A look back at what’s been happening over the past year, and what could be to come in 2019.
As our use of technology and the IoT grows, there is a rising concern for the safety of personal data. To use apps or services we often submit sensitive information and trust businesses to look after our details. In the past year, companies have been under scrutiny on why they need certain details and how they are being used (I’m looking at you, Facebook). Will relying on AI algorithms for security combat this? Or will it pose more of a negative than a positive? So, in 2019, expect even more measures to be taken in the fight for better cyber security.
Image, Face and Speech Recognition
China has pushed the boundaries of technology in 2018, intent in overtaking America in the AI-race. China’s questionable applications of AI for image and facial recognition are a little Big Brother – government agencies have curated a database of 1.3 billion citizen ID photos. The software assists in performing administrative tasks and tracking criminals with a target of up to 90% accuracy. Looking ahead to 2019, we can expect further developments in AI fields from China. Shanghai has already begun testing for a 10 volume AI textbook series to use in schools across the country. It will debut in the new year following positive responses from the academic sector.
Aside from facial recognition, speech recognition has also made significant leaps in 2018 and it will only continue as we move into the new year. Products like the Amazon Alexa quickly found themselves in homes and offices everywhere. Over the course of the Black Friday weekend, the third generation Echo Dot was the best-selling product on Amazon worldwide!
Hyper-Personalisation and Deep Learning
Consumers are growing ever more demanding and as a result, some marketing practices are becoming stale. This is where hyper-personalisation comes in. Investing in tighter, tailored marketing only helps businesses, not hinder them. So, if this is a process you’re not yet devoted to, you might be missing a trick!
This sector will see much larger investments in 2019, especially in retail. Chatbots and other AI technologies are common features currently used for hyper-personalisation. As we enter 2019, this personalisation will take on new forms. Improved Machine learning will enable chatbot systems to develop much more detailed, human-like personas.
Through deep learning, AI can already track your purchasing habits. In the coming year, chatbots will start to consider other aspects of a sale. They will look into your intent and confirm whether the service is fulfilling your needs – knowing what you want before you do!
Governments Embracing Technology
As technology advances at a rapid pace, governments have clearly felt the strain to keep up. Technology holds mass, great potential for society and governing bodies will need to adapt in AI regulation, data security, and investment in technology and digital companies to benefit the economy.
If you are not personally on social media, I can guarantee you know someone who is. There are over 2 billion people who own a smartphone globally and approximately half of the world’s population use the internet. Governments are planning to use this data to benefit society, environment, smart cities and global trade. In 2019, governments and authorities will hopefully begin to fully address topics such as threats to infrastructure, AI investment and regulation, and security.
This past year has seen a tremendous boom in the technological industry, with continued focus on artificial intelligence. According to a survey by McKinsey & Company, investment into AI from businesses has tripled since 2013 and it’s not stopping any time soon. The fear of job losses to AI is dwindling as companies prepare for an increase in job availability rather than losses.
I for one can’t wait to see what the next year will bring. What do you think 2019 will hold?