How artificial intelligence will shape the world in 2020 and beyond

Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues its rise as one of the biggest buzzwords of the decade, with many startups using it to enhance their software offerings. If you aren’t across it yet, here are some ideas to help kickstart your entry into the world of AI.

Technology has come a long way over the last 15 years.

We’ve all witnessed incredible advances in both hardware and software, that have changed the way we do and experience things.

Throughout those years, there have been different tech ‘hypes’ that mainstream tech enthusiasts adopted.

For instance, the mysterious concept of cloud storage was the hype for a little while, after which the excitement of social media and smartphones went and stole the show. After that, it was blockchain and cryptocurrency that started raising all the eyebrows.

But today, it’s terms like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning that are moving and shaking the tech industry – and soon, there will hardly be an industry that isn’t impacted by this advanced technology.


AI = advanced data analytics


While the term AI might seem to be complex and almost unrelatable to many, it can be broken down into simple terms.

Artificial Intelligence is software that is coded to deduce the outcomes and trends of certain datasets. The software analyses the data and predicts (or in other words works out) the most likely next steps before they happen.

Instead of thinking of AI and machine learning as robotic machines taking over the universe, we need to look at it as extremely advanced software that leverages off existing data and makes smart decisions that the human brain isn’t wired to make.

Read: How AI can help your practice become even more human


AI is already here – and in a big way


According to Dave Timm, Head of AI projects at Red Marble AI, many of us already experience AI without even realising it.

“Most people already experience AI through Machine Learning built into Netflix or Amazon recommendations, or Google maps helping you get home quicker.” Timm told The Pulse.

Timm continued to say that the use of AI is already making the lives for SMEs far easier through things like “augmented decision making” which essentially helps employees make “quicker and better-informed decisions.”

Read: Would you trust AI to make your hiring decisions?

So, it is quite clear that AI is well and truly alive and active within our mainstream work cultures and personal lives. The question is though, what twists and turns is it poised to bring in 2020 and beyond?


Where is AI heading?


If you compare the original Apple iPhone that came out in 2006 to the current version, or if you compare the original cloud storage used by Amazon or Google to the way it is used by all major software providers today, the trends of innovation are always heading upwards.

When it comes to AI, the future looks very similar, with some of the world’s most exciting innovations sitting on the brink of breakthrough, all of which are being powered with some of the most unimaginable AI algorithms.

Read: AI and the changing nature of work

Sharing in this excitement, Timm said that this technology is set to “change the way everybody works” and its application could bring a “massive societal change”.

“Technologies such as autonomous vehicles will have impact far beyond transport and car ownership; it could bring profound change to cities, improved mobility and independence for elderly or disabled people, quicker distribution networks, and so on.

“The data generated by a huge number of sensors will change the way we do everyday tasks such as shopping or home repairs.

“For companies, it will create new business models and opportunities.”

Timm also believed that AI will change the “job market” and that government and industry will need to create adaptable strategies for how it “manages employment” within a more “automated world”.


So how do you get started?


As explained earlier, it’s important to remember that the concept of AI is not as daunting as it might sound and is something that needs to be adopted by startups who are looking to keep up with rapid tech current.

Timm said that startups who embrace this technology “will thrive”, and those who are looking to dabble in the space should start by “reading about AI” and by “exploring the ways it can help your organisation”.

According to Timm, another great way to start get started is to build your own AI data models.

“Find an area of business value with good quality ‘labelled’ data (meaning, data that’s tagged with a known outcome) and start running statistical tools across the data to see which features predict the outcome.”

So, for all those excitable tech entrepreneurs out there, it isn’t too late. If you can manage to upskill in the AI space and begin embracing this revolutionary technology, the Jones’ will be looking to keep up with you.

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