SOCIETY | Jan 11, 2019

AI: here are the trends for 2019

In 2019 almost 60% of companies will be using AI for their "mission critical" processes. What will be the repercussions?

So, as is done for the horoscope, I began by browsing the Net to start mapping the technological growth trends in 2019 that revolve around Artificial Intelligence. I found an interesting infographic which summarizes some important trends, starting from the monolithic introduction: 16% of companies today have automated and used Artificial Intelligence for their “mission critical” processes; in 2019 this figure will have shot up to 59%.

Also interesting are the data on the sectors most affected: IT certainly, but flanked by Customer Care (for example virtual agents and chatbots) and the administrative sector, which will witness automation of a large part of its repetitive processes.

Now is certainly the time for companies to move on from saying to doing, or rather from small testing laboratories to actual implementation of projects. 2018 was studded with “core samples”; many companies tried to test the quality of algorithms, entrusting them with small processes. Now, the trends of the new year tell us that we are ready to make the leap!

Forbes assumes for 2019 a growing confidence in the fact that this “intelligent and predictive” technology can be extended to all business areas as they come to understand the value of the information they hold.

What will happen to jobs?

According to the Gartner report1.8 million jobs will be lost due to automation, but at the same time 2.3 million will be created: people will learn to do less repetitive jobs, but will be trained to perform new tasks, while old routine activities will be performed by machines.

Even though the number seems positive, it must always be read and interpreted: many jobs will be lost which can be replaced by automation systems (in logistics, in retail, in commerce), but professionals of AI and Big Data will be hired. Workers will leave, engineers will come in. Quite a social and political problem, but also a great opportunity for the new generations.

A new understanding between man and AI

The more we use systems equipped with Artificial Intelligence, the more we will recirculate new data: if I use a virtual assistant to order my dinner, it will learn my preferences and behavior up to the point of predicting my wishes. Obviously if we all do it, the data collected will allow companies to understand exactly what services need to grow, which ones are underused and which are instead destined to be abandoned. All with a very fast timeline of birth and death.

One of the elements of growth will certainly be that of lowering the impact of linguistic differences between humans and AI assistants. Thanks to data collection and the increased use of our voice to express commands, AI assistants are destined to become ever more efficient in understanding their human users, increasing the ability to listen, understand and respond using a natural language.

Growth in trust

Gartner study has also indicated that by 2020, “85% of CIOs will pilot Artificial Intelligence programs through a combination of purchase, construction and outsourcing investments”. But given that organizations are becoming more dependent on machine learning models, how can humans be sure that these recommendations are reliable?

“Matching Artificial Intelligence with a human creates a new decision-making model in which AI offers new facts and options. But the head, as well as the heart, remains that of man”, said Svetlana Sicular, Research Vice President at Gartner.

Even clearer is Helen Poitevin, Research Senior Director at Gartner : “The future is not made up of a battle between people and machines, but of a synthesis of their abilities. Of humans and Artificial Intelligence working together”.

In short: the future is already here. And because we humans will teach the machines, I wonder: what kind of teachers will we be?

Simona Piacenti