December 20, 2017

7 Artificial Intelligence Predictions for 2018

The hype of AI soared in 2017, living up to its reputation as the year of artificial intelligence. We now live in a time where Back to the Future video calls are our everyday, chatbots and virtual assistant’s like Geico’s Kate are available 24/7 and platforms like IBM Watson can use Artificial Intelligence to suggest the best North Face jacket for your next winter trip.

It’s almost guaranteed that AI will continue to grow exponentially in 2018, but what exactly will happen? We asked some of our thought leaders to provide their artificial intelligence predictions for 2018:

Stephanie Trunzo, Chief Digital Officer & COO

The coming year will have a combination of a few mind-blowing advancements, like Soul Machines for human replication AI, and a high volume of previous advancements making their way into lives and user expectations, like autonomous driving features and chatbots. While 2018 will see the application of AI becoming more universally understood, the most impactful change will be invisible. The biggest advancement in AI in 2018 will be the infrastructure of services and advancement of data illumination that will better enable the maturation of technology into a consumable ecosystem.

Greg Ng, VP of Digital Engagement

In the travel and entertainment space, we will start to see more and more solutions that will incorporate AI to provide the best recommendations for restaurants, vacations, activities and shows. This extends way past recommendation engines and crowdsourcing data. With the help of AI, consumers will get decisions made for them like which city to connect through on a flight, which restaurant to book a reservation for, and what hotel to stay in. And from the industry standpoint, airlines, restaurants and hotels will get predictive behavior that they can prepare for.

Barry Pellas, CTO & Chief Business Technologist

In 2018, companies will go from asking what AI is or what it can do to achieving real business outcomes with AI. More information will flow into technical leadership about the capabilities and a clear distinction with clear initiatives will come into focus. As a result, many more companies will be able to put AI based initiatives into their roadmaps with execution beginning in 2018.

John Cammarata, VP of Development

In 2018, insurance companies will have prioritized AI initiatives into their business units in order to start realizing the promise and hype of AI. A lot of P&C and L&A insurance companies will look at the claims process as RPA will help streamline the process.

Mandy Steinhardt, Director of Analytics and Digital Engagement

In 2018, Amazon will broaden the skills of Alexa so that she can conversationally help consumers navigate grocery, gift-buying and household restock occasions. All of the artificial intelligence assistants will continue to develop more contextual awareness and gain a better understanding of sentiment, referencing your personal history rather than just using your selected nickname and birthdate.

Cait Smith, Director of Digital Strategy

Even the world’s largest fast food chain is attempting to solve a wicked modern problem, and it’s completely unrelated to burgers and fries. Our phones and devices are siphoning away our attention and time, impacting our relationship with reality and biological wiring for connection with other humans. This is why McDonald’s created mobile phone lockers…so people actually talk to one another.

I predict AI will hang its hat on this value prop in 2018—that AI will ultimately help us become more human by creating the time and space for important mushy human things like experiencing life without a phone in our hand. AI-powered intelligent chatbots will help break us of our smartphone additions. Google Home, Siri and especially Amazon are making strides toward creating a new paradigm where it’s more common for smartphones to stay out of reach through voice interactions and frictionless touch screens, like the Echo Show.

John Romano, Director of UX Design

As the list of companies finding success with AI expands rapidly, companies will begin to face increased pressure to use AI for fear of being left behind. As pressure mounts, executives will begin to feel rushed to launch AI-driven initiatives to improve productivity, efficiency, and customer experience. But haste makes waste.

My prediction is that companies won’t spend enough time identifying real problems that need to be solved, and will push AI projects out the door without a sound strategy. We’ll begin to hear stories of failed AI initiatives that don’t deliver value or fail to gain traction. This will remind executives that even though AI seems to be changing everything, the basics of sound research and strategy are as important as ever.


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