Trends: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

25 January | 2019By Jim PopleInsights

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) were undoubtedly two of the key tech buzzwords of 2018. At C8, we’re constantly speaking with our clients and core target media on the latest developments with the technology, such as OutSystems’ introduction of AI into low-code application development.

In both a professional and personal environment, both AI and ML continue to profoundly change how we live our lives. Whether its speaking with voice-activated chatbots and personal assistants, or product recommendations and smart searches when shopping online, both technologies continue to seep into an increasing number of sectors.

While the hype may have been sometimes overwhelming throughout 2018, it will only continue to grow exponentially in the final year of the decade. As new developments are introduced, enabling decisions to be smarter and at a quicker rate, the momentum of automation will continue to snowball at a relentless rate.

Such is the breadth of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, many organisations have already turned towards investing huge resources in developing such technologies, whether it’s in healthcare, transport, or e-commerce. Regardless, all will streamline the human’s day-to-day activity, demonstrating how simple, yet time-consuming processes can be simplified through smart technologies and algorithms, bringing unparalleled cost and efficiency benefits for nearly every sector imaginable.

Therefore, we have explored some of the main themes and trends that we can expect from the data overload of AI and ML in the next 12 months.

Reliability and safety

As with any new technology, it’s always interesting to pose the ethics and privacy question. This is becoming increasingly important as AI is deployed in more mission-critical applications. Healthcare is a prime example, with a number of guarantees and checks made against the ability to rely on these technologies in what could be life-and-death scenarios.

This has only been heightened by a rise in machine deception of online platforms that have integrated AI and ML, for example, the fatalities that have affected Tesla’s autonomous vehicle programme. Rest assured, the safety implications of automation will continue to be a hot topic in 2019.

The rise of big data

With an increase in the number of areas in which Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is deployed, comes a similarly big increase in the amount of data required to power these insights and actions, which accelerate at an unprecedented rate. Some research has indicated that the amount of data produced worldwide doubles year-after-year!

Arguably, the development of Artificial Intelligence initially outstripped the data capabilities of many organisations, but they have rapidly caught up. AI and ML is now powering real-time insights and analysis, based on real-time data, as quickly as the human brain can react. However, the harvesting of this data also begs the question of how it will be impacted by regulation – namely GDPR. Only time will tell whether the big tech players are caught out with huge fines and drawn-out lawsuits caused by the big data machine?

Increasing levels of automation

While full automation might still be a pipedream, there are many tasks that lend themselves to partial automation, with a certain degree of human interaction still required. In fact, research from McKinsey suggests that in 2019, only 5% of occupations can be fully automated, which is good news for the traditional worker – for now at least. However, the same research also suggests that up to 60% of jobs could have as much as 30% of the associated activities automated, demonstrating the rate of development.

Rather than waiting for complete automation, organisations will be encouraged to implement partially automated solutions to stay ahead of their competitors, dependent on the success of those projects. If successful, this will undoubtedly drive further development. Technology that thinks for itself and which is able to make decisions without any human input is definitely on the horizon.

In summary, 2019 will prove to be another watershed moment for AI, when the technology will be gradually adopted in all types of businesses, processes, products and services. The general understanding of the technology will also start changing. In other words, be prepared to feel your age and be amazed by what it can do.

However, as new technologies are deployed for good, many will be sceptical about its uses in every walk of life, mainly how Artificial Intelligence will be utilised by the so-called ‘bad actors’ in taking cybercrime and attempted breaches to another level. For a start, you wouldn’t want your Amazon Alexa to be hacked, would you?