Why The Future for Smart Tech Looks Even Brighter in 2018


Predictions on how AI was set to change the world abounded in 2017, and are unlikely to change much this year. However, as all areas of AI technology develop further, including cognitive computing, natural language processing, and big data analytics we can expect to see real progress in how it’s applied to customer experience strategies that transform our everyday lives.

Stories claiming that robots are going to steal human jobs are likely to remain abundant in news feeds, but they will also be supplemented with news about real progress and innovation in all areas of AI.

These are the AI trends that will emerge in 2018 and transform our everyday lives.

White Tesla car in forest

Less Talk, More Action

The recent hype about AI and the advances that are ‘just around the corner’ will start to abate as real progress in AI tech is made. As competition to be the dominant AI provider to the masses heats up, there will inevitably be further investment in developing these technologies and the initial integration of them into the systems we use daily.

With Tesla leading the way in self-driving vehicles, other mainstream car manufacturers are compelled to follow suit. Prepare for Audi’s A8 which is set to go one better: not only will it have the ability to chauffer us around safely, but it will also be able to request human intervention should the job of navigating the roads become too much of a challenge.

The human machine interface works with drivers, not only watching the road and driving on their behalf, but also by watching humans to determine their attentiveness and responding appropriately if it is found to be lacking. Innovations such as these will aid further development of the human-AI hybrids predicted to populate our futures beyond 2018.

Spectacular Advancements and Failures

Thanks to the investment continuing to pour into AI projects, machine learning technologies such as those used to recognize cancerous tissues or deliver our grocery orders without the need for human hands will continue to delight us in the news.

Just as notably, vague intentions for AI developments will lead to some spectacular failures. Organizations with less than necessary resources, lured by the trend of trim-to-size approaches in AI development, may find themselves initiating failure.

It took over half a century before the phrase coined by computer scientist John McCarthy became the reality we know today: AI is not for the faint of heart. Without clear goals and strategies, as with most projects, AI projects will fail. Results for AI need to be clearly linked to measurable KPIs that matter to investors, such as revenue growth or employee satisfaction.

Smart home assistant on books

The Rise of Voice Technologies

The broad acceptance of home based AI assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and voice operated smartphone apps will lead to further development in natural language processing and machine learning tech. Google has already announced that 20% of all mobile queries are voice searches and Alexa for business is already here.

Given that combined NLP and machine learning technologies aid AI in learning from every single (vocal) interaction, we should probably get used to conversing with robots, even if they don’t look like us or we can’t see them. To varying extents, voice recognition tech has been around for decades, but this year it looks like it will be taken to a whole new level.

The Caring Side of AI

AI use in healthcare is moving at a phenomenal rate in all areas, partly thanks to the structure of pre-existing healthcare systems. Big data analytics are already being used to crunch data about diseases, patient history, assist in clinical decision making and outcome predictions. It therefore only makes sense that other areas will soon follow suit.

AI is already powering apps that are ‘responding the global shortfall of doctors’, such as PushDoctor or GPDQ. Additionally, there are care and companionship robots (not dissimilar to Hero 7’s Baymax) that are planned for testing in care homes, thanks to funding from the EU and Japanese governments.

Wrap-up

Conversations about AI technology and its role in society will start to become nearly as common as conversations with AI. 2018 is set to be an exciting year of AI developments by anyone’s standard.

As the examples above portray, our daily lives are set to be transformed by AI this year. From how we get around to how we function in our own homes, this technology is clearly poised to have lasting effects for individuals.