The age of Big Data has reached an all new high as disruptive and innovative digital technologies push businesses to adapt quickly in a rapidly changing consumer market. The capabilities and agility of big data combined with the scale of artificial intelligence is helping businesses across industries to understand evolving consumer behaviour and preferences, gain business intelligence and apply valuable insights when creating strategies. The convergence of big data and AI is the most significant development for businesses across the globe, enabling them to capitalise on hitherto unexplored opportunities. A major factor accentuating the importance of big data is also the massive volume of, and speed at which data is created through digital technologies and devices, providing businesses with real-time access to information from far more number of sources than ever before. As the driving force of several industries in 2017, the scale and growth of artificial intelligence in 2018 is expected to be even more greater.
Considering AI's impact so far, here are some of the most significant opportunities and trends this technology will present in 2018:
AI-integrated mobile and web applications
The next few years are going to be all about automating the user experience on applications and digital platforms partly or in entirety, and AI will play a central role in helping businesses with this change. AI-driven technologies such as machine learning and deep learning can help developers design intelligent apps that can process large volumes of data and generate real-time predictions through analytics.
AI will transform the global workforce
Considering the entire breadth of changes that AI will bring in the world, its impact on human jobs is the most immediate question that has the entire world divided in its views on this technology. The prevalent belief that AI will render several human functions redundant is not entirely true. On the contrary, the true application of AI-powered tools will create more job roles like data scientists, UI/UX developers, AI/ML developers, cloud engineers, etc. In areport published recently, Gartner states that artificial intelligence will create 2.3 million by 2020. Hence, with the passage of time, the impact of artificial intelligence on the workforce will be more positive as it will present skilling opportunities for individuals, enabling them to explore job opportunities in the rapidly growing digital sectors.
AI and cloud computing
Besides analysing data available in traditional formats like text, image, and video, the Internet of Things is creating a need for technologies that can analyse unstructured data from inter-connected devices. The speed at which data is created at present, and the sheer abundance of it can aid the development of highly advanced machine learning models. Forrester predicts that firms will increasingly adopt and embrace a public-cloud-first policy in 2018 for big data, analytics, and AI to exercise greater control over organisational processes, drive down costs and ensure better flexibility than any on-premises software can deliver. Cloud implementations are increasing in popularity as it cuts down the entry cost for these technologies, besides giving the advantage of hosting all the data on a single instance.
Rise of the chatbots
In the age of machines, as we generate billions of bytes of data each second, a human assistant just cannot keep up with the information deluge. The creation and deployment of chatbots by businesses is making the consumers' lives easier by providing them with real-time support through digital channels, and in the process helping businesses enhance customer service by automating important processes. Driven by the success of this communication tool, tech giants like Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon have deployed chatbots to interact with customers across major touch points.
Cognitive technologies and Machine Learning
Intelligent machines today are becoming increasingly capable of learning about human behaviour from the data originating from human-machine interactions. Machine learning algorithms can derive a large amount of valuable insights from both structured and unstructured data. This data, in the form of text, voice, images, videos, body language and facial expressions can analyse a consumer's activities and behaviour on digital platforms and help businesses deliver tailor-made solutions for each individual consumer. Hence, the implications of cognitive technologies on sectors as diverse as healthcare, finance, travel, or online gaming are endless. Machine learning is reinventing the way businesses operate in an online or digital ecosystem by offering a variety of solutions for fraud detection, speech analysis, predicting and controlling customer churn, or generating real-time targeted ads. However, 2018 will see machine learning evolve into a much smarter and quicker tool for businesses to take strategic decisions through stronger predictive analytics algorithms enabling demand forecasting and managing demand fluctuations.
The coming year will see the scale of disruption already created by artificial intelligence intensify and grow at a faster and steadier pace. The application of AI-powered tools and their benefits in driving business excellence will facilitate the creation of inter-connected industries, businesses, and processes. Furthermore, new developments like emotion recognition, virtual reality, self-service platforms, and conversational interfaces are expected to fundamentally transform how businesses operate in an increasingly digital and hyper-connected world.
Source: CXO Today