With 2019 just around the corner it is time to make New Year’s resolutions, plans and of course – predictions. The topic of artificial intelligence has been vastly discussed throughout 2018 and our forecast is – 2019 will be no different. If anything, AI will become more understood by business leaders and by the public, so here are our 5 main AI predictions for 2019.
Advances in AI assistants
Purchasing and utilization of AI assistants will increase throughout 2019 and for one main reason – they will be advancing and becoming extra useful. As Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant become exposed to more and more information on the intricacies of human communication, they will learn and improve. Moreover, the application designers will understand which features are most used and will be tweaking the software thus making it capable of answering more complex questions and providing more valuable assistance.
Emergence of new jobs
First of all, there will be an increased demand for AI talent and skills. Companies will not only be expanding their internal IT and AI teams, but also hiring AI consultants and remote developers on a project basis in order to reduce costs. Hence, job adverts for data scientists and machine learning engineers will become commonplace. However, if IT and technology are not your cup of tea – do not worry.
According to Gartner, by the end of 2019 AI will be creating more jobs than it will be taking, especially in the public sector, healthcare and education industries. These areas require human skills that cannot be replicated by machines, making people who have mastered customer care, project management and leadership in high demand. Some vacancies that you will be seeing more often are account manager, business development executive and customer service representative.
Take a look at McKinsey’s infographic below to see which skills will experience growth or decline in demand in the coming years.
Expansion of AI in e-commerce
Personalization has been an ongoing trend over the course of 2018, making customers want a more unique and enjoyable shopping experience. Their demand will force e-commerce businesses to invest in making websites as custom-made and unlike competitors as possible.
AI technologies will become more widespread since they can provide tools that will help customers find relevant products faster, discover similar or complementary items and take full advantage of effective virtual assistants. Not to mention, AI can take the data collected from customers and provide real-time insights into their behavior so that the e-commerce site can be adapted accordingly to enhance future experiences.
An excellent example of AI technologies providing value in the e-commerce landscape is Tommy Hilfiger partnering with IBM and the Fashion Institute of Technology on a Reimagine Retail project. As part of the collaboration IBM Research’ AI tools were used to identify industry trends in real time - allowing retail leaders to make informed decisions during the design process.
Businesses creating new revenue streams
Some companies have already jumped on the AI bandwagon and have built up databases of customer activities and are taking advantage of them to make businesses more profitable. Yet, the improvements don’t have to stop there. Those firms can now analyze the value of the data they own and consider the possibility of expanding their business model into providing data-as-a-service. Such strategy was adapted by an American manufacturing company – John Deere, which decided to provide farmers with relevant agricultural analytics to help them grow crops efficiently.
AI ethics and transparency
AI works by leveraging the data the company obtains and hence is only as powerful as data that is gathered. With this comes the fear and uncertainty of the customers and the public regarding what is being collected and how it is being used. Thus, in 2019 companies will become more transparent about their AI technology use in order to keep their customers calm and loyal. The businesses that embrace the transparency will be viewed as fairer and more ethical while also gaining all the benefits of AI technologies.
To conclude, 2019 is sure to bring a lot of new developments to the AI landscape, some of them being enhanced home assistants, an increase in jobs available, improved e-commerce websites, more businesses offering data-as-a-service and more transparency requirements for companies working with big data. All of these are of course just predictions but we are excited to see what 2019 will bring.