Predictions for AI Developments in 2018

Entering the new year, we are wondering what to expect from the new AI technologies and which directions to look at.

In this brief review, we offer some predictions for AI developments in 2018.

Since all indicators show the likely increase in investment into the development of AI and, particularly, machine learning, technologies, the world is expecting a new wave of AI applications. Most importantly, these applications are finally reaching beyond computers learning to beat humans at chess and TV game shows. In 2018, machine learning and neural network technologies will continue to refine themselves and take on more routine tasks — in all aspects of our lives.

Robotics

Yes, robots. In the Blade Runner universe, people have already mastered replicants manufacturing by 2019. On the verge of 2018, we are still far from that, but our coexistence with robots is already taking place.

2017 was all about toy robots, programmable robots and other kinds of educational robots for kids. In 2018, we’ll see programmable robot platforms, designed for adults, which are more sophisticated in their capabilities and offer more interesting and versatile robotics functionality. Additionally, more consumer robots will enter our lives as home helpers to remove friction from our daily routine.

Healthcare

Advancements in big data analysis and AI will play a major role in healthcare.

Maybe, the present-day encroachment of AI is still almost invisible to patients. Yet, new technologies will push the industry forwards, changing the way it operates and treats patients by optimizing workflows both within in-patient and out-patient scenarios. Behind the scenes of health examination, image recognition algorithms are already being used in pilot projects to spot warning signs buried in medical images and to decipher hand-written doctors’ notes. With these pilots being quite successful, we are likely to expect a boost of similar projects in the coming year.

Another important, and definitely more visible, development in healthcare is a greater involvement of robots in looking after the health and well-being of patients. Caregivers and companion robots are expected to gain popularity and could begin to become an everyday reality in 2018.

Communication

The next year is likely to change our interaction with machines, and conversational interfaces will become common when it comes to interacting with technology in a business environment. This year’s estimates are that in 2018 about 20% of firms will look to add voice enabled interfaces to their existing point-and-click dashboards and systems.

Natural language generation and natural language processing algorithms are constantly learning to become more tuned to understanding us, and talking to us in a way we understand. In 2018 they will continue to improve and we should get used to robots which we can converse with in a more human-like manner.

In the nearest future, we are likely to see an increased focus on bot sensitivity training, which will allow humans to offload even more work on chatbot shoulders both in business and in the everyday life: while a new virtual assistant by X.ai called “Amy” can respond to messages regarding meetings, meals, and calls, Amazon’s Alexa recently began syncing with Outlook and Google to help families keep up with their schedules.

Data-Driven Machines

Big data may sound less exciting android creation, but it’s what will be the focus of most companies’ work next year. Pushed by the steady growth of data produced by the Internet of Things, businesses will turn to machine learning to process, trend, and analyze the received information. In 2018, machine learning will become an absolute must-have for companies wishing to make sense of structured or unstructured data. With humans unable to process this overwhelming data flow, the key strategy will be to call AI with large-scale analytics into play.

Processing of big data will change the way businesses are run, simultaneously improving the security monitoring by anomaly detection and prediction of stock-exchange and market trends. Enabling more precise clustering of customer groups, and developing smart cross-sale by tracking the sales vs. ranks for all products in various categories, machine learning will boost the sales and proclaim a new era for commerce.

Whatever changes in our lives we’ll see in the coming months, 2018 will definitely be an exciting year to live!