IT companies and technology experts have long predicted the boom of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the new decade. However, what was thought to be a steady and measured progression became a full-throttle dash to the finish line, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the global health crisis continues to change the business landscape, companies are adopting every possible way to cope with the changes to their normal operations. Luckily, AI is at the frontline of it all.
What Is Artificial Intelligence?
AI is a branch under computer science that deals with the creation of systems to carry out tasks that normally require human intelligence or skills. The term may also refer to any machine that’s capable of independent thought and action. You may not be aware of it all the time, but AI is everywhere and you interact with it on the daily. Virtual assistants and self-driving cars are AI. Even the spam filter in your email client is AI.
Apart from these common examples, more complex forms of AI are also gearing up for a new wave of digital transformation. In fact, AI-driven enterprises are already transitioning into more advanced methods of managing their resources. AI and machine learning platforms, such as www.cnvrg.io, allow these enterprises to manage AI jobs and unify all data through a single dashboard. In no time, end-to-end machine learning operations will be easier than ever.
Looking at the trends in recent years, especially the huge turning point in tech last year, AI adoption shows no signs of slowing down. 2021 has already started, and so have new AI technologies. Below are some of the upgrades and breakthroughs you can expect in the months to come:
- High Time For Hyper-Automation
Many companies were forced to downsize their workforce and operate with nothing more than a skeleton staff. It goes without saying that this disruption has been taking a toll on business operations. As a result, these companies have resorted to robotic process automation (RPA) to take care of non-core, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks in the workflow. This way, employees—the small number of them left—can focus on more difficult tasks.
One of the limitations of RPA is that it can only process labeled and structured data. Consider this scenario: When you call a company’s support line, you usually get assisted by an automated voice machine that asks questions answerable by only yes or no, or by pressing numbers on your dial pad. This year, RPA will focus on processing unstructured and unlabeled data, such that it can ask more sophisticated questions. Sooner or later, RPA will be able to ask “Why?” and “How?”, evaluate cause and effect, as well as interpret uncommon scenarios.
- Enhancing Language Intelligence
In addition to RPA, automated speech recognition (ASR) is also expected to reach new heights. This is especially true for voice-driven industries, such as customer care centers. Many of these centers deployed their employees to work remotely. The lack of face-to-face support and performance monitoring caused a significant decrease in the overall quality of service. As a solution, a lot of attention is now focused on building systems that can better understand the human language.
ASR isn’t limited to reading oral and written text, though. It also checks grammar, classifies topics, and translates as necessary. On top of sharpening these abilities, AI enterprises are also working on ASR systems’ ability to detect emotions and analyze intent through context clues. Through these advancements, it will much easier for customer care centers to perform quality checks and ensure that every remote worker complies with company policies.
- Tightening Cybersecurity
Speaking of remote workers, they stand at risk of cybersecurity threats since a lot of them use their personal devices for work. Unsecured devices are the weakness of any IT system, thus increasing the need for more advanced detection and prevention techniques. In response to this, several companies have started to work on artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOPs).
AIOPs uses AI to collect and analyze performance data, which can be used to gain useful insights on operations. Such data can help predict and fix IT issues, including potential cyber-attacks. When AIOPs work hand-in-hand with security operations, there will be better access to preventive cybersecurity solutions.
- An Upgraded Internet Of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the network of sensor-driven or software-powered ‘things’ that are connected and exchange data with each other over the Internet. These ‘things’ are your smartphones, wearables, home appliances, industrial tools, and a host of other data-powered devices. The past few years have witnessed a great surge in AI technologies. This year, you can expect that your smart devices will get even smarter.
Ever since smart technology has been made affordable and accessible to the masses, more and more families have started turning their homes into ‘smart homes.’ Automated lighting, heating, security, and temperature control are now possible through IoT. Now, this process of automation is ready to move from homes into a much larger scale. ‘Smart cities’ will comprise of buildings and establishments equipped with tools that monitor and store data. This will make way for automated traffic management, community surveillance systems, and energy distribution, among many other areas of expansion.
- All Eyes On Ethics
Definitely, the most awaited development in the world of AI is the turning of the spotlight on ethics. Many tech executives and experts have long been pushing for the formation and implementation of ethical standards in AI systems. If left unmonitored, they worry that the continuous use and growth of AI could pose risks to data integrity and even to human safety.
Thankfully, many industry leaders across different fields are on the same page when it comes to the need for better transparency. In fact, international partnerships have started coming together to align AI with pressing global issues. One example is the Partnership on AI, which is a non-profit research organization that aims to educate and guide the public on how to use AI responsibly. This year, it is expected that more enterprises will join this mission.
Keeping Up With AI Trends
In 2021, AI remains the bastion that protects businesses from unexpected obstacles. If you plan to include or continue using AI in your business plan this year, make sure to put these trends at the center of your strategies.