artifcicial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence – Fad, fear or the future?

This blog post is by Katie Turner from our Business Technology team.

At times it’s felt like artificial intelligence is everywhere this year. From TV shows such as Westworld and the recently returned and hugely popular Humans, to the regular commentary around the implications of new applications that we’ve seen in the news, it’s clear the there is an appetite for understanding how this smart technology will impact our lives.

Whatever the future holds, it represents an exciting opportunity for the technology industry. There’s been a huge amount of activity in this arena recently with Salesforces’ Einstein announcement, a host of AI demos and announcements from Oracle’s OpenWorld Conference, Microsoft Research revealing its Hanover project, Samsung’s purchase of Viv, along with Google’s Assistant announcement….the list goes on! This year has also seen Google, Facebook, Amazon, IBM and Microsoft announcing that they are to join forces to create a new AI partnership dedicated to advancing public understanding of the sector, as well as coming up with standards for future researchers to abide by. Each of these markers in the industry reflects the heightened interest and opportunity in the market, alongside a desire to understand the implications of a society increasingly dependent on AI and machine learning.

But it’s not just the big players in the market. AI is also creating a whole new push for start-ups around the world, with the technology being applied in a whole host of ways. From Rainbird, Tractable and Improbable to Synap and Onfido, there are some incredibly interesting stories emerging. And everyone is trying to get in on the action to talk about how AI and machine learning will impact a whole host of industries, with client Cognizant recently releasing a report on the subject and commentators from Verint and Autodesk commenting on shifts in their respective markets.

Telling this broader AI story and highlighting the benefits to businesses and consumers will be a crucial part of the debate. Communicating the changing face of technology and the opportunities that this presents for individuals, organisations and even the greater good, alongside clear examples and case studies to demonstrate this new reality, will be key to delivering positive stories for people to engage with. And there’s still a job to be done to allay the fears of many that the rise of the machines will result in a robot-led apocalypse.

So what does the future hold? We’ll leave that to the experts who are creating these incredible applications, but it’s clear that we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible. In the coming months and years, we can expect to see the AI story continue to develop and consumers become increasingly used to its application in our day to day lives. As this intelligence continues to grow and we shift towards the reality of machines able to really ‘think’ for themselves, make decisions and act on them, only time will tell how these advances will be accepted into society. For the time being, it’s a hugely exciting time and one which we’ll be watching closely.

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