6 Tech Trends That Will Dominate 2018

We have witnessed the arrival of amazing tech breakthroughs over the past few years.

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We have witnessed the arrival of amazing tech breakthroughs over the past few years. They range from the profound (algorithms that can spot tumors better than radiologists, or self-driving cars) to the whimsical (digital assistants that tell us which clothes look best on us).

“We’re truly in an amazing time,” says Ken Allen, who would know, as manager of the T. Rowe Price Science & Technology Fund (PRSCX (opens in new tab)).

Aside from the personal benefits, there’s a lot of money to be made for investors. Anyone who bought Amazon.com (AMZN (opens in new tab)) in the summer of 2009 – a major player in artificial intelligence and cloud computing – is now up 1,380%. Alphabet (GOOGL (opens in new tab)) is up 420%.

Good news on that front: Things are only just getting started. The "Big Five" tech companies alone – Facebook (FB (opens in new tab)), Microsoft (MSFT (opens in new tab)), Alphabet, Amazon and Apple (AAPL (opens in new tab)) – now spend $150 billion a year on research, compared to $16 billion 10 years ago, Allen says.

Tech experts like Allen expect big advances in 2018 and beyond in six key areas. Here are the most exciting tech trends to watch, and some companies that will benefit:

Click on ticker-symbol links in each slide for current share prices and more.

Michael Brush
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger.com
Michael Brush is an investor and market commentator for MarketWatch who also publishes a stock newsletter called Brush Up on Stocks. Brush is a graduate of the Columbia Business School Knight-Bagehot Fellowship Program, and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Italy. He has also covered business and investing for The New York Times, The Economist Group and MSN Money, and he has won several journalism awards. He is the author of Lessons From the Front Line, a book about investing published by John Wiley.