Artificial Intelligence visionaries have never been embarrassed by bold predictions. As early as in the 1950s, research was accompanied by a series of utopian forecasts concerning future developments and their impact on society. As naive as such forecasts and desires may seem in retrospect, short-term trends in the event of intelligent systems of any kind can positively be identified and used sensibly. In 2018, the development of Artificial Intelligence will gain momentum like never before. Here are seven trends that you should know about AI development in 2018.
From Hype to Reality
After many promises of earlier AI research which had not even begun to be fulfilled, the field of Artificial Intelligence became calmer in the nineties. But at the turn of the millennium, Artificial Intelligence celebrated a comeback, which developed into a hype in the following years and was supposed to overshadow even the naive optimism of the early days. For some years now, we have been anticipating the point at where the long-standing debate on feasibility, which has been mostly theoretical, will finally lead to practical implementations that can exist for themselves. Somewhat philosophical topics such as the question of the principled possibility of active and general AI are increasingly being ousted by the power of the factual. Even old fears about the superiority of future intelligent machines are increasingly fading beyond the utility value of technologies that are already foreseeable today. For 2018, we anticipate that the focus of Artificial Intelligence will shift even more strongly into practice. Fundamental questions are increasingly coming into the background, the concrete applications of the different technologies conquer everyday life and are taken for granted by companies and end users.
Private companies set the tone
Even though fundamental considerations on machine intelligence have lost some of their weight – research in all areas of Artificial Intelligence continues to run at full speed. In 2018, the emphasis will be on two trends: In addition to the already mentioned stronger emphasis on practical aspects and the implementation of brilliant systems in practice, the shift in excellent research from the university sector to a number of global players in information technology can be observed. In fact, the willingness of companies to explore more radical concepts and to use the application of AI technologies in end devices only for the production sector is becoming increasingly apparent. To this end, more and more groups are forming workgroups and subsidiaries according to the Skunkworks principle: research budgets that university departments can only dream of utopian projects whose economic counter value is uncertain at best. The best-known example is probably Google’s research company X.
Popularization and Democratisation
For decades, AI concepts have been regarded as esoteric in programmers’ circles, as Deep Magic. The fact that Artificial Intelligence in application development is increasingly being made available and used by non-specialists is another development that we foresee for the year 2018. Whether in the form of program libraries and APIs or as building block elements in development environments for non-specialists: Artificial intelligence will be available to a broader group of people for modular use in all kinds of systems. Particularly in areas such as data mining and pattern recognition, the increasingly noticeable shortage of skilled workers will make it necessary to introduce such personnel to the possibilities offered by AI, which does not have the required in-house knowledge. As a result, Artificial Intelligence will become more and more a matter of course for users as a freely available design element: e. g. for assistance in the network, on mobile devices or in social networks.
Intelligent Assistants: Virtual Assistants
We already know them for years: virtual assistants who respond to our commands on mobile devices or in the field of home automation and, if desired, browse the web, control the volume of music or forward our shopping lists to retailers. Although this is already an everyday example of AI, it will be a further trend for 2018: virtual assistants will become more flexible and intelligent. And they will continue to spread, whether as a source of information for customers or as a wise companion in everyday life. The already successful systems of this division, such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home, have already set standards here and will pave the way for new developments and improvements.
Personalization of Information and Marketing
Anyone who is regularly on the Internet knows the effect: advertising and other product information are adapted to previous searches for keywords or visits to websites. Based on the latest developments in machine learning and pattern recognition, AI will also open up new possibilities in this area. Intelligent agents and assistants will not only be able to select ads and news results but will also be able to customise the entire user experience to meet the needs of the user. 2018 will be the year in which marketing and information management will become intelligent, with tangible effects for the user regarding the possibilities for personalisation and electability of the services. At the same time, AI will become increasingly invisible from the end user’s point of view: The result counts, not the technology behind it. Another exciting aspect will be the combination of the new technical possibilities with the still growing legal and political framework conditions for data protection and the protection of privacy, especially in the European Union.
The real world
Not only will AI 2018 enter virtual environments, but also physical reality. Robotics has been regarded for a long time as a critical discipline in the field; the underlying consideration is that real intelligence can only be created through direct contact with the physical world. Be that as it may, 2018 will be the year in which Artificial Intelligence will also become a key technology in the real world. Efforts to teach cars to drive autonomously are particularly useful in this area, and we will see tremendous progress in this field in the new year. But medical technology will also become more intelligent: AI systems use advanced pattern and image recognition techniques to interpret data from sources such as MRI, PET, CT or X-ray to facilitate the diagnosis of acute diseases. In general, machines are becoming more intelligent: Through the Internet of Things, entire supply chains and production cycles become independently operating systems that use resources more efficiently and produce more with less energy, raw materials and time.
AI as an investment focus
The current and future role of the AI naturally leads to a significant increase in investment in researching and implementing the resulting technologies. Companies will not only increase their expenditures in this area, but the war for the best brains has begun in the field of recruiting. AI becomes the focus of economic investments as well as human resources development. In the foreseeable future, the topic will be accompanied by a shortage of personnel in the economy as well as by innovation potential. It remains to be seen whether this problem will have a lasting effect on the progress of development. It is up to society as a whole to take care of filling the existing gaps but also to address future deficits. Thus, 2018 will hopefully be a good year – not only in the sector of Artificial Intelligence.Zurück