2016 – The Year of AI

Well the long festive season is over and I’m back at my desk  after a well deserved break and contemplating this New Year with renewed energy, vigour and excitement. This is going to be a great year for ideas and making new connections and sharing common visions to discover your purpose. Which leads me onto my first topic of the season and one which is going to make a lot of ripples in knowledge based industries.

Microsoft has hailed 2016 the “Year of AI,” according to its annual trend list. Microsoft asked 16 members of its technology and research team to forecast the biggest breakthroughs for 2016, and AI was the area generating the most excitement. Virtual assistants, conversation assistants, AI-enabled user interfaces and customer service AIs were some of the user cases described.

The tech giants see this era as an important step to  focus on artificial intelligence, and they’re predicting major breakthroughs in 2016 — we shall see more evidence of this technology’s rapid advancement from deceptive to disruptive growth phases as the year progresses..

In 2015, artificial intelligence went mainstream. Major tech companies including Google, Facebook, Amazon and Twitter made huge in roads into AI, almost all of technology research company predictions included AI, and declared that AI-driven technologies were the next big disruptor to enterprise software.  This makes it likely that in 2016, new inventions will increasingly come to market from companies discovering new ways to apply this wonderful technology versus building it. With game changers now having access to cost effective quality AI platforms to create new products, we’ll also likely see an explosion in new startups using AI.

Smart machines will assist employees being more productive, not replace them. Analytics industry leader, Tom Davenport, predicted that “smart leaders will realize that augmentation—combining smart humans with smart machines—is a better strategy than automation.”

Business leaders will be given the choice to use these intelligent vehicles so that AI sourced information has the option to present solutions and explain how they arrive at their answers to common problems and allow better, more efficient decisions be made as part of a companies growth.

AI-powered applications will start to infiltrate companies other than technology firms. Employees, teams and entire departments will champion process re-engineering efforts with these intelligent systems whether they realize it or not. As each individual app eliminates a task, employees will automate many of the mundane parts of their jobs and assemble their own stack of AI-powered apps. Teammates eager to be  competitive will follow, along with team managers who are looking to execute on cost-cutting efforts.

With innovation progressing rapidly within large organizations in sectors such as retail, finance and pharmaceutical will focus even more efforts on remaining competitive and discovering the next big thing by forming innovation hubs. Innovation laboratories have existed for some time, but in 2016, we’ll begin to see more resources devoted to innovation  and more technologies discovered in these think tanks actually implemented across different company functions and business lines.

2016 will be a big year for AI. But what is even more significant, 2016 will bring about a major shift in the perception of AI. It will cease to be an intimidating, hypothetical set of notions and theories and will be better understood and accepted as more people realize the advantages of AI to supplement what we do to make our lives even more rewarding.

To your Success in 2016

Steve

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