William Webster

written by

William Webster

Researcher, Avoncourt Partners GmbH

Culture Blog - Dec 27, 2017

What 2018 will bring for artificial intelligence

2017 has brought us to the edge of our seats observing artificial intelligence’s advancements. Here are 5 predictions for AI in the new year.

1. There will be more action and less hype in 2018

All signs point to an increase in scale of development and integration of AI in 2018, especially in the area of machine learning. Results are starting to appear beyond computers learning how to beat humans at chess and computer games. 2018 will provide a continuous stream of small but sure successes, as machine learning and neural network technology takes on more routine tasks.

2. This action will be coupled by more investments in AI start-ups

There will be lots if money going into AI enterprise projects.

Spurred on by the successes published by innovators and market leaders in 2017, more and more start-ups will emerge as more and more businesses launch initiatives involving AI. From self-driving cars and ships to life-saving robots, it’s clear that the speed of technological change is only going to increase. There will be more and more bold figures in the business world acting on the potential that AI holds.

3. Because of these investments, some will act too hastily and there will be a lot of failed attempts and money lost

When working in an emerging field like AI, the only certainty is that nothing is certain. Machine learning algorithms may be great at problem-solving, but they are unlikely to foresee or react to many of the “human” factors to success. For example, a robot will find difficulty in the nuances of language and human resource management. Workforce buy-in, legal, political or economic developments will also be challenges for AI. Generally, a vagueness or lack of focus around the aims and expectations of an AI initiative will be the cause of failure. AI is tough and expensive. Those initiatives and projects most likely to succeed will possess a clear strategy. They will bring results clearly tied to bottom-line KPIs such as revenue growth and customer satisfaction scores.

4. The nuances of the human voice (tone, inflection, etc.) will strongly affect how we interact with machines

Computers have gotten better at understanding us. There is less need for us to spend time learning their complicated mathematical languages. Natural language generation and natural language processing algorithms are constantly learning to become better at understanding us, and talking to us in a way we understand. During 2018 this will continue to improve. We should get used to robots which we can hold a conversation with.

5. Robots will become more and more a part of human healthcare and wellbeing

Artificial intelligence has advanced into healthcare in a way that is initially invisible to patients. Image recognition algorithms are being used to spot warning signs imperceptible to the human eye in medical images. They can even decipher hand-written doctors’ notes. As this technology is proving to be successful in pilot projects, we will see it moving into wider operational use in 2018. We are also likely to see more robots appearing in people’s homes with the ability to help them cope with disability and illness. Companionship robots are expected to become popular and could begin to become an everyday reality in 2018.

All in all, we can expect to see some solid advancements in the practical applications of AI technology to everyday life in 2018. It will be an exciting year.