Most experts would agree that the central technology story for the decade of 2010 has been AI. We entered a new period where machines can be described as intelligent and capable of thinking and learning. Given the strides made so far with AI and machine learning, it does not take a crystal ball to see that the future will undoubtedly include increased spending, research, development, and deployment of more AI-driven innovations in industry science and daily life. Here are some trends you can expect to unfold during the coming year.

Greater Human and AI Cooperation and Interaction 

Bots and AI-powered tools are becoming more and more common in the workplace-particularly in the area of industry. Rather than tools built to replace humans, you will see the building of AI-powered tools designed to optimize human skills-the ability to be creative, imaginative, strategic, and communicative. AI will help us make sense of large data sets with superfast analytic skills that are updated in real-time. This decade will usher in a new era of cooperation between man and machine. According to the IDC, they are predicting that 75% of organizations will be investing in retraining employees to fill skill gaps that will be created by the adoption of more AI tools.  

AI Moves to the Edge

 AI has been living primarily in the cloud. One of the developments with AI is that algorithms are becoming more efficient and capable of running on low-power devices. This means that AI is now able to occur and live at the edge where data is gathered and used. This shift in paradigm is going to continue to gain popularity. AI-Powered insights will become a reality outside of times and places where there are superfast fiber optic and mobile network availability. There is likely to be an increase in customer processors that will become a more significant part of the technology we use and interact with every day. We will also be able to use this technology even when internet connections are sporadic or non-existent.

AI in Business

AI is moving beyond the basic automation of manual tasks in manufacturing and production lines. AI is moving into the office. Software-based robots will take on many of the repetitive office tasks such as filling out forms, generating reports, and process documentation. This level of robotic process automation will free people from time-consuming administrative work so their time can be more focused on complex tasks, strategic and creative thinking, and interpersonal tasks. Accounting is only one area where we are already seeing the effects of software-based robotics taking over administrative duties.

AI and Security

We are all aware of how sophisticated hacking, phishing, and social engineering attacks have become. AI and smart technology will play an even more critical role in protecting against these attacks. AI can recognize giveaway signs that digital activity follows a pattern that could indicate suspicious activity and raise an alert or alarm before sensitive data can be compromised or defenses penetrated. AI will drive cybersecurity in the future.

With the starting rollout of 5G technology and AI, there will be new opportunities for more sophisticated cybersecurity solutions.

Facial Recognition

Facial recognition technology will be increasing as we start this new decade. This technology may frighten you as it does many other people. It is rolling out in several countries, including China, where the government considers ways to make facial recognition compulsory for gaining access to services like communication networks and public transportation. Many corporations and governments are increasing investments in facial recognition as a way to positively identify who we are and interpret our activities and behaviors. This is occurring over objections. San Francisco became the first major city to ban the use of facial recognition technology by the police and municipal agencies this past year. Others are expected to follow suit in 2020. There is a question about whether people will ultimately accept this intrusion into their lives in return for increased security and convenience. Facial recognition is likely to be a hot topic in the next 12 months.

Jun 17 20
Christina Zumwalt
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