Artificial Intelligence’s (AI) rapid maturity will ensure that it takes centre stage in 2017 as the hottest trend in IT.
The change essentially lies in enhanced statistical and computational methods, not in the growth of underlying systems or storage.
This will be the year that AI, underpinned by neural networks and machine learning, will finally see itself being put to best use, driven by a strong appetite for deeper insights that drive customer engagement.
Investment in AI will increase dramatically as firms look to tap into complex systems, advanced analytics and machine learning technology. Vendors that are already embedding components of cognitive computing capabilities into their solutions will prosper.
Blockchains and distributed ledgers also will dominate. The most prominent characteristic of a blockchain is that it provides information sharing with high transparency and reliability, without management by a specific trusted organisation.
On the other hand, for example, in financial trading applications, there are operational issues related to safely executing trades, such as key management. In addition, document management applications preserving the original state of documents lead to issues in creating a system that could limit which people would be allowed to reference the information recorded in the blockchain.
We believe that as blockchain technology and security advances, it will see a wide uptake in a variety of fields such as cross-border securities trading, financial settlement systems, distribution networks, etcetera, and one of the hottest trends in 2017 will see concerns mentioned earlier being satisfactorily addressed, and regulators viewing it as a serious option in many scenarios.
Chatbots are set to be the number one consumer application for AI within the next five years, according to many. This is because of the power of the natural language processor — software that processes and parses human language, creating a simple and universal means of interacting with technology.
These aren’t the norm yet, but in five years, there’s a strong likelihood chatbots could be helping you in shopping and customer service responses, thanks to advance human centric technologies that generate dialog to simulate natural conversations and thus enable the automation of previously human-exclusive tasks. In fact, technology researcher Gartner predicts it will be pervasive in all new products by 2020, with technologies including natural language capabilities, deep neural networks and conversational capabilities.
This is also going to be the year we see an increase in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) implementations. With Pokemon Go passing the 100 million downloads mark, the gaming world will not be the only industry that will look to reap the benefits from VR and AR. Training and education also look to benefit, especially in the healthcare sector, which could simulate real life operation scenarios.
A recent report from IDC claims that the combined revenue for both the AR and VR markets will hit $162bn by the year 2020.
We also believe conversational systems, Mesh App and Service Architecture, digital technology platforms and Adaptive Security Architecture will be seen as emerging trends in the new year, not just here in the region but across the world.
Farid Al Sabbagh, vice president and managing director, Fujitsu Middle EastFor all the latest tech news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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