The year of artificial intelligence
This is the second and the last part of the miniseries I write ahead of 2018. Since any article about predictions will not be completed without Gartner Trends Outlook, today I will write mainly about Gartner Top 10 strategic Technology Trends for 2018. Kasey Panetta writes in his report: “Artificial intelligence, immersive experiences, digital twins, event-thinking and continuous adaptive security create a foundation for the next generation of digital business models and ecosystems.”
Everything will be intelligent and everything will be connected, creating a mesh. Gartner calls the entwining of people, devices, content and services the intelligent digital mesh. It’s enabled by digital models, business platforms and a rich, intelligent set of services to support digital business.
Intelligent: How AI is seeping into virtually every technology and with a defined, well-scoped focus can allow more dynamic, flexible and potentially autonomous systems.
Digital: Blending the virtual and real worlds to create an immersive digitally enhanced and connected environment.
Mesh: The connections between an expanding set of people, business, devices, content and services to deliver digital outcomes.
The ability to use AI to enhance decision making, reinvent business models and ecosystems, and remake the customer experience will drive the payoff for digital initiatives through 2025.
The seamless integration of AI to every kind of software will enable few frontiers in business. Over the next few years every app, application and service will incorporate AI at some level. AI will run unobtrusively in the background of many familiar application categories while giving rise to entirely new ones.
These changes in software will in turn bring intelligent things. Intelligent things use AI and machine learning to interact in a more intelligent way with people and surroundings. Some intelligent things wouldn’t exist without AI, but others are existing things (i.e. a camera) that AI makes intelligent (i.e. a smart camera.) These things operate semi-autonomously or autonomously in an unsupervised environment for a set amount of time to complete a particular task. Examples include a self-directing vacuum or autonomous farming vehicle. As the technology develops, AI and machine learning will increasingly appear in a variety of objects ranging from smart healthcare equipment to autonomous harvesting robots for farms.
Edge computing will be a must. Edge computing describes a computing topology in which information processing and content collection and delivery are placed closer to the sources of this information. Connectivity and latency challenges, bandwidth constraints and greater functionality embedded at the edge favors distributed models. Enterprises should begin using edge design patterns in their infrastructure architectures — particularly for those with significant IoT elements. A good starting point could be using colocation and edge-specific networking capabilities.
The AI, IoT and edge computing will give rise to Conversational platforms. Conversational platforms will drive a paradigm shift in which the burden of translating intent shifts from user to computer. These systems are capable of simple answers (How’s the weather?) or more complicated interactions (book a reservation at the Italian restaurant on Parker Ave.) These platforms will continue to evolve to even more complex actions, such as collecting oral testimony from crime witnesses and acting on that information by creating a sketch of the suspect’s face based on the testimony.
In short, get ready. In 2018 we will see real applications of AI everywhere.