Artificial intelligence and machine learning have been among the most discussed and debated tech trends of the year. As 2018 comes to a close and we approach a new year, let’s look at where AI and ML stand and where they may be going.
In its latest ConsumerLab trend report, Ericsson (News - Alert) brings some interesting perspective to the table. It says “awareables” will be among the hot consumer trends of 2019, adding that more than 60 percent of virtual assistant users think devices that understand our moods will be mainstream in three years.
Ericsson’s report also suggests smart speakers in the future are likely to argue. It also suggest that about half of virtual assistant users want an automated way to pay their bills and restock their household supplies.
“We have already entered the age when humans and intelligent machines are interacting and working together,” says Pernilla Jonsson, Ericsson’s head of consumer and IndustryLab. “So far, we’ve only taken small steps into the future. Most of the zero-touch future is yet to be developed – and how we create that future is still in our hands.”
Kofax CSO Chris Huff predicts that credentialing will go biometric, serverless computing with robotic process automation will eliminate the need for dedicated servers, companies will begin to create formal RPA roles, and large software companies will continue to acquire RPA capabilities.
“The recent SAP acquisition of Contextor continues the trend of large software companies wrapping in RPA to lower total cost of ownership by providing more automation capabilities out of the box,” he says. “RPA companies that have built niche market plays around larger software applications will need to be nimble.”
Unravel CEO Kunal Agarwal also expects to see more AI-related acquisitions in the year ahead. Plus, Agarwal believes the growing emphasis on AI and ML will make TensorFlow and H2O breakout technologies in 2019.
“Major acquisitions of rising artificial intelligence players will be made in order to provide highly in-demand and scarce IP and talent in AI and machine learning,” he says. “Google (News - Alert) and Apple have led the way in acquiring budding AI technologies, and less innovative tech giants will try to mimic their success with purchases of their own.”
LogicMonitor's Gadi Oren notes that AI can help IT teams better address the complexity of enterprise communications and networking environments.
“IT and its building blocks are so complex and rapidly changing that assuming that the user is an expert in all different aspects and technology stacks within the IT and that they know the exact structure of their infrastructure/applications up to the minute, is an incorrect set of assumptions,” says Oren, who will be speaking next month at AIOps Expo. “So, the old school tools that provided signals and data without interpretation are OK, but solutions that would read into the data and provide interpretation, or an opinion are going to be much more valuable to IT teams. Solutions that would be successfully opinionated would ultimately disrupt the older solutions. AIOps is a part of achieving the ability to have a deeper understanding of the data.”
AgilOne CEO Omer Artun, who will also be speaking at The Future of Work Expo, notes that machine learning makes it faster and easier to contend with the mountains of data that’s now available.
“What machine learning does is … you can dig with your hands, but machine learning is the excavator,” he says. “It can move large amounts of data really fast and help the humans. But, an excavator requires a driver.”
Maddy Martin, head of growth and education at Smith.ai Virtual Receptionists, adds: “We are going to see AI take on more complex decision making (as opposed to simple Q&A) based on past history, context, and human guidance. There will be more autonomy (e.g., self-driving cars) and AI that is better at being both proactive and reactive.
“We will see a significant increase in productivity, which will result in people being able to spend more time (now freed up thanks to AI efficiencies) building personal connections and running better businesses,” continues Martin, who also will be speaking at The Future of Work Expo.
Fellow Future of Work Expo speaker Jon Alperin of Avaya adds: “In 5 to 10 years, we probably won’t notice AI and ML capabilities that are crafted in to the products, services, and solutions we use until we come across something that lacks those capabilities. Much like trying to use a manual typewriter, we’ll probably take a moment for nostalgia over the old ways of doing something, and then start complaining about how difficult it is without AI to assist us.”
Edited by Erik Linask