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8 of 12 Future of Jobs Report 2018 - World Economics Forum

Top 10 emerging jobs in 2022

The Future of Jobs Report 2018 also identifies 10 emerging jobs in 2022, including data analysts and scientists, AI and machine learning specialists and general and operation managers as the top 3 jobs.

For more see: AI will transform product management

Whats next for 2019 Influencer marketing trends zdnet
9 of 12 Influencer DB

What's next for influencer marketing?

Brands are investing heavily into influencer content and relationships. Instagram's overall users have grown significantly over the last four years with no plans of stopping. Cologne, Germany-based Influencer DB looked at the state of the influencer marketing industry with predictions for 2019 and beyond. Technology is not favoured on Instagram, accounting for just one percent of posts. 

For more see: What's next for 2019? Influencer marketing trends

Shoppers are willing to part with data for better customer experiences zdnet
10 of 12 Sitel Group

Shoppers are willing to part with data for better customer experiences

Customer experience management company Sitel Group released its 2018 CX Index Report Index. The report reveals how the quality of a company's customer experience impacts consumers' loyalty and engagement. Three quarters (75 percent) of US consumers said that they would stop doing business with a company if they received poor customer support or had a bad experience.

For more see: Shoppers are willing to part with data for better customer experiences

Americans want both online and in-store buying says survey zdnet
11 of 12 SAP

Americans want both online and in-store buying

SAP released its consumer propensity study. It polled 1000 Americans to gauge their thoughts on their shopping experiences. The research suggests customers will buy if they have an incentive. They want discounts and notification of promotions (58 percent), additional discounts when a purchase is made (30 percent), and a quick response to customer queries (21 percent) online and in store.

For more see: Americans want both online, and in-store buying says survey

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12 of 12 Yahoo Finance

Microsoft ends 2018 as America’s most valuable company

Microsoft is enjoying a little glory, having unexpectedly regained its position as America's most valuable publicly-quoted company -- but it hasn't exactly risen to the top. In the last quarter, Microsoft's value slumped by more than $100 billion. What's happened is that the value of Microsoft shares fell less than those of other leading technology companies. However, both Apple and Amazon have bigger annual revenues than Microsoft, and Apple is making three times as much money.

For more see: Microsoft will end 2018 as America's most valuable company

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